This one was from the prompt “10 cool fantasy world ideas”.
10 cool fantasy world ideas
- A steampunk novel taking place entirely under water. The surface world is destroyed/plagued by horrible critters. Below water, deep in the sea, underwater volcanoes provide energy for steam, you store steam/heat/molten rocks in isolation chambers and go around in submarines using those.
- A space ship grave yard on a planet where ships that are too dangerous, with active military parts, or nuclear or dangerous biological/chemical parts, are dumped in case they’re ever needed again. The hero is a poor, self taught tech who wants to get off-world but she needs to avoid the police patrols above the quarantined planet.
- A world where numbers are magic, everything that can be expressed in numbers or mathematics is magic, the world submits to the laws of maths, but math is a forbidden subject due to the dangers it poses. Instead counters use knots/stones/manual comparison between two-non mathematical amounts in order to count things. The hero is a natural math savant who is coming up with the concepts on her own, but will she manage to learn enough before she destroys herself with an inadvertent spell?
- A war inside a giant skyscraper. The building is being built all the time, people higher up can drop things on people lower down. Nobody knows who started the building but now everyone strives to get to the top where the fresh air, food, water and other resources drop from the sky. The hero is a builder condemned to the outside: to build ladders, towers and other structures used to reach attack the people above, but he realizes that the source of riches retreats when you build towards it – if everyone just could work together there would be no need to build or fight.
- A space ship caught in the folds of an energy based alien who lives between solar systems and eats background hydrogen. Now the ship is tearing the alien apart with its high concentration of energy and the alien is fighting back. The hero is a science officer on the ship who realizes that the alien is sentient – but nobody believes him.
- An overgrown jungle where the ground is a myth, the sky impossible to reach and everything is giant trees, shadows, and frantically growing foliage. People and animals need to keep moving or keep destroying the greenery around them in order not to be overwhelmed. The hero is a hunter separated from her tribe by a migration of giant insects and forced to go downward into the dark.
- A city come lose in time, where you can step through times as easily as you can walk down the block – but the shorter the amount of time you try to move, the harder. So you could go to a period before you were born, but not to yesterday. Technology is completely out of whack, bringing it from one era to another makes it stop working. The hero is a hired gun who sees his children killed when they’re grown up – and in his time they’re merely newborn. Now he must discover who kills them and why in order to stop it from happening.
- A tropical archipelago where two realities collide. From one end you can sail into it with high tech ships, guns, and electronics. From the other you can barely manage gunpowder and the galleon is the king of the seas. If you go too far into the other world you start to lose your component atoms as the world rejects them – and if you stay too long in the archipelago you can never leave as your atoms become intertwined with the atoms of the other world. Leaving would rip chunks of you away. The hero is a high-tech captain who’s accused of selling gold from the otherworld – gold that is rapidly evaporating in his own world.
- A giant fish that carries a city on its back across an endless ocean. But the fish is coming into heat and will dive to mate soon, destroying the entire city. The hero is a trader coming home in order to try and save her family, but the part of the city where her family lives has already begun to be flooded.
- A gigantic forge, manufacturing strange, giant items out of metal. Everything needs to move all the time, production must keep on going and there is always a need for more. Everyone living there are robots, who eat the heat and metal, and repair themselves with it. But stealing metal is a capital crime. The hero is the leader of a small gang of robots who tries to lead them to the promised land where it is always warm and the metal runs freely.
The whole exercise took me 25 minutes, which is longer than a regular exercise, which takes about 10 minutes. I had trouble coming up with the first ones, and then changed the idea of what this exercise meant by the middle of it. Which you can see.
But that’s the beauty of practice: you can change on the go and it doesn’t have to be great or anything. In fact I’m a bit ashamed of this one. I’ve been debating whether to post it or not, but if you can get some value out of it, or just see that other writers aren’t perfect[note]I’m a sad, sorry, struggling excuse for a writer. There, I said it. But I am making progress, and that’s the important part.[/note] then it’s worth it.
Besides, posting this is another blow against my fears. Take that Infernal Editor!