Top 5 Imaginary Worlds

Girl Genius Color Omnibus Vol. 1

The cover of one of the Girl Genius books. The thumbnail doesn’t do it justice — click through to see it bigger.

Following on last Friday’s post about your favourite place on Earth, here’s a related question for you all:

If you could live in any made-up story world, from books or movies or TV, which would you choose?

Here are my top 5…

(On a writerly note, you’ll notice all of these are series. Of course, this gives an author the room to really explore a new world and make it rich with details and layers – it’s hard to do the same in a standalone book or movie. But it didn’t take more than one book, and often much less, for me to fall in love…)

5. The world of Girl Genius

This series by Kaja and Phil Foglio is a webcomic and a graphic novel series (aimed at both adults and teens), so it’s not surprising that their world is chock-full of visual delights – enormous airships, quirky circuses, mad scientists, and lots and lots of clockwork machinery. Every place our heroine goes is more fantastic than the last. If I had my own airship, I’d be happily occupied for years.

4. Middle Earth

I admit to being influenced by the art that’s been made about Tolkien’s world, from paintings to the Peter Jackson films (famously shot in New Zealand). They all make the landscape look so gorgeous, and I’m a sucker for the beauty of nature. Plus there are elves and dwarves and hobbits. As long as I stay away from Mordor, it’s all good. (If Middle Earth isn’t available, Terry Pratchett’s satirical version, Discworld, would also do.)

3. Hogwarts

A school full of magic-users appeals to my fantasy-loving side and my old-fashioned-English-literature-loving side, not to mention the part of me that felt pretty lonely at school in my early teens. Sure, Voldemort is lurking around and there’s something wrong with the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but still, getting to learn spells, wield a magic wand, and fly, all while living in the niftiest boarding school ever? Yes, please!

2. Pern

Aside from the danger of Thread, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern is a pretty sweet world – cozy stone halls, tall ships, and dragons – and for a (sort-of) pre-industrial planet, the larger centres are pretty modern-thinking. The only tough part would be deciding whether to Impress a dragon or go into training at Harper Hall (and maybe adopt some fire lizards).

1. The universe of Star Trek

I discovered Star Trek when I was 12, fell in love, and never really fell out of love. It offered a hopeful and essentially optimistic vision of the future, one that was missing from dystopian stories (yep, the ’80s had a round of dystopian novels too). Sure, there are wars and dissension, but the Federation is a pretty good entity overall. The chance to live on a spaceship, work with aliens, explore new planets with every mission, do science, and fly among the stars? Well, let’s just say that if I were given that choice, even today, I’d be gone faster than Jean-Luc Picard can say “Engage”. (Barring that, the TARDIS or the Firefly ‘verse would do in a pinch…)

Honourable Mention: Earth’s own history, at least as filtered through historical fiction. When I was growing up, some of my favourite books were historicals. I devoured any and every time period, from Ancient Egypt to the pioneer days to WWII. My favourite time periods were the medieval era, with its castles and romance, and the Victorian era, with its quaint manners and beautiful dresses. Of course, there are plenty of reasons I’m glad I don’t live in the past (women’s rights and modern medicine being just two!), but a girl can dream.

Your turn! Which fictional world or story-verse would you choose to live in if you could?

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7 responses to “Top 5 Imaginary Worlds

  1. Hogwarts and Narnia. The rest of the series I read are not too appealing.

  2. Jeyna, Narnia alllmost made my list, too! And yeah, much as I adore, say, George RR Martin, I would *not* want to live in Westeros — especially as a woman!

  3. Heh ~ nice post. For my reply, I give you a similar post I wrote last year… (http://ellenvgregory.com/2012/04/12/if-i-could-live-in-a-fictional-world/) From which the following is an excerpt:

    “As I write this, dozens upon dozens of worlds from novels are cascading through my brain: the Pliocene epoch of Julian May’s Saga of the Exiles, Stephen Donaldson’s The Land, the world Robin Hobb created for her Farseer, Liveship Traders, Tawny Man and Rain Wild Chronicles books, Jacqueline Carey’s Terre D’Ange and surrounds, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, JK Rowling’s Harry-Potter-world… and so many more.

    “And then of course we have the fictional worlds of the screen: the Pandora of Avatar, the Galactic Empire of the Star Wars series, the world of Farscape… eek!”

  4. Ellen, that’s the thing about being an avid SF&F reader and viewer (not to mention writer)…we have many, many beloved worlds in our heads!

  5. Pingback: Second annual steampunk festival at Fairhaven Village Green |

  6. …I need to do a blog about this. Would you mind?

  7. Absolutely not! I’d love to read your top 5.

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