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Eighth Day Genesis: A Worldbuilding Codex for Writers and Creatives Paperback – July 1, 2012
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This book is a collection of essay style articles by twenty different authors on subjects ranging from futuristic societal trends and space travel to how to build a sensible economic system for your fantasy kingdom. I have read dozens of books aimed at writers, various "How to Write (Blah) Novels" and, while good, many of them are quite dated now. What's great about this book is that it deals more in theories and proven truths than in current genre tropes that will be outdated in five years. The great thing about that is that you can read many of these essays for enjoyment even if they don't pertain to your specific work.
Over-all, I found this to be a very valuable addition to my creative library!
The articles are each individually very useful, and the book is structured so that each one builds on the next. It starts with deciding where in the galaxy and solar system your world is set, and keeps going through flora, fauna, urban landscapes, all the way to forms of government.
Each article varies by subject. Some are more "how-to" and some are full questions to consider when working on your world. One particularly interesting article dives into the mechanics of how dragons would actually function in an ecosystem, why they would evolutionarily have wings and breathe fire. Every one delves into an interesting and important aspect of world-building.
I will say that though this book is thorough, it is not complete. Of course, it would be difficult to cover every aspect of a new world in one book, and this one is plenty dense as it is. The one other complaint is a small one, and it has to do with editing. Some of the articles are missing spaces, or have a couple of typos here and there. This isn't enough for me to knock off a star, though, and that's the only real issue I have.
All in all, if you are looking to create a new world, whether it is science fiction, fantasy, or alternate universe, this book is definitely worth buying.