Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fantastic Fantasy Worlds

1. Frank Baum's Oz from The Wizard of Oz.
2. Lewis Carroll's Wonderland from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
3. C.S. Lewis's Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia.
4. J.K. Rowling's magical Britain (such as magical houses, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley) in the Harry Potter novels.
5. The futuristic Earth of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.
6. Terry Prachett's Discworld.
7. The dimension on the other side of the tesseract in Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series.
8. Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek universe.
9. Fantastica in Michael Ende's The Neverending Story.
10. Charles de Lint's Newford from the Newford series of books.
11. The All-World universe and its portals on Earth in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
12. The Dreaming from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman.
13. J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings.


Anonymous said...

i always thought isaac asimov was great at this. he wasn't much of a stylist, and wrote books at a rate that would make embarrass stephen king, but he could build new worlds with separate rules pretty much at will.

also, the book within a book within a book in margaret atwood's "the blind assassin." that was a pretty cool, self-contained world.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lois McMaster Bujold builds wonderful, intricate worlds, and I also recommend Sharon Shinn!


Sarabeth said...

The world David Brin imagined for Startide Rising, The Uplift War, and the continuing later trilogy contains alternate ethical structures, different sexual mores, and a changing thought process for uplifted species.

Scott said...

The Neverending Story is a brilliant book that is never mentioned enough.

I can't speak for the English translation, which I've never read, but the original German (which I've read a few times) is beautiful.

I've thought about checking out the English version, but I have trouble getting past the translation of Phantasien as Fantastica. One of the few places where the movie really got it right was calling that world Fantasia.

Anybody who hasn't read it should. But look for one of the dual-color print versions, if you can find one.

Anonymous said...

Of those worlds I'm acquainted with, I would agree they belong on the list.

I'm surprised yet pleased at the choice of Star Trek as opposed to the somewhat more popular (imo, although it may just be commercial popularity among my age-group) Star Wars.