This week I talk about how we measure time in real life (it's more fascinating than you think!) and how fictional worlds develop their own concept of time.
In our real world currently, we go by the Gregorian Calendar, which is based on a solar year (the time it takes for the sun to return to its original position in the sky). The solar year is 365 days plus roughly a quarter day, which is why we add an extra day every 4 years (February 29th).
Other cultures have used lunar calendars, which measure time by the phases of the moon. But if you follow a 12-month lunar cycle, then there is no relationship between the months and the seasons, since the lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the solar year.
A lunisolar calendar tries to integrate both lunar and solar years together.
That's a general overview of how we tell time by year and month in the real world, but there's also weeks. The seven-day week is standard today, but in other cultures, there have been weeks of differing lengths, such as eight or ten days.
So: How would you measure time when you live on a different world? What if you had two moons? What if the orbit of your planet around its star was shorter or longer?
In this video, I share about how one author integrated a new measurement of time into his hard sci-fi, and how I've grappled with my own time troubles in my Firewing Chronicles.
This Week's Fantasy & Sci-fi Spotlight
Note: The Spotlight is meant to highlight new releases and discounted books in the speculative fiction genre, but does not necessarily constitute an endorsement.
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I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that burns through the darkest realities with truth and redemption.
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