Let’s boldly go to strange, new worlds together, because let’s face it, Earth is toast. Our home planet is burnt out. Beat. Over. Done… Okay, okay, maybe it ain’t all that bad. There’s no place like home, right? But I think we can do much better. There’s a whole universe of possibilities out there. Up for a little adventure?
FREE shorts that feature strange worlds
Why strange worlds?
Why do we read in the first place? Because we all want to be swept away to a new world. We need fantasies to escape real life. Each genre has it’s own type of world. You know what you expect from a romance or a western. In sci-fi we usually expect space travel and alien planets.
Many times, the best strange worlds are in comics, on TV, and in the movies. While I don’t mean to dismiss the brilliance of Stan Lee, Gene Roddenberry, or George Lucas. Personally, I love the worlds created by Ridley Scott. If there’s anyone who I strive to emulate, it’s him. Strange worlds seem to come alive as a result of a collective effort in a visual medium. For example the Marvel Universe, the Star Trek, and Star Wars. This presents a challenge for any sci fi writer. But it’s a challenge I LIVE for.
I’d also like to propose that there are also strange worlds right here on Earth. Two of my favorites are paranormal and dystopian worlds. But I also love to write about the modern world through the eyes of technology. What’s it like to live inside a video game? How does it feel to be an enslaved AI? Where does obsolete technology go?
It’s a new age, and our stories need to be more imaginative.
So, when I say, “strange worlds,” what exactly do I mean? Well, let’s break it down.
Definition of strange
Here’s what the dictionary has to say:
strange | strānj |
- unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand: children have some strange ideas | he’s a very strange man | [with clause] : it is strange how things change.
- not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien: a harsh accent that was strange to his ears | she found herself in bed in a strange place.
- [predicative] (strange to/at/in) archaic unaccustomed to or unfamiliar with: I am strange to the work.
Physics (of a subatomic particle) having a nonzero value for strangeness.
Unusual or surprising? You betcha! Unfamiliar or alien? I’ve got that too.
When I write about strange worlds, there’s two ways it can go. You’ll either be plopped into a new world from page one—or you’ll think your on boring old Earth, but things will slowly unravel. Like a loose thread, it’ll grab your attention, and you won’t be able to ignore it. The more you read, the more everything falls apart. Soon, you won’t recognize the world at all. But you still won’t be able to stop pulling that loose thread.
Definition of world
world | wərld |
- (usually the world) the earth, together with all of its countries, peoples, and natural features: he was doing his bit to save the world.
- (the world) all of the people, societies, and institutions on the earth: [as modifier] : world affairs.
[as modifier] denoting one of the most important or influential people or things of its class: they had been brought up to regard France as a world power.
- another planet like the earth: the possibility of life on other worlds.
- the material universe or all that exists; everything.
- a region or group of countries: the English-speaking world.
- a period of history: the ancient world.
- a group of living things: the animal world.
the people, places, and activities to do with a particular thing: they were a legend in the world of British theater. (one’s world) a person’s life and activities: he felt his whole world had collapsed.
- human and social interaction: he has almost completely withdrawn from the world | how inexperienced she is in the ways of the world.
- secular interests and affairs: parents are not viewed as the primary educators of their own children, either in the world or in the Church.
- [in singular] a stage of human life, either mortal or after death: in this world and the next.
Ah, yes, the physical world versus the social world… I love to explore BOTH. Life after death? I’ve done that too.
Putting it all together
Suzanne Collins built one of my favorite earthbound worlds in the HUNGER GAMES trilogy. She doesn’t get bogged down in long exposition. You’re just there in Panem from page one, and the depth of the dystopia unfolds as the story goes on.
As a writer, I’m blessed to be able to travel to strange, new worlds in my own mind. It beats hyperspace or even wormholes. Let’s visit some strange worlds together.