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Thread: Nerd Time

  1. #1
    Senior Member WyrdMystic's Avatar
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    Nerd Time

    I decided to watch a documentary. Now I'm sharingfor no other reason than 'just because'.

    In fantasy - there are usually four seasons that match earth's. Probably to make the world more relatable in some way - not too foreign. However, Earth's seasons are the result of a strange tilt possibly caused by a collision during the earth's formation and stabalised by the moon.

    Whatever the reason, if something hadn't flipped the earth then there wouldn't be any seasonal change at all. So isn't it more likely, that on some foreign fantasy world, that there would not be seasons at all?

    I'm not saying not to use seasons, just....thinking about the paralells.

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    Senior Member ThinkerX's Avatar
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    You appear to be talking about a world with no axial tilt.

    I'm considering something like this for my 'second' world (very little axial tilt) simply to make the climate more uniform (otherwise, I end up with a civilization which should be in the tropics experiecing winter, and another which should be temperate in the midst of the sweltering tropics).

    A science fiction world I've done a bit with has an axial tilt on the order of 80 degrees - the north polar region is a scorched waste where the sun never sets, and there is no daylight in the perpetually frozen south polar region. A narrow band between the two does have regular day and night cycles, though.

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    Roc
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    When I'm reading fantasy I don't care how the planet is tilted towards the sun(s), much less the seasons.

    There are more important things.

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    Moderator Ankari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roc View Post
    When I'm reading fantasy I don't care how the planet is tilted towards the sun(s), much less the seasons.

    There are more important things.
    I can't fully agree with this statement. In ASOIF George RR Martin has something called "The Long Winter." It's pivotal to the story. As a reader, you're left wondering why these abnormally long winters come and the source of the catalyst. Seasons and planetary tilts can be an important element to the world in which you write.

    You also have to consider what such a thing does to the story. Cultures will be shaped, technologies will arise and the flora and fauna will be affected. A good world builder will show these elements without putting a neon sign over the pages screaming "THIS IS BECAUSE OF A PLANETARY TILT!"
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    Senior Member WyrdMystic's Avatar
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    I think its the kind of thing the reader should never know you've considered, but something you need to consider.

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    Leadership Nihal's Avatar
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    I agree it's the kind of thing useful to consider. I've made something similar, related to a world orbiting two suns. It gave me new elements to play with for free. I mean, truly free, the pieces just start to fall into their places.

    I go with Ankari, it's ever better when you never scientifically explain it to the readers. Let them wonder and fuss over the possibilities, keep them engaged.

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    Roc
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    Quote Originally Posted by WyrdMystic View Post
    I think its the kind of thing the reader should never know you've considered, but something you need to consider.
    Yeah, that's probably the best way to put it.

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    Senior Member CupofJoe's Avatar
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    Even with no axial tilt there would be some "season" as the orbit is elliptical [and I think the Sun is closer in the southern Summer that it is in the Northern Summer...]
    Brian Aldiss took this elliptical orbit to the other extreme in his Helliconia Trilogy that I read many years ago...
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    Senior Member Anders Ämting's Avatar
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    In a story concept I have put away for later, there are four planets. One has eternal summer, one has eternal winter, and the other two have Summer-Autumn-Spring and Winter-Spring-Autumn respectively.

    There is no real-world scientific reason why, because I'm writing fantasy so I don't think I need one. The laws of physics don't even work the same way in this setting to begin with.
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    Senior Member danr62's Avatar
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    After taking an astronomy class I thought about making a world that has a tilt similar to Uranus. It's tilted at about 98 degrees and the poles experience 42 years of day/night. I would probably have to make the tilt less extreme to allow for a central region near the equator that would have regular day/night cycles or something. Similar to what ThinkerX mentioned.

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