What is Exocosm?
Exocosm began in 2020 as a way of sharing thoughts on speculative evolution and worldbuilding from a scientific point of view in the hope they would be of interest to others. This was inspired by being invited to write an article on the Planet Furaha blog. The subject was the feasibility of lighter-than-air organisms and it gained significant interest.
Due to some articles posted on Reddit that also gained interest the blog subsequently expanded to include fantasy worldbuilding. This included flat worlds, hollow worlds and underwater civilisations. Despite the differences between the real world and the fantasy world, such worldbuilding is still analysed scientific view point. This is backed up by evidence where possible, .
The web site is split into three broad areas. The first of these is the blog itself which covers articles on five main topics:
- Astrobiology: The study of the origin and evolution of life throughout the universe.
- Exoplanetology: The study of extrasolar planets and the structure of the host star system.
- Mythology: Magic and concepts not possible with current scientific knowledge.
- Procedural Generation: Creating data automatically rather than manually.
- Technology: Earth technology from the past, present and future.
The second area is a series of discrete worlds used to gather the subjects discussed in the blog. The initial scientifically realistic setting was called Exocosm but has now been renamed Exordium to avoid confusion. The other three settings, receiving less focus but containing gradually more fantasy content, are grouped under Paracosm:
- Exordium: A realistic prediction of humanity’s expansion into the wider cosmos.
- Noosphere: A space-fantasy setting involving rapid interstellar travel and psychic powers.
- Omnium: A steampunk setting across multiple planes where magic is technology.
- Xanadu: A mythic setting that operates under a different set of rules than reality.
The final area of the web site is devoted to curating worldbuilding resources from across the web. This is particularly those with factual and scientific style information rather than those focusing more on literary advice.
I am writing the Exocosm blog under the pseudonym Abbydon, though I try to use it consistently for my online presence on the subject of worldbuilding (e.g. Reddit). The purpose of the blog is to both help others and also learn more myself through writing the articles along with any associated comments.
My academic background is in physics, though my career has covered a range of subjects including lasers, atmospheric monitoring, space, robots and artificial intelligence. This helps me to answer variety of worldbuilding challenges using real world information, though there is still plenty for me to learn.
I have also been interested in fantasy and sci-fi fiction from a young age. I grew up reading stories from Arrakis and Middle Earth along with playing games set in Athas, Glorantha, Sigil and the WH40K universe. There are many worlds swirling around in my head which can be used for inspiration, though the challenge is to create a new world that is distinctively my own.