Science fantasy worldbuilding in Phoenix 7: Cosmic threats

Cosmic Threats

Introduction

Scary or dangerous things that you encounter in the far reaches of the cosmos can go beyond our everyday fears. A killer on the loose is scary, but colossal beings that swallow planets, or indescribable entities of darkness, can create a sense of cosmic scale that makes science-fantasy feel so cinematic. 

Let’s look at how Said creates suspense when we first meet a supernatural threat in Phoenix.

A soft hissing sound. Behind him, above him. It set his teeth on edge.

He turned round, looked up – and nearly bit his tongue off.

Because the crack in the sky was back.

It was bigger. Much bigger. It covered a whole quadrant of the sky now. It was shaped like a great black V: a sharp-edged shadow where the night’s darkness looked even darker, somehow. Thicker. And all the way through it, he couldn’t see a single star.

The stars had disappeared.

Lucky wanted to say something, to warn his mother or cry out, but he couldn’t. His mouth had gone dry. His throat constricted. Looking at the thickening shadow, he couldn’t even breathe...

PhoenixS.F. SaidSource

Pretty ominous!

From this, we feel the tension of the situation—we know that something bad is happening, and the character is all but powerless against it.

Like what you see?