Writing Excuses 7.2: World Building Flora and Fauna

Let’s build the plants and animals for your science fiction or fantasy book!

We begin with a discussion about naming, and about deciding how much evolutionary biology to put into creating cool beasties. We also talk about planning a food chain, building around water, and considering other resources (especially wood, for growing fantasy civilizations.)

Other considerations include migration patterns, life-cycles, and the possibility of turning the whole thing on its head.

We offer examples from Dune, Legacy of Heorot, Inherit the Stars, Ender’s Game, and other places. And if you’re looking for resources, check out Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Play

Take a horrible, hard-to-domesticate animal, and then create a culture in which somebody has figured out how to domesticate these beasties.

A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge, narrated by Peter Larkin