Speaking of worldbuilding (in a recent post), I'm doing what may be the last round of editing on a story I've labeled (but not titled) "monkey people vs big bugs."
MPvsBB was a challenge because it takes place in a non-earth ecosystem (of unspecified location) and the characters are not human beings. It's a foreign ecosystem filled with strange creatures with their own culture and rituals. There's no outsider Watson character to ask questions and elucidate opaque aspects of the people and environment. The reader is going to be confused for a while as they piece things together. The story must explain itself without resembling an infodump, but at a fast enough pace that the reader doesn't lose interest. To make matters more challenging, nearly every detail is important in the conclusion of the story, so seemingly extraneous detail in the early passages have a payoff later.
Does it work? I'll see what the professionals think when it joins the ranks of other submissions out for consideration.
I believe worldbuilding is one of the greatest pleasures of writing speculative fiction. It can be so much fun, in fact, that it becomes a trap. I want to show the reader all the cool things I've been thinking about! I want them to feel immersed! The result can be an impenetrable morass of detail, strange names and oblique references to battles lost and won, in which immersion begins to feel like drowning. Or we may choose to explain ourselves more directly, sometimes through clunky "As you know..." passages or embarrassing "Dances With Wolves" characters who serve as proxies for the confused reader. It turns out that creating a world is only half the challenge - revealing it is the real work of writing. No world comes with an instruction manual.