Today we examine the world building of when worlds collide! Alien Invasion’s are a solid staple of the science fiction genre that keep returning into our cultural zeitgeist in one form or another. They’re H.G Well’s classic, War Of The Worlds, Firaxis Games hugely successful reboot, X-COM, and many of the movies from the Marvel Universe.
All these stories deal with the same issue; an alien race – far technologically superior to ourselves – has come to Earth and they don’t want to swap Pokémon cards.
Let’s dive into how these intergalactic tales, and others, deal with the world building of invading alien armies. Enjoy!
Five Years Later
In 1944, Poland had been occupied by Nazi Germany for almost five years. The Polish Home Army planned some form of rebellion against German forces. Germany was fighting a coalition of Allied powers, led by the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The initial plan of the Home Army was to link up with the invading forces of the Western Allies as they liberated Europe from the Nazis. However, when the Soviet Army began its offensive in 1943, it became clear that Poland would be liberated by it instead of the Western Allies.
What makes a great fight scene? Guns, explosions, one against many and the asskicking spree that follows? All fine suggestions, but if you’re planning on creating a memorable fight scene in your own work then I would advise focusing more on purpose than performance.
Now, before I start, I just want to explain the difference between a fight scene and an action scene. In fact, a good example of a movie that distinguishes between both very well is The Matrix. The, ‘Guns. Lots of guns’ lobby shootout was an action scene. As badass as it was, it didn’t really move the plot forward. We could have skipped the entire scene and cut to straight to the rooftop and the plot would not had changed at all. It was more a spectacle – eye candy, if you will – for we the audience to engage and be blown away by. As fun as it is to watch our heroes smash through endless swarms of enemies (and it is fun) you should be concerned that while all of this is going on, your plot is remaining static.
Fantasy and Sci-fi fiction is full to the hilt of an incredible array of fictional races and species. Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Merfolk, Clingons, Ewoks and all the others we can think of. Today, I want to strengthen your worldbuilding forearms with a few bits of advice on how to handle creating new species from scratch and expanding on their origins.
Creating an entirely new race is a fantastic way to project a societal moral into your story. The Vulcans in Star Trek, for example, had no capacity for emotions and thus were ever logical – even to their detriment. How would such a personality conflict with the emotive human race?
The possibilities for these kinds of questions are endless, but whatever you decide to use your species for in your story, you are going to need to know how they got there in the first place.
Every great fictional world has great fictional governments. They are the select few heads of the largest states of your world who make decisions that affect the lives of millions. This is an area of world building that requires much, much research but with the limited space that I have, I want to give you a better overall understanding of what constitutes a solid empire.
To learn how a fictional empire would rise, thrive and fall you must look at the historical accounts of actual Empires today. History is your best friend when it comes to building worlds and understanding why our worlds history of empires played out as they did will give you are far more comprehensive understanding for writing your own.