Nerd Time

Discussion in 'World Building' started by WyrdMystic, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Grandmaster

    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.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

    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.
  3. Roc

    Roc Lore Master

    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.
  4. Ankari

    Ankari Staff Moderator

    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!"
    Nihilium 7th likes this.
  5. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Grandmaster

    I think its the kind of thing the reader should never know you've considered, but something you need to consider.
    Nihilium 7th likes this.
  6. Nihal

    Nihal Valar Lord

    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.
  7. Roc

    Roc Lore Master

    Yeah, that's probably the best way to put it.
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

    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...
  9. Anders Ämting

    Anders Ämting Dark Lord

    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.
  10. danr62

    danr62 Mystagogue

    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.
  11. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Shadow Lord

    Wow that's really extreme!
  12. SeverinR

    SeverinR Valar Lord

    This is why you don't explain it to the reader, because it becomes a class, rather then a story. The more you think about the world you create, the better you can relate what you know to the story. If you were watching a movie and all of the sudden the scene shifts to a science class, would you keep watching? IMHO Keep the description minimal if you mention it, Fantasy is of imagination, make believe, why it works isn't the most important thing.
  13. BenGoram

    BenGoram Apprentice

    I had no idea our four seasons wouldn't be the norm for any Earth-like planet. Amazing! I once started planning a fantasy world where the seasons (and day/night) were locational rather than temporal, but then realized there was really no way for such a world (or rather it's sun) to exist (the entire equator would have been noon). Even though I write fantasy I still try to stick with physics as much as possible.
  14. mbartelsm

    mbartelsm Lore Master

    A horizontally tilted planet would have pretty amazing conditions:
    -Both poles would shift between scorching wasteland to a frozen wasteland and the other way around yearly
    -The equator areas would have a decent temperature all year long but shifting between day/night cycles to permanent twilight twice a year.

    These effects can greatly affect the entire planet's cultures, probably involving important rites when the sun is locked at the poles.

    A tidally locked planet (a planet that's always facing it's sun with the same side) would be very similar except that without yearly shifts, there would be a permanent hot wasteland and a permanent frozen wasteland with the side regions being just hot enough for humans and the like, religion in a planet such as this would probably be much more extreme than in the other example.
    This planet can be slightly modified to create a forced nomadic life style, by making it rotate VERY slowly, that way, people have to constantly move to stay within the livable area, the poles would be a sanctuary as they would be the only safe zone.

    Keep in mind that all these examples drastically reduce the livable area of the planet, making territory very valuable and larger empires exponentially more powerful


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