Reading Challenge - January 2022
A selection of articles read
Arendah by CrazyEddieThe original article is written in German, so I had to use Google translate in order to read it. I really liked the extended discussion on the type of environment that was right for the arendah to grow in, as well as the uses the mushroom had in different cultures. Thinking about the way each of your creations affects the world around it is an important part of worldbuilding.
Boomshroom by ecl1psedOne of my favourite things about the boomshroom is that it is used for both military purposes and cooking. The contrast between these two uses is an unexpected twist that adds an extra layer to the worldbuilding. I also really like that Ecl1psed has really thought about the habitat and lifecycle of the fungus.
Brown Daydreamer by CatobleponCato has included a history of how the brown daydreamer was discovered by the people in her setting, which is a really nice touch that not many people include. That's definitely something I am going to keep in mind for my own articles going forward. I also really like that the mushroom is an important export for a settlement.
Cloud Parasol Mushroom by GolemancerOne of the things I really like about this article is that Golemancer discusses the effects of cultivation on the mushroom; the cultivated variety of the mushroom produces more silk. I also enjoy that, although the mushroom is extremely useful for society, it can also have a sinister effect.
Dark Mushroom by KajetanWritesOne of the things I really likes about Kajetan's article was that the dark mushroom is intrinsicly linked to religion. It seems to be more than just superstition, as scholars have discovered a clear link to a deity. I love the imagery as well of the life and colours around the mushrooms being sucked away.
Dull Growths by TheoOne of the best sentences in this article is the taste of these mushrooms being described as 'licking a rusted mech'. Despite this, they are an important food in the winter months. It is always good to remember that food doesn't always have to be tasty to be useful.
Evuron Mushrooms by EallixyI love the vivid description of the appearance of the evuron mushroom, which really helped me picture them in their environment. I also really liked that different parts of the mushroom are used for different things. The fact that there are even alternate methods for using the mushroom recreationally is great too.
Fireshroom by KefkejacoThese mushrooms are used as a fuel source in Kefke's world, which is a great way to make them relevent and integral to the world. Fuel is something that often isn't thought about too much whilst worldbuilding, so this article was a great reminder to think about that more. I really like that Kefke includes the history of how the fireshroom came to be used as a fuel too.
FunGlow by Michael ChandraThis anti-magic fungus is actually a non-natural experiment involving both mushrooms and bacteria, which gives this article a fun scientific twist. This is reinforced by the article's technical language and the fact it is peppered with different measurements. I like how different it is to a lot of the wilder, more natural mushrooms I've read about.
Fungrum by Tim de RoosThis article is actually about mushroom creatures rather than mushrooms, but it still definitely counts. Tim's articles always have gorgeous art, and it really inspires me to create more artwork for my own world. I love the details Tim chooses to describe as well - these guys leave mushroom trails!
Ghazali by WingerThis article really leans into the fact that two mushrooms that look identical to each other can actually be wildly different species, which is one thing I love about them. I really like that this article includes a legend of how the mushrooms were first discovered, and how things have changed now that they have been discovered by the wider world.
Glow Shroom by Ezra AldrichThis article opens with a quote from a food blog, which really grabs you and pulls you into the world straight away. I love that the mushroom is used as food, medicine, ink, and also as a light source as it is bioluminescent. You get the feeling that the glow shroom is really an integral part of the Underdark.
Gold Stealer by MochiThe gold stealers are massive deep ocean mushrooms that can grow over a hundred metres long. I love the idea of ocean mushrooms, for starters, and the fact that they are so big is great. I also really love the idea that the caps are harvested for use as counterfeit coins as they look like money. The lesson from this article is definitely be creative!
Hargran's Crab by DutriusHargran's crab is what you get when you cross the theory of carcinisation with a fungus - a crab-like, semi-living mushroom. The description of the mushroom's organic systems and its lifecycle is extremely well thought out and interesting, and I enjoyed the small touch of humour at the end of the article.
Ichor Mushrooms by Ryn CThis article talks about the history behind ichor mushrooms in a semi-historical and semi-mythological way, which is a nice mix as the reader cannot tell what exactly is true and what is legend. It also has a great description on the way the mushrooms change throughout their different growth stages, which was really nice to read and something that should be done more.
Kepikepi by Sh4d0wPh03n1xThis article has adorable art of the kepikepi, which is always a plus. I really like how this mushroom is useful to the farmers in the area by helping keep the soil safe and healthy for crops. The fact that they are bioluminescent is really nice too.
