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Worlds Apart - CfP 2020 Cover Reveal

We are delighted to reveal the cover of our fifth CfP, Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy & Science Fiction!

I have started this series a few years ago - I love going beyond the stories we love, discovering their authors and exploring the circumstances that surround them. It is a series that has allowed me to meet incredible researchers, and with whom I have shared many moments of recognition from the SFF community.

The covers have always been created around images or paintings which are dear to me, for different reasons. Each one is then worked to further convey the focus theme of each edition. At times, the process is backward. I love to scroll through my favorite art pieces, and that gives me the inspiration for new research. That, is what happened this year.

Keisai Eisen | Winter Landscape | Japan | Edo period (1615–1868). I was browsing one of my favorite collections - as you do to pass the time - (well, that and watching rollercoaster videos on YouTube...) and for some reason I kept going back to this particular painting. The forest spoke to me of hidden paths, and the vastness of the sea got me thinking about the fragility of this strip of land, and what its importance could be in a larger scheme of things.

Secondary worlds are not always too different from our own, sometimes they are separated from what we know by thin layers. It's that feeling of clearing glass from steam, or peeling paper, revealing something else underneath.

When it came to think about the cover, I knew exactly where to look and what changes I wanted for this cover.

For many people, the creation of the secondary world is paramount to the success of a story.

I personally own at least 5 block notes jam-packed with notes for the creation of my secondary worlds. They didn't all made it into stories, but to me the pleasure of working on them was all I needed. Has anyone done the same?

Pre-orders for World Aparts will open at the end of June.

If you have missed the announcement post, let me introduce you to our "World Heroes", in alphabetical order, with their respective contributions:

(Top row, left to right)

Eugen Bacon (Australia) MSc with Distinction in Distributed Computer Systems (University of Greenwich), MA and PhD in Creative Writing (Swinburne University of Technology). African Australian author and editor.

Presenting the paper:

“World building in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi

Claire Burgess (USA). B.A in Art History form U.C. Berkeley, M.A. in English Literature from Ca' Foscari University. Managing editor of In Medias Res and writer.

Presenting the paper:

“The Book of Copper and the Anvil of Death: Gothic Elements of William Blake’s Creation Myth”

Octavia Cade (New Zealand) PhD in Science Communication from the University of Otago; Master of Biology from the University of Waikato; Speculative fiction writer.

Presenting the paper:

“Environmental Changes as Catalyst for Worldbuilding in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home

Kevin Cooney (USA) Environmental analyst and ecocritic. Environmental Degree holder from Harvard University. Writer of nonfiction horror and science fiction.

Presenting the paper:

“Above the Level of the Everyday: The Estranging and Familiar Worlds of Simon Stålenhag.”

Sébastien Doubinsky (Denmark) Associate professor, Aarhus University, Denmark, award-winning author of the City-States cycle.

Presenting the paper:

“Freedom Is Slavery - The socio-political implications of world building in speculative fiction.”

Tatiana Fajardo Domench (Spain) MLitt in the Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling. Researcher and Writer.

Presenting the paper:

Patrick McGrath’s Ghastly New York: The Perfect Decaying Cityscape for Restless Minds”

Ellen Forget (nee Michelle) (Canada). PhD student in Information Studies and Book History at University of Toronto and graduate of the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University; freelance fiction editor specializing in science fiction and fantasy.

Presenting the paper:

“Canada’s Fantasy Worlds: Exploring Worldbuilding in Urban Fantasy”

Peter Garrett (Northern Ireland). MA (Lancaster, Creative Writing), MD (Liverpool, Renal Medicine), Diploma in International Public Health (KIT, Amsterdam). Independent writer and humanitarian physician.

Presenting the paper:

Town Planning in Viriconium: M John Harrison and Worldbuilding”

(Bottom row, left to right)

Rachel Jones (Wales) MA in geography at the University of Aberdeen, Master in Urban Studies and Planning at Helsinki’s university.

Presenting the paper:

Criminal Cityscapes: Christopher Nolan’s Gotham

Jyrki Korpua (Finland). PHD in Literary studies and Lecturer. Researcher.

Presenting the paper:

“The Nordic countries in Worldbuilding: Frozen and Frozen II

Sarah McPherson (UK). Writer and poet, drawing heavily on myths, fairytales and the fantastic; MA in Landscape Archaeology.

Presenting the paper:

“Relationships with the Land in SFF: Landscape as Identity, Mentor or Antagonist.”

Cheryl Morgan (Wales) SF critic and publisher, owner of Wizard’s Tower Press and Hugo Award winner. Researcher.

Presenting the paper:

“Worldbuilding with Sex and Gender”

Enrico Spadaro (Italy). Ph.D. en Études Anglophones à l’Université d’Aix-Marseille; Teach@Tübingen Fellowship at Tübingen University (Germany 2020-21); Translator and teacher.

Presenting the paper:

“Tolkien: When worlds are built within dreams”

Allen Stroud (United Kingdom). Ph. D. in Writing Structures and World Development Techniques in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Writer of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror.

Presenting the paper:

“Fragmented Worlds: Glimpse Morsels for the Imagination”

Ricardo Victoria-Uribe (Mexico). B.A. in Industrial Design; Ph.D. in Design from Loughborough University; Full-time lecturer at School of Architecture & Design (UAEMex); Writer of fantasy and science fiction; Nominated to a Sidewise Award.


Martha Elba González-Alcaraz (Mexico). BSc in Pharmaceutical Biological Chemistry; Master in Business Administration; Sanitary Responsible at ‘Tecnología y Diseño Industrial’; Writer of fantasy and horror.

Presenting the paper:

No elf is an island. Understanding worldbuilding through system thinking”

We will open pre-orders after the spring, and you will get a chance to learn more about their individual articles in the run up to release. The book will be released in August 2021.

Until then, stay safe!

The Call for Papers 2021 is now open - click here.

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