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Worlds Apart. Fragmented Worlds: Glimpse Morsels for the Imagination

Luna's fifth Call for Papers, Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction is now in pre-order and will be released on Tuesday 27th of July. Here is a chance to discover the 14 brilliant papers you will find in the book in the order they appear.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Allen Stroud, presenting the paper: "Fragmented Worlds: Glimpse Morsels for the Imagination"


Much of the writing process of worldbuilding focuses on research, rules and creation. However, the process of engaging and experiencing a text is a partnership between the reader and the writer. This paper will explore the methodology of mythmaking as part of the worldbuilding process and seeks to explain the ways in which a writer can make room for the reader’s creativity within their story, acknowledging the way in which a reader’s imagination has a place in the reading experience and looking at ways in which this can be activated and encouraged. This paper draws on the work of Roland Barthes, whose essay The Death of the Author provides a starting point for this study. Barthes indicates that critics should read and analyse a text for itself. This paper will indicate how and why a critic can also analyse the absence of things within a text – using a mythic frame and noting the uses of imperfection, fragments and partiality to invoke the reader’s speculative engagement with the story. The argument outlined will also make use of Aristotle’s Poetics, Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation and Christine Brooke-Rose’s A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic. Most notably her theories on the megatext, which provide a framework for the writer to assume a shared understanding of key concepts with the reader. This paper will use examples from genre fiction that demonstrate the qualities of mythmaking as part of the worldbuilding of the narrative and the story context. Allen Stroud (Ph.D) is a university lecturer and Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror writer, best known for his work on the computer games Elite Dangerous by Frontier Developments and Phoenix Point by Snapshot Games. He was the 2017-2018 and chair of Fantasycon, the annual convention of the British Fantasy Society, which hosts the British Fantasy Awards. He is also the current Chair of the British Science Fiction Association. His portal fantasy novel The Forever Man was published by Luna Press Publishing in 2017. His military science fiction novel, Fearless is being published by Flame Tree Press in September 2020.

Worlds Apart: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction

is now in pre-order!

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