Science fantasy worldbuilding in Phoenix 2: Current events

Current Events


When you are introducing the reader to a brand new universe, likely set in a different time or dimension, you may need to catch them up on current events. The state of affairs in politics or current social tensions will often play into the narrative at some point.

A lot of this you can introduce subtly over the course of the story, but sometimes you want to get stuck into the action and move the plot forward. A common plot device for this is some form of news broadcast that can tell the reader, in fiction, exactly what is going on. How convenient!

The vidscreens filled with an image of President Thorntree, leader of the Human government: a kindly but stern-looking woman with steely blonde hair.

‘I’m sorry to confirm that the Aliens have struck again,’ said the President. ‘Aries One was a peaceful world, but nowhere is safe while they are at large. My government is suspending all space traffic in the Aries system as a security measure, effective immediately. If you see anything suspicious, report it at once to the Shadow Guards. With your help, we will defeat our enemies.’

The vidscreens flashed up an enormous image: the Alien King, the most wanted being in the galaxy. Lucky recoiled instinctively, and so did everyone around him. No matter how many times he saw Alien features, he couldn’t get used to them: the curving horns, the cloven hooves, the burning eyes of flame.

PhoenixS.F. SaidSource

As we saw in the previous lesson, despite the high science-fantasy setting, this scene is very familiar and relatable to our modern world.

Let’s break down how you can craft your own newsworthy expositions.

What you’ll need

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