(Header image courtesy of Natalie Patalie!)
Today’s post is all about getting lost in the fictional worlds that books can transport us to. World building is something that can make or break a book for me. You can have great well-written characters, but if the world falls flat, I’m out. It is such a hugely important part of getting drawn in to a story.
There are many fictional places I would love to travel to, but if I had to pick a permanent place to make my home, it would 100% be The Shire. Living the Hobbit life sounds grand to me. I’m not a fan of going out and socializing, I love gardening and baking (and eating the results!), and in general the idea of living out my days in a cozy little home in the woods with plenty of fields and land sounds like utopia for me.
However, much like in real life, I’m sure I’d get bored eventually and have some adventures! The types of worlds I’d like to visit:
#1. Something far in the future. My head goes to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline because the idea of virtual reality being so completely immersive is something I hope I live to see, despite being slightly terrified of the effect it potentially has on our society. I am so fascinated by how technology develops, and the effect it has on us as a species, so I would love to pop into the future and see what’s up. Hopefully it won’t be something like the world of Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood. In that world, scientific development is fully funded by private corporations, and the products/creatures that are created along with the effects it has on society are rather devastating. It’s actually a world I can see us heading towards which is both terrifying and fascinating.
#2. A high fantasy setting. BECAUSE MAGIC. I think Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series would be my first choice. The magic system is so unique that I would love to experience it.
#3. Hogwarts. Yeah, this needs no explanation.
Dystopian is one of my favorite genres to read, whether it’s YA or adult, but I realized that if I were to be in a dystopian setting, I’m not really sure what I would do. Often times, the government or overlord equivalent is running the show and it’s up the to protagonist to take things down (V for Vendetta style). I’m torn about which side I would end up on, and it’s because I have a child.
Pre-child, I’d be on the rebel side 100%. I wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice my life, if that’s what it took, for a cause I believe in. But now that I have a child, I think I’d be pretty ashamed at myself for what I could turn the other cheek to if it meant my child was safe. And by safe, I mean allowed to have her normal life. If I were on the side of the rebels, and got caught, her life would be turned upside down, either because I am no longer in the picture or because she would be removed from our home. The cause would have to be something massive for me to be willing to risk that.
How about you? What kind of fictional worlds would you want to visit or live in? How do you think you’d fare in a dystopian-type setting?