This page collects all the links from my “monthly” link posts, to be sorted, checked, and catalogued later.
- Bizarre prehistoric sea-creature: Looks really, really weird
- London Underground Mail Train: London actually has a – now defunct – underground railway track for carrying mail. It’s one of those little gems that would make awesome locations for any adventure – think Call of Cthulhu, for example.
- Random Spaceship generator: Yeah this thing is COOL.
- Project Apollo Flickr Album. Every photo ever taken on an Apollo mission in high resolution.
- The Science of B-Movie Monsters
- Relativistic Starship travel times calculator
- Abandoned Manors in England – Some pretty awesome pics
- Mel, The TerrainTutor, has a bunch of really cool videos on how to build wargaming terrain. I can’t paint minis – shaky hands and colorblind – but everytime I watch videos like these, I wish it was a hobby for me.
- Flagmaker – I have not tested this myself, but it looks promising
- The Medieval Agricultural Year
- MegaTraveller Character Generator
- A simple Plate tectonics simulator
- The Underwater Forest, a documentary about a submerged petrified foresr
- Mysteries of Medieval Graffiti – Really useful and inspiring if you are looking for flavor for your dungeons, towns, ruins etc.
- What does war sound like? – War features heavily in our fiction, but few people (in the so-called west, but also in many others) are lucky enough not to ever have been in one. So this article by the BBC should be quite helpful to role-players and authors.
- Old West Slang and Phrases – I don’t know how authentic this is, but it’s surely inspirational. Also works for your Firefly fanfic, I guess.
- Apollo Image Atlas – Raw images from Apollo missions in huge resolutions. Not maps, just pretty much the entire catalog.
- The Painted Warships of WW1.
- If the average income in 1955 was, say, 4200 Dollars, how much would that be in 1988s Dollars? About 18500. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a handy Inflation Calculator.
- The BBC checked Isaac Asimov’s predictions for 2014. As always, these things are an amusing read.
- Old, but check out Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips.
- Six Real Planets That Put Science (and cracked.com) to shame. Some cool exoplanets.
- Science Fiction Atmospheres. An essay on atmospheres and climate conditions depicted in science fiction novels. I wish this was more exhaustive.
- What medieval Europe did with its teenagers. Good read if you want to build a more interesting fantasy setting than the usual D&D yearn.
- The Pulp-o-Mixer lets you put together faux pulp magazine covers. Pretty cool.
- And this has been all over the news: A giant rat was captured and photographed in Sweden. Next time your players complain about the trope of giant rats, point them to this article!
- What makes a subsector popular? – an analysis of Traveller subsectors which should be helpful to any GM.
- Desert Do’s and Desert Don’ts
- James Wyatt’s Map scale discussions at Wizards of the Coast
- CCP Games’ talk about Seeding the Universe has some good info on populating a game setting; nothing too revolutionary but I found it interesting nevertheless.
- Photo Yun has great photos and a very permissive license. Check it out!
- Quantum Entanglement may be using wormholes as a communications mechanism. I have no idea how plausible this is, but it may make for cool sci fi either way.
- Map of Ganymede
- This account of the Antarctic expedition of Douglas Mawson should serve as a “Post Scriptum” for the Icy Embrace of Winter carnival – and give you a good deal of inspiration for your own harrowing arctic tales
- Airships. I love airships and The Atlantic has some nice photos.
- Earth-sized Lava World has been discovered
- Stone Lake – so called because it petrifies (literally) animals.Awesome, awesome, awesome setting, as Realmwright points out. I do have some doubts about the validity of this, and even if it actually works about the details mentioned on Gizmodo, but for a fantasy / sci fi story, you can always bend reality enough to make use of it.
- Living on the Ocean: For your waterworlds.
- Piracy pays: If you need to rationalize piracy in a modern or a Sci Fi setting, then Somalia is your friend.
- Technovelgy is an old site that keeps track of reality’s imitation of science fiction.
- As many as one in five suns may host habitable planets.
