Today’s topic comes to us from QSF member Jim Comer: “Constructed cultures”.
So I’m going to take this one and run with it. Anyone who grew up when I did, in the 70s and 80s, probably remembers sea monkeys. They were these amazing little critters featured in the back of comic books that you could order for a nominal fee. You would receive a kit that you could put into an aquarium, and instantly have your own little kingdom of “sea monkeys.”
The ads showed these cute little creatures breathing air underwater with a castle in the background, often with a happy family watching the aquarium. They were actually brine shrimp, and looked nothing like the images advertised. But I was fascinated by the idea of building my own little culture in an aquarium.
Turns out you can actually build your own sea monkey world. You just need to be a writer.
So my question of the day: For writers, How do you go about building your own little sea monkey world – a culture for a sci fi story – from the ground up? What are the most important ingredients – the arts? Religion? Science? And for our readers out there, what are some of the most convincing, fully drawn cultures you’ve read about in sci-fi?