My novel The Steel Dragon is set in an alternate world based very loosely on our own Victorian/Edwardian age. I wrote a bit before about how I came up with the map. Let me now tell you a bit about how I came up with the concept. Originally I was thinking of creating a role-playing game setting. I had seen a few Steampunk campaigns, but none of them really fell in line with what I would have wanted to create. I want my campaigns to be unique. I invisioned a world that was so large that the age of exploration would have taken longer, and it would only be in the nineteenth century when people from Sumir (my Europe equivalent) would venture forth to discover the world. In the distant lands would be primitive tribes and savage civilizations. They would not be human, but other forms of intelligent life. The lower forms of life would match as well. There would be a continent with reptilian people and dinosaurs. There would be a continent with insectoid intelligences and giant monster insects. When the story came to me, and the world became the setting for the story rather than for a role-playing game, I kept the reptilians and dinosaurs and pushed everything else to the back burner.