“Where Did That Dinosaur Come From?” And Other Bothersome Questions

World-building is a beloved pastime in speculative fiction, and dedicated faux-cial scientists like J.R.R. Tolkien have constructed such complete compendiums that there is always an answer to every question, but despite our hunger for the minutia of our favorite fantasy worlds, it isn’t always as necessary as one might be led to think.

Not a blink away from Tolkien in the Fantasy Pantheon is C.S. Lewis, of, “Santa Claus is here and he thinks good children deserve to do a little righteous murder,” fame.

(No, I am not over it)

This is what I am getting at: As much fun as it can be to hash out the trade agreements between Elfwood and Humandia, most stories just do not need details on the produce broker Avocado Speculation Boom in the year 4 ASR (After Solar Revolution). You can even have your insane There is a Dinosaur in the Shopping Mall moment without ever explaining the presence of the dinosaur.

Unless you deliberately choose to put the dinosaur into context, it’s just here now. The action isn’t about why the dinosaur, it’s about what the dinosaur. So if you want your post-solar-revolutionary militants to favor wirelessly controlled battle-bots armed with crossbows, you don’t actually have to come up with a justification.

You do have to name one St4bb’/, though. That part is non-negotiable.

Published by

Mal McInnish

Professional public library goblin, hobby-hoarder, and writer, located in Texas, USA.

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