The Essence of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Today I present a guest post by Ed White, writer of fantasy and science fiction. It's these two genres that his article focuses on, discussing their origins, their very essence, and, as Ed puts it, 'the legion' of sub-genres that have developed to make these genres two of the most exciting, inspirational and forward-thinking of all.

World-building: Battle Tactics I

Dros Delnoch, Pelennor Fields, Julatsa, the Battle of the Bastards, Helms Deep. These are just some of the most iconic battles in fantasy. The writers of these epic clashes knew a thing or two about warfare, and this post aims to give you some research to aid your creation of the compelling and gripping clashes fantasy fans love so much. 

Clitheroe Castle: A Case Study for the Fantasy Writer

Last week I took a drive up the motorway to the Duchy of Lancaster and to one of the smallest castles in England: Clitheroe. The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas for your world-building and writing. We’ll first look at the castle's features before exploring what life would have been like in the castle back in ye day.

Killer Diseases of the Middle Ages

Diseases ravaged the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle Ages. A combination of bad diet, poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and an ill-informed understanding of medicine left many people vulnerable to fatal infections. Given many fantasy stories have a medieval setting, similar circumstances would give rise to diseases in a secondary world. As we'll see, this presents interesting opportunities for the fantasy writer.

Maidens, Wives, and Widows: The Lives of Women During the Middle Ages

Life changed a great deal for women during the Middle Ages, reducing the majority to three societal statuses: Maiden, Wife, and Widow. Get some inspiration for your fantasy stories with today's Fantasy Friday article.

Tubes of Thunder: The Medieval Cannon

For Fantasy Friday this week, I thought we'd return to medieval warfare and to something I don't come across all too often in the fantasy stories I read: the cannon. This article covers the development of European cannons, how they were made, the gunpowder used, and how they fared in battle. Hopefully, it'll give you a few ideas for your own tales!

The Life of the Medieval Lord

To gain an insight into the role and lives of the lords of the Middles Ages we'll first take a brief look at the reign of King Richard II, otherwise known as Richard the Tyrant. From there we'll turn our focus to the world of barons, the individuals who held almost unlimited power over the land granted to them by the king.

The Pesky Peasantry of the Middle Ages

Welcome to another instalment of Fantasy Fridays. Today we're looking at the lives of the medieval peasantry, a class of people somewhat shrouded in mystery—peasants weren't good note-takers. In exploring the lives of the peasantry we'll uncover what it was like to be one of them, the kinds of houses and towns they lived in, and what their day to day lives involved. There's plenty of nuggets of information for you to pick up along the way which you can use to enrich your fantasy stories.

The Siege

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A fantasy writer’s guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part Two

In our first assault, we tackled a few of the main types of fortification found in castles—towers, gatehouses, moats, drawbridges—as well as looking at some of the earlier types of medieval fortifications. Today we're going in for a second charge to tackle walls, battlements, and the structures within the walls.   "Ride now! Ride for… Continue reading A fantasy writer’s guide to … Castles and Keeps: Part Two