I am trying to achieve the best possible accuracy for new planets, for determining landmasses and continents and then gravity, axial tilts, day length, tides, seasons and so, without going too deep into hard sciences and complex math.

I will be thankful for any book recommendations on the subject that are more bent on worldbuilding.

So far I have read "The worldbuilders toolkit" and "A magical society: A guide to mapping" but I would love something more specific on the tectonics, geology and continental drift subjects.

My best regards.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! In addition to whatever answers you get here, feel free to check out our Creating a realistic world series of questions. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Mar 14, 2018 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ Here is another question about software for plate tectonics that could be useful. softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/4139/… $\endgroup$ Mar 14, 2018 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Remind me to place a bounty on this question if you don't get any answers. $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2018 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks everyone, all the given information was very useful. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2018 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


I think it depends on where you are in your worldbuilding process. If you want a wide understanding of geology, pick up an introductory geology textbook (the Geology for Dummies book does a pretty okay job of outlining concepts, but you can get the same information from Wikipedia and other websites for free). If you want to understand cool "geographical" features that we don't have here on earth, look into planetary geology and planetary science.

I did a quick search and found a few planetary science books that aren't like dense textbooks and should work for what you need: Planetary Science: Explore New Frontiers, Encyclopedia of Space, and Mars. And here are some websites that cover a good deal about planetary geology in an easy-to-understand way: The Center for Planetary Science, NASA-JPLs Planetary Science section, and the Planetary Science Institute. Also, please check out youtube for free geology documentaries and lectures. PBS Eons is a pretty god channel that covers some really interesting topics in geology that might be useful for your world. I like their video on supercontinents a lot. I wasn't sure where to include it, but here is an image that shows you what plate tectonics looks like in an earth-like planet.

As for the worldbuilding aspect, one of the commenters gave you a pretty good resource. It really depends on how far along you are in the process of worldbuilding and how much you know about worldbuilding already. I'm hesitant to link you some books in case you already know what they cover (I don't want you to end up wasting money buying something you might already know). Here are some links to free resources: Lostkingdom's Guide to Worldbuilding and the Science-Fiction and fantasy Writer's Guild Guide to Worldbuilding.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks GingerOverlord, this covers it up pretty well. I tried asking here just to make sure I am not missing any of the "hidden gems" that the community might know about. Though I am very used to worldbuilding, this book list not only will suffice as an introductory list to geology, as it will add a couple titles on the WB subject. Most grateful. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2018 at 18:01

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