- Abandoned toy factories – Creepy dolls everywhere make for an awesome setting
- Is it right to waste Helium on party balloons? – Interesting thoughts, plus: It turns out the US had a strategic helium reserve established in the time of airships. What awesome plot point that would make…
- Materials science in science fiction – Wikipedia is always good for hidden gems…
- Megadungeons.com – A site dedicated to, you guessed it, Megadungeons. Unfortunately not very actively maintained.
- Linking Minds – It seems we’re very close (relatively speaking and no pun intended) to technology-based telepathy. Any “realistic” Sci Fi probably needs to include this technology.
- Burning Mountain – Coal mine fires can burn for centuries, and this makes for an awesome backdrop for any sort of adventure…
- Bohemian Grove – Another awesome setting for adventures… especially for an X-Files style campaign or story.
- Manly Slang from the 19th Century
- 18th Century and regency Thieves cant
- Victorian Slang Glossary
- A nuclear bomb nearly detonated over North Carolina in ’61. This should make for a great alt history.
- Kepler-7b Cloud Patterns examined. Yes, we can now examine planets 1000 light-years away in some detail. Now, give me my hyperdrive, FFS.
- The Odds – Novel with a cover based on my art is now available. Congrats, Robert J. Peterson! And thanks for the stuff you sent me, I did not have time to check it out yet unfortunately.
- Radiation has lasting effects on tree growth – Always interesting for post-apocalyptic scenarios
- Low-mass exoplanet imaged – It also “poses a challenge” to theories about Gas Giant formations.
- The City of 2050 – Nothing too original but probably worth a look if you are working on Sci Fi
- Not strictly Sci Fi: Check out Project Iceworm. Seems that in the early 60s, the US Army attempted to build a huge nuclear missile launch facility under the ice of Greenland. Valuable leads if you intend on ‘building’ an under-ice colony or lair for your supervillain. Also, see the propaganda video for some impressive visuals.
- Chinese Copy-Cat towns – I imagine something like this would happen if we ever explore space and colonize worlds around other stars; people will feel nostalgic for the Earth they left behind and might actually even build places that remind them of home.
- The Town that spent 25 years under water – Awesome photos, would make a great setting
- Glass rain may give planet blue hue – You couldn’t make this up.
- Galactic Empires – A 1983 article on interstellar empires, by Robert A. Freitas Jr.
- Las Vegas Tunnel People – People living in flooded tunnels under Las Vegas. And it’s not about Fallout:NV.
- Mos Eisley threatened by dune.
- Buildings that change over time – another neat Sci Fi technology
- The League of Legends lead designer talked a bit about player needs vs wants, a worth-while read. This is not exactly news to anybody who has even dabbled in the field, but he expresses it well – and many players do not realize these principles.
- Geeks On had an episode on RPG design.
- Dungeon Mapping using Excel and Paint – I have to admit that I did not try it, but if it works it is awesome.
- The Artifact 3rd Edition has been released. Loic also makes a useful comparison between Lulu and Createspace.
- The Future of Flying – Some ideas for futuristic plane designs
- Odd Reference has some nice stuff such as fictional swear words, ship names from various Science Fiction shows, and so on.
- Public Transportation in 2050 – again, some nice flavor ideas for your science fiction works.
- Researchers suggest that the Voynich Manuscript may contain an actual message
- Explosions in Space – An AstronomyCast episode every sci-fi writer should listen to 🙂
April & May 2013:
- Transscript and discussion of the Indiana Jones brainstorming sessions.- highly recommended
- People actually do build elaborate secret tunnels etc. In this case, the BBC reports on Mafia hideouts.
- The Antarctic Snow Cruiser looks like something straight out of science fiction.
- Bitcoins rose and crashed in the past month – so will virtual currencies work?
- Motorways of the future – some cool ideas that could add to the “sense of wonder” of a Sci Fi environment.
- Antimatter may be antigravitational. It’s not conclusive evidence, yet.
- Amazon is launching a fan-fiction service – allowing authors to legally sell fan fiction; it only covers three series so far, though.
