Marie Brennan is creating New Worlds: essays on worldbuilding
66

patrons

$272
per month
Step into another world . . .

Fascinating worlds are a huge part of the draw for fantasy and science fiction. Not just a kingdom with magic, but a kingdom shaped by the presence of magic. Not just a galaxy with aliens, but a galaxy with alien customs for your characters to screw up. A chance to get outside the familiar routine of your normal existence and imagine a different way of living.

. . . or build your own

My essays here explore different facets of worldbuilding -- including some many authors never even think to pay attention to. I got most of the way to a Ph.D. in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore before I left graduate school to write fantasy full-time, so this is me putting on my Anthropologist Hat and nerding out about one of the things I love most in the world. We'll cover everything from climate to coinage, from religion to residence patterns. Illustrative examples will come from pretty much anywhere I've ever read about or taken a class on, which includes pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, Viking Age Scandinavia, Japan from the Heian to Meiji periods, pre-Roman Egypt, republican and imperial Rome, the Pueblo cultures of the American Southwest, Shang Dynasty China, the Islamic caliphates, pre-colonial West Africa, Iron Age Ireland, the Polynesian Pacific, England from about 1500 onward, and more. If you're a writer interested in adding depth and breadth to your own fiction, or just someone else who thinks the endless creativity of the human species is awesome, I hope you'll find things of interest here.

What does this Patreon produce?

I will write a minimum of four essays on worldbuilding topics each month, which will be posted to the Book View Cafe blog. Patrons receive a notification each time a new essay goes live, along with a photograph from my travels around the world (which cover not just a fair swath of Europe but Costa Rica, Israel, Turkey, India, and Japan) -- think of it as visual reference and/or inspiration. Additional material will be made available to patrons only, depending on your level of support and my total funding.

How does our support help?

The kinds of books I read for research are often not available from the public library, even with inter-library loan to help. In order to get really substantive material on a given topic -- not just the kind of thing written for a popular audience -- I often need to buy books online, which can run fifty dollars or more a pop if the text is academic enough. Either that, or I need to pay for access to a university library system (which is one of my goals in the left-hand sidebar). Your support will therefore help me go on educating myself about these subjects -- and that means I can write both better fiction, and better essays here.

Where can I find more details on the different reward levels?

Right here!
Tiers
Vision Builder
$1 or more per month 13 patrons
Receive one photograph with each essay posted, taken from one of my trips around the world.
Book Builder
$3 or more per month 38 patrons
As Vision Builder, plus receive a copy of the ebooks when they are complete, in the format of your choice.
Topic Builder
$5 or more per month 6 patrons
As Book Builder, plus steer the conversation by suggesting topics for upcoming posts.
Extra Builder
$10 or more per month 7 patrons
As above, plus receive an extra, non-public essay each month with a behind-the-scenes look at the worldbuilding in my own work.
World Builder
$25 or more per month 3 of 10 patrons
As Extra Builder, plus send me a question about worldbuilding (in your own work, or someone else's) and I'll provide individual feedback. Guidelines apply. Feedback can be private or, with patron permission, made into a post.
Story Builder
$50 or more per month 0 of 5 patrons
All the rewards of the Extra Builder, plus send me a piece of your own fiction (subject to guidelines) and receive a critique in return.
Goals
$272 of $300 per month
I'll host a Google Hangout every other month for my patrons, where we can have a more freeform conversation about worldbuilding in specific and writing in general. The hangouts will be hosted at different times on a rotating schedule so that patrons in various time zones will have the opportunity to attend.
5 of 7
Step into another world . . .

Fascinating worlds are a huge part of the draw for fantasy and science fiction. Not just a kingdom with magic, but a kingdom shaped by the presence of magic. Not just a galaxy with aliens, but a galaxy with alien customs for your characters to screw up. A chance to get outside the familiar routine of your normal existence and imagine a different way of living.

. . . or build your own

My essays here explore different facets of worldbuilding -- including some many authors never even think to pay attention to. I got most of the way to a Ph.D. in anthropology, archaeology, and folklore before I left graduate school to write fantasy full-time, so this is me putting on my Anthropologist Hat and nerding out about one of the things I love most in the world. We'll cover everything from climate to coinage, from religion to residence patterns. Illustrative examples will come from pretty much anywhere I've ever read about or taken a class on, which includes pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, Viking Age Scandinavia, Japan from the Heian to Meiji periods, pre-Roman Egypt, republican and imperial Rome, the Pueblo cultures of the American Southwest, Shang Dynasty China, the Islamic caliphates, pre-colonial West Africa, Iron Age Ireland, the Polynesian Pacific, England from about 1500 onward, and more. If you're a writer interested in adding depth and breadth to your own fiction, or just someone else who thinks the endless creativity of the human species is awesome, I hope you'll find things of interest here.

What does this Patreon produce?

I will write a minimum of four essays on worldbuilding topics each month, which will be posted to the Book View Cafe blog. Patrons receive a notification each time a new essay goes live, along with a photograph from my travels around the world (which cover not just a fair swath of Europe but Costa Rica, Israel, Turkey, India, and Japan) -- think of it as visual reference and/or inspiration. Additional material will be made available to patrons only, depending on your level of support and my total funding.

How does our support help?

The kinds of books I read for research are often not available from the public library, even with inter-library loan to help. In order to get really substantive material on a given topic -- not just the kind of thing written for a popular audience -- I often need to buy books online, which can run fifty dollars or more a pop if the text is academic enough. Either that, or I need to pay for access to a university library system (which is one of my goals in the left-hand sidebar). Your support will therefore help me go on educating myself about these subjects -- and that means I can write both better fiction, and better essays here.

Where can I find more details on the different reward levels?

Right here!

Recent posts by Marie Brennan

Tiers
Vision Builder
$1 or more per month 13 patrons
Receive one photograph with each essay posted, taken from one of my trips around the world.
Book Builder
$3 or more per month 38 patrons
As Vision Builder, plus receive a copy of the ebooks when they are complete, in the format of your choice.
Topic Builder
$5 or more per month 6 patrons
As Book Builder, plus steer the conversation by suggesting topics for upcoming posts.
Extra Builder
$10 or more per month 7 patrons
As above, plus receive an extra, non-public essay each month with a behind-the-scenes look at the worldbuilding in my own work.
World Builder
$25 or more per month 3 of 10 patrons
As Extra Builder, plus send me a question about worldbuilding (in your own work, or someone else's) and I'll provide individual feedback. Guidelines apply. Feedback can be private or, with patron permission, made into a post.
Story Builder
$50 or more per month 0 of 5 patrons
All the rewards of the Extra Builder, plus send me a piece of your own fiction (subject to guidelines) and receive a critique in return.