Currently I am working on a short story collection to release sometime at the end of October. I'm currently calling it Headless White Horse, and I'm in the throes of editing through the stories to make them perfect. In the mean time, I'm kicking around an idea to create a fictional system of planets for a series of books that would be a mashup of Dune, Out of the Silent Planet and Guardians of the Galaxy.
As a massive Tolkien fan, a dream of mine has always been to create a fictional universe in the pattern of Middle Earth where I could set several novels yet use the setting for allegorical means.
In trying to create more realistic worlds, I have found a few websites that could aide science fiction or fantasy writers in the creation of fictional planets.
Here they are:
- Chaotic Shiny: Tournament Generator - This website has a civilization generator, and several other tools easily accessed to randomly generate every kind of place one could imagine, from governmental systems to histories. Not only that, if one clicks on "Misc Resources" there are a host of other generators listed online that will help the writer with breaking through the barrier of "what does my planet look like."
- Orion's Arm - For science fiction writers, this place is a gold mine. From their website: "Our purpose is to inspire writers, artists and thinkers. To create a vision of the future that is plausible at every level, internally consistent and abides by the accepted facts and theories in the physical, biological, and social sciences. We embrace speculative ideas like Drexlerian assemblers, mind uploading, posthuman intelligence, magnetic monopoles, wormholes and the technologies, and developments that will make all this possible." Great website for mining tons of ideas and concepts about alien planets and creatures and alien races.
- Sci-Fi Ideas Planet Generator - If you go to this site, you can refresh the page to generate a new planet. It is pretty bare bones but could spark an idea to be fleshed out later.
- Don-Jon - This is a cool website to help with weird science fiction or fantasy names, has a fractal world generator, and several other tools to create fictional places. Just click on the toolbar on the left and explore it.
- Artifexian - This is a little YouTube channel that is dedicated to helping science fiction writers world build so that the planets and solar systems they design are based in hard science. There are tons of videos related to world building, and is a rich treasure house of ideas.