- Helicoprion was a spiral-toothed fish and shows that very weird-looking creatures did indeed exist…
- We can now re-grow teeth.. it’ll be a while for commercial availability, but the shiny future may sole all dental problems.
- Chuck found a nice photo website called Phototravel, lots of nice visuals there.
- Paleos.com – Life Through Deep Time is cool resource if you need to figure out what lived on Earth when.
- The BBC has an article up describing a Future Without Antibiotics.
January & February 2013:
- Chuck wrote up a good post on Building Characters – which includes very useful links. He has been posting some great stuff lately anyway, so why are you not reading his blog yet?
- Quartz might be used as a long-term data storage medium. This is cool tech – and has some obvious and awesome story hooks.
- Kepler data analysis – interesting to anybody who is into worldbuilding, especially science fiction.
- The universe may be inherently unstable – Not a new idea, but still a good read if you are into cosmology…
- The Rise and Fall of Artificial Gravity – Article about spinning space stations – and why we do not have one yet.
November & December 2012:
- If you think I am too light on RPGs, look no further: Shortymonster runs a cool website focusing on actual gaming topics and advice. Go there and tell him I said Hi.
- Chuck came up with a script for an “intro cinematic” for Somnium: Chronicles of Empire.
- Beyond Apollo – A blog that chronicles missions and programs that never happened. There’s some amazingly cool stuff just in the first few pages… Highly recommended.
- The Public Domain Review looks like a promising catalog of public domain works.
- Astrographer covers Star Trek, Science Fiction, Worldbuilding, and Traveller.
- Lost Type repository has some awesome fonts.
- The World Building School has become an awesome resource – highly recommended!
- The Artifact kickstarter was unfortunately unsuccessful, but Emmett has posted a lengthy analysis – which I thought was an excellent read.
- Dr Filipenko’s online astronomy lectures were recommended to me (but I am unlikely to pay for them)
- Glossary of Space Technology
- Glossary of Nautical Terms
- Realmwright started a blog commenting about Science Fiction: Damn Spacebar.
- Spelljammer: Birthstone – What can I say, I have always been a Spelljammer fan.
- What adventures are actually left? –
- Icar – Rob Lang’s Space Opera setting. I’ve only had time to skim it, but it looks cool and has good production value – will definitely keep an eye on it.
- Behind the Design of Mists of Pandaria
- Exploring Medieval Birmingham – Part 1 and Part 2 – awesome articles with photos of a great model (thanks to Bat in the Attic for the find).
- LEGO Discovery (2001: A Space Odyssey) – Custom build. Very cool. This guy also built the Leonov.
- Ayn Rand: Why is she so popular?
- Going up – Will space elevators ever be more than science fiction?
- Futuristic Mega Projects – Not sure I posted this before.
- Causes of Color – Interesting overview of why people, animals, and plants have various colors. Should be very helpful when designing aliens or monsters.
June & July 2012:
- Found the Farland world on the Realmwright Blog. Pretty cool conworld, lots of detail.
- Zombie Gunslinger moved to the more appropriately-named Realmwright Blog. Check it out!
- Cartogriffi has had a LOT of very interesting, well-thought out posts about his Science Fiction setting in the past few months, so check it out if you haven’t!
- Robert Peterson requested to use some of my art on his website. It’s not up yet as I type this, but do check out his page and tell him I said Hi. He’s working on a post-apocalyptic comedy, to be released later this year.
- Article on the BBC News website about Cory Doctorow’s business of giving away his works for free.
- Earth Rings for Planetary Environment Control – Nuff said.
- Subways networks seem to share certain common characteristics – very interesting to read up on if you’re designing a modern city.
- Concept art of spaceships – some awesome stuff on that site…
- Devin Night’s Token Blog – Artwork, but mostly Devon works on tokens for tabletop games. You can even commission him to do custom tokens for very reasonable rates.
- The Lair of Evil Dr Ganymede – has great Star Mapping resources as well as Worldbuilding material. Definitely worth to check out.
