15.45: Worldbuilding Fantasy, with Patrick Rothfuss

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Howard, with Patrick Rothfuss

Pat joins us for a discussion of worldbuilding, in which we field a couple of challenging questions from readers. Here are the questions!

  • How do you create timeless urban fantasy?
  • How do you create a compelling secondary world fantasy without leaning on a complex magic system?

We ran a bit long with this one, but we have no regrets. Because compelling. And maybe timeless.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson



Just change one thing, and then follow the permutations.

8 thoughts on “15.45: Worldbuilding Fantasy, with Patrick Rothfuss”

  1. If you come to Paris and only have baguettes, you’re missing out on so many great types of bread! :)

  2. Your urban fantasy will feel dated if everyone in it is straight and white and the love interest is a borderline abusive magical creature. A lot of urban fantasy books take place in the same consensus reality that doesn’t really exist (all the popular kids are mean, white, blond cheerleaders, no one studies except the nerds, there are lots of abandoned warehouses just lying around for you to fight in, when you beat people up, they always tell you the truth etc. etc.) Write your book about your experience of the present reality, not the consensus reality and it won’t get dated before it’s published.

  3. Is there any alt. history fiction about the Differential Engine? It always sounded like a fun topic.

  4. Disappointed with the language. Please keep it clean, or make it clear that explicit language is part of the pod. Otherwise, enjoy and appreciate your efforts and helpful perspectives.

  5. This week, Dan, Mary Robinette, and Howard asked Patrick Rothfuss to talk about worldbuilding and fantasy. Timeless urban fantasy? Or what about a secondary world fantasy without a magic system? Lots of ideas, and discussion. You can read all about it in the transcript now in the archives!

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