Today had been a good day for Tom Stutzman. He and his family had worked on the farm all day, laying a new ditch and repairing some blown-over fencing. Now they were sitting on the porch, with beer and water in their hands, and looking at a day’s work in peace. The crops were good. The stairs were swept. They had to be, because otherwise they would be covered in dust.
When a player of Crusader Kings 2 recommends the game to a friend, what do you think he’ll rather talk about – game mechanics or that one time he crushed the balls of that Irish Duke after executing his entire family, but he had it coming for him because he gained carnal knowledge of the player’s wife while they were off crusading in Jerusalem? Yeah, didn’t think so. But what is it that makes Crusader Kings 2 so suited for this playstyle?
What if Germany had won World War 1? The question is easy to ask, but impossible to answer. Which is why the World of Kaiserreich is so fascinating.
My thoughts were suddenly stopped. I looked around me. I was in a narrow road, a few shops with darkened fronts, flats in the upper stories. There was a chestnut tree behind the buildings, slowly moving in the wind.
When I picked up Metro 2035 in a local bookshop a few weeks ago, I could hardly wait to rush through the book – which I did, in three days.
Why do people sit down and draw maps of places that will never exist? Why do they write biographies for people that never lived? You’ll get about as many answers as you’ll ask people, but for me, the answer has to do with that most famous worldbuilder of them all – Tolkien. Oh god, not Tolkien again. He has defined the worlds of fantasy – or science fiction – for too long already; isn’t it time we finally leave him behind us? Sure. But hear me out for a second.
Matthew Stover is not a man who makes things easy for himself. Make George Lucas’ script for Revenge of the Sith into a compelling, interesting, well-rounded story? No big thing. Adapt Hearts of Darkness and Apocalypse Now into a galaxy far, far away? Sure, he’ll do it, and even succeed. Because while his novel Shatterpoint is not without flaws, it is a great example of what Science Fiction can be.
What is it that you think of when you think of storytelling? Books? Movies? Camp fires? Old men with long, white beards? Or is it something completely else? There are countless ways to tell stories in this day and age. And more keep cropping up. What I will try to do here, on this blog, is detail some of these new forms, some of which you may even not think about as storytelling, per se.