What makes you feel great about stories? For me it's the realism, the background, where you can really sit back and immerse yourself in someones great ideas and thoughts. During more extensive research for my index for the Ravus Universe, I came across EVE Online's Ship Database...SO SWEET! Fell in love with those ships! I could see them, move them, imagine what flying one of them must be like and read up on their specs, but it wasn't overwhelming me with information. Yes, I definitely spent well over an hour just clicking through every ship on the page to see them all...worth every second! I remember reading through J.R.R. Tolkien's “The Silmarillion” several times when I was younger. That kind of back-story is where I love to spend my time, getting to know more about what makes that author's universe tick. Seeing pictures, hard facts or just ideas from authors that they want to see happen is so appealing to me personally. So, since the realism of the story is what really helps me enjoy each piece of fiction, I'm always on the lookout for additional information that author's want to make available. Yes, I was the dude who bought the Halo 2 strategic guide to look through at the maps and weapons specs. (with the handy side effect being be kicking my friend's butts every halo night...yeah). Now, don't get me wrong, I love the story. It's what introduces me to a new world and all it's characters. I just find the worlds and people in them so much better when they are backed up with some serious thoughts and design by the author. After browsing through more gaming and story sites, I really struggled to find what I was looking for. I've visited a few sites dedicated to universe creation as a collaborative effort at Orion's Arm and ArcBuilder but these feel so sterile to me and difficult to make heads or tails of. There's a point where, though I want to get to know more about something, I can't afford to lose myself or be overwhelmed with something that really isn't real but requires so much of my time. The fun of fiction, science fiction especially is immersing yourself in a place you would like to see someday, but knowing that it isn't reality. It should spark concepts or desires that you as the reader want to see become a reality. You get to see this first, but I'll be posting it to my blog early tomorrow, so check it out there if you want! That's what I get pumped about when I read fiction. Tell me what gets your brain hopping for more!