Each setting a writer uses, be it his own or one created before he arrives, sets the tone for the story he creates. That may be obvious to you, but drilling down deeper into it, we see the setting affects every aspect of the characters contained within. The way they react to the world around them, interact with other characters, and even social/political views. Rich story settings, like ones crafted by Tolkien, McCaffery, and Martin, infuse the reader with ideas of what that world would be like to experience. Lucky for us, we’ve had the chance to see some of those worlds on screen, interpreted by screenwriters and directors for the burgeoning geek population.
I got the chance years ago to speak with Troy Denning, about his time at TSR and his work on Dark Sun. I was a huge fan of his work, and at the time working on my own setting for a fantasy world. I asked him about breaking into the tabletop gaming world (which I was hoping to do at the time through the various companies popping up thanks to OGL) and he reminded me that the gaming world had changed, and he saw the floodgates as open. He encouraged me to create and wished me the best of luck. The setting a friend and I were writing never made it to launch, for a myriad of creative reasons, but it taught me a lot about hard work and persistence.
Months ago I contacted Monte Cook Games in reference to the Numenera setting, and the Limited License they were making available. I’d seen the corebook, bought the pdf’s (then the hardcover), and started up my own Numenera game. What astonished me about the setting was the breadth of options, which now number in the thousands, making it a truly unique setting for characters. The community surrounding the setting is diverse and engaged, offering their own stylizations of what Monte and his team have created. Each page of the book offered me information, but also peaked my inquisitive “get-you-into-trouble” brain and I couldn’t stop reading it. I kept thinking about the amount of information we know about present day Earth, and the vast amount that characters in the Numenera setting don’t know.
I’m happy to announce the Ninth World will be the setting of my next full length novel. As the weeks roll on from today, I’ll keep you up to date with progress via my twitter feed (@diamond_writing) and engage with any questions which I can answer. I’d like to thank everyone at MCG for creating the setting, and all the hands (and eyeballs) that worked so hard to create it. Special thanks to Charles Ryan, who kept responding to pestering emails from some crazed Illinois writer.
See you in a billion years.