Genre author Jeff VanderMeer‘s blog has an interesting entry on building fantasy worlds. [Link via Solar Flare]

The post, seemingly contradictory, says that fantasy worlds should be consistent (to provide an anchor point for the reader) but not too consistent (so it’s interesting). Hmmm…this has me thinking again about what it is that makes me like fantasy less than sf.

I think I would lean toward the consistent world rather than the in-flux world. One of my beefs with fantasy is that it is oftentimes Anything Goes. Seemingly, an author will pull something out of the air (say, some magical action) with the reader having no prior foreknowledge of the ability of the character (or the world) to do so. Thus, to me at least, it can come across more like a writing trick (and pulling me out of the story) than magical world building. I would rather the world play by a consistent set of “magical rules”, if you will. I want that anchor. I need that anchor. Gimme consistency, baby!

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