- The Megadungeon – Blog about big dungeons and how to create them
- Suburban Landscapes: The Federal Housing Administrations’s Principles for Neighborhood Planning and the Design of Small Houses. Yes, that’s a title. This, and the linked pages, provide information on American suburbia
- Drawing City-Block Style maps
- Mapping worlds: Maps of imaginary worlds is a neat blog about, well, fantasy maps.
- An Everything Random generator – from Worlds to dungeons and names and Inns. And it has various generic gaming tools, too.
- Nuke Map – Generate overlays of the effects of nuclear weapons on Google Maps. Essential for your post-apocalyptic needs…
- Medieval Deomgraphcis Made Easy – The original site is now gone but the Wayback machine has the article. Also, Brandon Blackmoor provides an interactive version.
- Vectorized playing card faces – You never know when these may come in handy!
- The Free RPG Blog talks about – you guessed it – free RPGs.
- Worldbuilder’s Journal is another writer’s worldbuilding and fiction blog and IMO definitely worth checking out.
- Koana Islands – Con nation; has some awesome modern-style map
- Modified Mars – A terraformed mars conworld project. Seems to have been abandoned, but the map is pretty neat.
- Aurora – with most details linked from the Wiki page and the Aurora One nations page.
- SVG Hex Grid Generator
- Photoshop tutorial for drawing Halo-sized Ringworlds
- As a fallow-up to the abandoned stations, which seem to be in New York, there’s also a site about abandoned tube stations in London.
- Public Domain Super Heroes lists about a thousand four-color super heroes that are supposedly in the Public Domain… Wow!
- Holly Lisle’s Worldbuilding FAQ
- My new Kindle Blog – where I will post everything I discover about the Kindle.
- Nuke it – Tool that shows the effects of nuclear weapons on a map – perfect for youzr WWIII or dystopian future novels.
- Impact Earth – Calculate the effects of an asteroid impact on Earth
- Tellur – Developed by cartogriffi on his weblog.
- This Orb – Attempt to build an ultra-realistic conworld; awesome map work.
- Forgotten Futures – RPG Settings based on public domain science fiction settings, like Lost World or Weinbaum’s Sci Fi short-stories.
- Conworld News Corporation – News from conworlds, rather than about conworlds.
- Constructed Worlds Wiki – Has various designs.
- The Accounts of Thyrenacia – Very well done but hasn’t been updated in a while it seems; I like their maps.
- The Artifact is a science fiction role-playing game/setting centered around an artificial, roughly egg-shaped world
- Talislanta is available as a free download from the creator. Awesome!
- Found in my link archives: io9 had a – very basic – story about creating franchises a long time ago.
- Abandoned Stations is a site that details various abandoned/unused subway stations, including their history, maps, pictures, schematics, and so on. A treasure trove if you are into that sort of thing. These stations would make great locations for adventures!
- Djeryv is running a D&D campaign based on The Bard’s Tale for his kids. I always wanted to do something like this, never got around to it. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail and it sounds like he’s improvising a lot but that’s not a bad thing.
- A George R. R. Martin interview in two parts.
- Imaginary places and their Imaginary Castles contest.
- The beginning of a science fiction “sandbox” campaign and thoughts on a “Thousand Suns” setting, an alternative to the “Imperial future” space setting trope (I see Voyagers as a bit of a mix between the two).
- Building a Traveller Sandbox
- Building a Fantasy Sandbox
- Sci Maps – Awesome maps about all kinds of scientific topics.
- This Orb – Creating a science fiction planet in great – and realistic – detail
- The Torn World – Has some nice maps and artwork, worth checking out
- Space Math – Travel times – How long does it take my spaceship to go a given distance?
- Angular Size Calculator – How big is something in the sky?
- Fantasy World Building Resources
- World Building Resources for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writers – you should be aware that some of the links are Amazon affiliate links.
- Past and future supercontinents – Useful for pretty much any type of worldbuilding
- Los Angeles: A Future History
- Audio Slideshow: Mapping Africa is pretty interesting and much too short
- Thraeton is now listed in the “My Worlds” menu!