Lacy Ladies by Annie SteinThere are two things I absolutely love about this article - the art and the alternative names. The alternative names thing is particularly great because it really makes you think about the different people who would have named them. I also really like the idea of using a mushroom for pesticide.
Lacy Ladies, also known as Poor Man's Doily, Lace Cups and Fairy Veils are mushrooms known for the intricate lace-like patterns on it's cap. The mushrooms are much beloved for its appearance.
Litsin Sidamelo by PanthersEyeWhilst reading these articles, I've noticed that people have come up with some really unique uses for their mushrooms, and the listsin sidamelo is no exception. This mushroom can be used as fabric after a year of processing, which I think is so much fun. I also really like the article is written from a first person, opinionated point of view.
Munchskin by ChiThis article opens with a good quote to set the scene, setting up the tone for the rest of the article. I really like that the munchskins are mushrooms that look like flowers; biological mimicry is always interesting and I'd love to do more research into it for my own work.
Mushroom Farming by FrogdrakeThis is an article about the process farming mushrooms, rather than an individual species of mushroom. Whilst the article focuses on how mushroom farming is achieved, it also gives some insight into the cultures that practice it. This helps make the world seem much more alive than just a technical explanation would.
Mushroom Fields by Chris LOne of the things I love about Kitoypoy's articles is that there is usually a quote from a recurring character, Sgt. Kill Flayer, and this one is no exception. It's quite nice to have a recognisable figure to tie articles together. I like the little cultural notes of mushroom skeet and mushroom foraging too.
A field of mushrooms of all types and sizes ranging from tiny to larger than houses.
Noodle Snoodle by Aster BlackwellThis article has both gorgeous art and an adorable title, but what I liked most about it was that three different varieties of noodle snoodle were covered, not just the one. The variations in the species were really interesting to read about, and I like the fact one had fairytales told about how it came to be.
Nousta-Nopeüsta by mezzopatriciaThis article does a great job of vividly describing the taste of the mushroom, which is a sense often neglected by worldbuilding. I also really like the scientific descriptions of what ingesting these mushrooms does to the body, and that it varies due to dosage, body weight, and species.
Pexi by AndrewPexi are tiny and adorable mushroom creatures that seem to be able to exist in a variety of places. My favourite thing about Theiket's article is the touches of humour sprinkled throughout, especially in regards to the inevitability of death. Having a light-hearted touch really works sometimes.
Shattercaps by StormbrilStormbril is one of the people I look up to the most when it comes to writing articles, and this one is another great. I love the thought that has been put into the shattercaps' life cycle, as well as the different legends as to their origin. I also think the art in this one is really pretty and delicate.
A delicate mushroom growing on the beaches of Russin. It slowly turns to glass as it grows, before shattering to spread the spores.
Storm Mushrooms by Amélie I. S. DebruyneAmélie has made great use of quotes in this article to weave a story as an undercurrent to the basic facts about her mushrooms. This really helps to ground the mushrooms in her world. I am also really inspired by the amount of research Amélie does for each of her articles.
A variety of closely related species of fungi undistinguishable from each other, famous for their location in the Orage Mountains filled with magical storm as well as for the unique properties of their toxins.
Svant by Kveldulfr83This is another article that includes quite a visceral description of the mushrooms' taste and it works really well. The article itself is quite short, but it contains all of the relevent information without being bloated or over-long.
Velvet Shanks by AngantyrA really interesting mushroom that can cause winter forest fires. I love the mixture of scientific and descriptive language that is used to describe them, as well as the loving thought put into their growth cycle. I also really like the touch that wood from the trees they infest can be seen as a luxury.
A peculiar mushroom that grows typically in winter and occassionally causes forest fires.
Witch’s Shroom by TheDoctor292This article contains something of a mystery - were these mushrooms actually used for witches' spells or not? We may never know. I love that the mushroom has a unique defence mechanism in the form of spraying poison gas, and I love that the author notes that certain animals cannot see their vivid purple colour.
Yellow-gilled Gymnopilus by SoulLinkSoulLink has taken a real mushroom and adapted it to fit their world. The mixture of real-world facts with imaginative fiction really works, particularly as SoulLink's world is alternate Earth. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the mushroom had different significance to dryads than it did to humans.
Resolutions for 20222022 is going to be the year I focus on getting things done whilst not burning out. To that end, I have only a couple of resolutions:
- Bring Etrea's older articles up to the standard I want for all my articles - see The Teeth for reference.
- Only work on new articles that inspire me or bring me joy. Don't let the fear of missing out stress me out into writing things I'm not excited for.
- Keep reading and commenting on as much as I can to support the community.