Hello! Welcome to Worldbuilding for Masochists.
If you’re diving in, about to listen to one of our early episodes, you'd be listening to something first recorded back in 2019. It was… a different world.
And we’ve learned a lot since then, not least about how to record and publish a podcast! Since 2019, we’ve done things like expanded our pool of guest stars, swapped in a new co-host, and bought new mics–so the early episodes may not be the best place to start your WFM adventure!
And good news! This is not a podcast that you need to listen to in sequential order. Each episode focuses on a different topic, so you can start anywhere and bounce around. Do you really love maps? We’ve got an episode for that. Untangling the ethics of your magical system? We’ve got an episode for that. Interested in building a queernorm world? We’ve got an episode for that. Consider yourself more of a reluctant worldbuilder than a masochist? Yup, we’ve got an episode for that.
You can also choose by author! We frequently play host to amazing guest stars, who are doing some of the most exciting work in speculative fiction today.
Want to know which episodes we’d start with? You're in the right place! This sampler lists a few of our favorite episodes and those we think are particularly good representations of the show as it is now – whenever "now" is. We’ll update the list from time to time so that it stays current!
- Episode 53: Worldbuilding 301: Revisiting the basics and talking about how to dig deeper and interrogate further!
- Episode 59: Oooh, Shiny! Crafting a World from Shiny Ideas: How much weight of worldbuilding will a narrative bear?
- Episode 88: Hashtag Aesthetic, with guest Mary Robinette Kowal: Developing and defying aesthetic expectations
- Episode 97: Perfect Pairing, with guest Suyi Davies Okungbowa: Intersectionality, levers of power, and the matrix of identity
- Episode 51: Gender, Equality, & Gender Equality, with guest E.J. Beaton: The construction, deconstruction, and reimagination of gender
- Episode 58: L'Etat, C'est... Quoi?, with guest C.L. Polk: Government and the shape of nations
- Episode 64: The Times, They Are A-Changin', with guest Fonda Lee: Cultural diaspora, temporal shifts, geopolitical cross-pollination, and other ways of showing societal change
- Episode 43: Getting There is Half the Fun, with guest Kate Elliott: Transportation and vehicles
- Episode 34: The Reluctant Worldbuilder, with guest Mike Chen: What to do when your instincts aren't to overcomplicate your writing life
- Episode 84: Make or Break Worldbuilding Deep Dive: The MNG: Decisions about the tentpole concept of our co-created world