Podcast #26 is now available for download here.
At Odyssey 2005, Allen M. Steele lectured on building a world’s environment. In this excerpt from his lecture, Allen takes writers through the process of creating a believable, realistic world, using the setting from his “Coyote” novels as an example. He explains how to use scientific discoveries as a basis for setting, and how to use real-life locations as inspirations for your imaginary land. He talks about common problems in invented settings, such as the homogeneous world and the habitable planet that has no atmosphere-generating volcanoes. From designing the solar system to the geography of the planet to the plants and animals, Allen covers the important elements necessary to creating an entire environment. If the author does it correctly, he can create a setting that “sucks the reader’s eyeballs out of his head and pulls him into story.”
Allen M. Steele was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his B.A. in Communications from New England College in Henniker, NH, and his M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri. His novels and short fiction collections include Orbital Decay, Labyrinth of Night, Oceanspace, Chronospace, The Last Science Fiction Writer, and the “Coyote” series—Coyote, Coyote Rising, Coyote Frontier, and, most recently, Coyote Horizon.
His work has appeared in all the major SF magazines as well as in many anthologies. He was First Runner-Up for the 1990 John W. Campbell Award, and Orbital Decay won the 1990 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He’s won two Hugo Awards (’96, ’97), two Locus Awards, four Asimov’s Readers Awards, the Analog AnLab Award, the 1996 Science Fiction Weekly Reader Appreciation Award, and 1998 Science Fiction Chronicle Readers Award as well as the 1993 Donald A. Wollheim Award and the 2002 Phoenix Award. Steele serves on the Board of Advisors for the Space Frontier Foundation.
He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife Linda and their two dogs. To learn more about Steele and his work, just visit his website at http://www.allensteele.com/.