See you next time

And we'll leave you on that cosmic cliffhanger as we wrap up this lesson!

Writing about world-altering threats is mostly a matter of turning up the dial on the scale of the danger or effect—thinking really big. Instead of a killer on the loose in a town, there's something killing all of humanity. Instead of a gun, it's a plasma beam that can blast away a moon. Add a generous helping of suspense, and a side serving of your characters responding with utter terror, and you've got yourself a plot hook to keep your audience hungry for more.

Have a think about some of the big threats that we face in our world. These might be environmental threats or natural disasters, or dangerous things that humans have created. 

Now turn the dial up on the danger. Exaggerate the scale. Make the scary thing a hundred times—no, a thousand times—bigger and scarier. 

Is it starting to feel like a cosmic threat worthy of a science-fantasy story?

Think of other stories you've read where the characters have been in grave danger, or something terrible is happening (or going to happen). How did the author create suspense? What kinds of words did they use to describe the threat? How did the characters respond?

Phoenix is a novel by S .F. Said, with amazing illustrations by Dave McKean.

Lucky thinks he’s an ordinary Human boy… until he starts dreaming that the stars are singing to him, and he wakes up to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him. Lucky is forced to leave his home planet—Phoenix— on the run and in search of his father, who he hopes can give him answers.

The galaxy’s at war, there are deadly enemies among both Aliens and Humans, Lucky befriends an Alien starship crew and an Alien warrior girl who’s got neon needles in her hair… Oh, and he needs to find a way to save the galaxy. No big deal!

Where did the inspiration images come from?

This is yet another image by illustrator Bruce Brenneise, whose work has featured heavily as inspiration images for this course. 

This image is by James Broderick, game artist and game design lecturer. 

With that, we've come to the end of this science-fantasy course.

Hopefully this course has given you ideas for how to build a story around your own science-fantasy universe, complete with sprawling planets, awesome technology (and maybe some magic!), alien creatures, and cosmic threats. 

Happy writing!