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Your Favorite Fantasy World

I am actually curious as to what fantasy worlds/universes people think of when asked this question. It doesn't just have to pertain to books, but could also be game worlds or one from a movie. What makes the world you choose so interesting to you?



toujours gai, archie
You mean besides my own? <grin>

Sorry to be so obvious, but Middle Earth. You're going to ask why so I'll save you a post. Because more than any other fantasy realm, it feels like a place I could actually visit and explore.

Second would be the world of Elder Scrolls. Same deal. I want a fantasy world where it feels like I could actually walk around, stop in a tavern, talk to the people, find my own way. And that's exactly why I don't care for Sanderson's Roshar, because pretty much all that's there is there in service of the plot. It feels like if I wandered outside the story lines, all I would get is polygons. I know other folks love that world. Different chasms for different bridge men.


Skip stole about half my thunder. Yes, Middle-earth all the way. I love the over-the-top detail. Riffing on what Skip was saying, I totally feel like, instead of going east out of Bree with Strider and the hobbits, I could head north--and would find stuff there. Its that sense that there's something around every corner, even the ones that are never actually taken by any character. I'm not certain I understand how this was accomplished, but it is just awesome. A powerful combo--insane world-building blended with a compelling plot. Most other fantasy worlds have 'just enough to tell the story, and no more', which is often fine, but Tolkien goes the extra step and it makes all the difference.


Myth Weaver
I honestly have no answer for the question. Not a single fantasy world from movie or books made enough of an impression on me for me to have any basis for ranking them.

Characters, books, even magic systems, yes. Worlds, no.


I feel similarly to BWFoster, there aren't any worlds that - on their own, at least - enchanted me. I like worlds for the people that inhabit them or the way they allow stories to be told in or about them. Oz comes to mind as a 'world' that I like, but there's nothing in its lore or landscape that interests me anymore than the next fantasy novel. I've just loved so many of the stories to come out of Oz, be it the L. Frank Baum novels or its many, many spin-offs and reinterpretations, that Oz in turn has become a setting I enjoy. I certainly like many of the settings of my favourite novels - Bas-Lag, for example - but more in how they enhance the story than in any aspect of the worlds on their own. Iron Council, one of the books written in that setting, deals a lot with social inequality and the worldbuilding does an amazing job of showing us a dark situation and building up to a stunning conclusion. But I wouldn't care much at all about it if we weren't following around a ragtag group of bisexual communist golemancers.

If I had to pick a place to live in or visit, though, it would probably just be Dinotopia. A utopian island with talking dinosaurs. Can't complain about that.
Can I get away with The Golden Oecumene? It's sci-fi, but it's so far in the future that it might as well be fantasy. The author references ideas that could be the premise of an entire novel, then tosses them off as background details to show just how vibrant and varied the setting is. The main character is part of a group that emphasizes seeing the world exactly as it is, without any sort of filters or augmented vision--and this is probably the only way the book could have been written, because some of the characters are so alien that it would be nigh-impossible to write an entire story from their POVs! More than anything else I've read, it feels like a world that could never be fully explored because there's always more to see and do.


Myth Weaver
I have read a huge pile of fantasy / SF works, probably far more than all but a couple of posters here. Lots of the respective worlds made impressions on me, enough to the point where I stole elements from one or another for my own writing. But as to a favorite...

...first off, lives of most folks in most fantasy worlds is not great. Once a peasant, barring divine intervention or something similar, always a peasant. Short life, dominated by hard work. Travel not a real option, also education, medical care, and the like. Upper classes have it better, but still...not that great. Applies to Feists Midkemia, Tolkien's Middle Earth, Kerr's Devery, LeGuin's EarthSea, and most other fantasy worlds. But there are a couple I found downright fascinating, though very few others here will have heard of them. Of these, the one I'd like to visit, and based one of my worlds around is...

the Spine from Kim Stanly Robinson's 'Short Sharp Shock' - a world of water, with a single significant landmass - a narrow ribbon of rock and dirt encircling the entire world - and its a big world. Most places you can cross its width in a few hours, maybe a day or two, tops. But the circumference is several tens of thousands of miles, minimum. And every few hundred miles is a strange little society, some human, some not, some hostile, some not, each with differing degrees of technology and magic.


I don't want to say Tamriel because other people have said it but, man, Tamriel is great.

I've heard someone said that Tamriel is a by-the-numbers European-flavored fantasy setting on the surface but the deeper you get into the world, the more you realize it's a very bizarre Hindu-inspired science-fantasy.
In my experience, that's pretty accurate. Oblivion, for example, is pretty clearly a Lord of the Rings-inspired adventure story but there's also an alien invasion, an avatar and a time traveling robot. Those layers and the way the setting gets weirder and more complex the more you learn about it really makes you want to know all you can know about it.
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Closed Account
Yeah, aside from my own? :D

I'm gonna have to go with either Middle Earth or the world from the Sword of Shannara trilogy. For Middle Earth, there are just so many places to explore, and it's easy to go travelling around...so long as you don't get impaled by an orc arrow. lol For the Sword of Shannara trilogy (can't remember for the life of me what the world's called. Earth?), one of my favourite parts from the first book was when the travelling crew came across some ruins from ancient times. I would love to investigate those and explore the area for more if I could. It'd be awesome to speculate about where they could have come from. Also, picking Allanon's (spelling okay? I dunno) brain about secrets of the past. Just so long as a giant machine-turned-half living monster doesn't eat me.


Sanderson's Roshar seems amazing too, but I don't know much about it, having just begun to read the Way of Kings (absolute delight, by the way).

I'd probably go for the world of Warhammer, to wander off in Lustria with my fellow lizardmen, or maybe Tamriel as mentionned above, since it has captivated me since I played Morrowind. Definitely not Westeros, though. Great tale, but man, what an awful world to live in. Don't get me wrong : warhammer is awfully cruel too. But there's lizardmen, damnit !

Also, Azeroth would be pretty nice, provided I would land in a timeline where these pandas had never existed. I know it isn't as sophisticated as most fantasy universes (/wink cold) and that it's downright childish at times, but I just can't let go of all the memories I have of me playing the Warcraft saga and fancying myself an orc leader of Doomhammer's Horde or a jungle troll. My, what a life that would be...
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