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New World-Building Resource!

Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Books, World-building

What If the Earth Had Two Moons?

I just began reading a book that appears to have much to offer in the way of world-building ideas: What If the Earth Had Two Moons? And Nine Other Thought-provoking Speculations on the Solar System by Neil F. Comins. I’ve just finished the first chapter and even there I’ve already found the following “thought-provoking” ideas:

  • “Perhaps the first sentient creatures on Dimaan [Comins’ name for the Earth with two moons] will evolve from nocturnal hunters rather than arboreal creatures, as occurred on Earth.”
  • “…challenges caused by high tide cycles would lead to differences in the way coastal civilizations developed on Dimaan from the way they have on Earth.”
  • And this is just the first chapter! Granted, there are a number of interesting web sites in which to get similar information (e.g., World Builders), but Comins’ book provides an easily-digestible way to get the creativity flowing. He also includes new names for the alternate Earths and their moons (or lack thereof) like Dimaan (“Earth”), Kuu (“Moon”), and Lluna (the 2nd captured moon in the first chapter). He also includes brief narratives introducing each new chapter’s concepts, like a Dimaanian Galileo Galilei getting arrested by the Dimaanian Inquisition in the first chapter.

    Although not a conlanging resource per se, this book has the potential to serve as a jumping off point for those who want to lend the environment in which their conlangs are spoken a firm footing in (an alternate) reality. I’m already thinking of the implications of the two quotes I mentioned above.

    Fiat Mundos!

    (Note: That’s supposed to be “Let there be worlds!” in Latin. I’m open to corrections ;-))

    Bring on the comments

    1. Sylvia Sotomayor says:

      Oh, cool! I have a copy of his earlier book “What If the Moon Didn’t Exist?” and it was wonderfully inspiring.

    2. Muke Tever says:

      I think it would be ‘Fiant Mundi’ — the first word has a passive sense, so the second is the subject and goes in the nominative (and thus wants the verb to agree with the plural).

    3. The Conlanging Librarian says:

      @Muke Tever: I didn’t even consider the verb! I was just concentrating on the “mundus”. Thanks 🙂

    4. The Conlanging Librarian says:

      @Sylvia: Thanks for the heads-up on the earlier one. I’m going to have to take a look at his other books, too. I’ve actually posted both this one and the one you mentioned in The Conlanger’s Library under Books > Popular Nonfiction.

    5. I agree with Muke. That should be “fiant mundi”

    6. The Conlanging Librarian says:

      Mersie, Olivier! I appreciate the corroboration of the correction.
      I must admit I’m a little embarrassed by my shoddy Latin…however, I’m very gratified that I know now that at least three people keep an eye on this blog. 🙂

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