1) Harry Potter-verse. This is such an obvious and cheaty choice, I know. But, what can I say, I'd love it there. I can tell this for sure because I have already sort of experienced this world, thanks to Universal Studios in Orlando, and let me tell you, walking the streets of Hogsmeade, drinking butter beer at Three Broomsticks and visiting Hogwarts was a blast and a dream come true.
On the one hand, I think visiting craic-full, fae-free present day Dublin could be a lot of fun, if it's even remotely similar to the vibrant city described by Karen Marie Moning. (Fish'n'chips sounds particularly nice just now.)
On the other hand, I find the whole idea of silvers connecting to different planes in Faery and to White Mansion - home of the Unseelie King and his concubine - utterly fascinating. Exploring different realities and different worlds (possibly alien worlds?) and then numerous mysterious rooms of the Mansion sounds like a great time to me.
And of course, who can forget Barrons Books & Baubles? I'd spend a few days there as well.
Like with Fever, I am attracted to both real and imaginary worlds in Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. I would be equally interested in browsing the streets of Prague and sampling Karou's bohemian life style and seeing with my own eyes the chimaera and seraphim of Eretz. I would probably have to wear fake horns or wings there, right? I also foresee many awkward conversations as I'd try to learn more about mating habits of chimaera and seraphim. Can you blame me for my curiosity? With so many different types of chimaera of different aspects, how do they even navigate the dating scene? There must be a ton of rules. Same goes for seraphim with their armies populated by stepbrothers and sisters.
4) Parallel universes and time travel.
Flannery will talk about parallel universes in her part too. Just like her, I am very keen on this concept and would love to see what kind of person I would become if I made different decisions at some point in my life. How much different would I turn out to be?
There are also a ton of books about time-travel. The fictional version that is the most appealing to me is the one in Alison Goodman's Singing the Dogstar Blues. I would not only go inside that world with pleasure, but possibly stay there for good after enrolling in its time-travel academy and acquiring an alien bestie.
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I think at this point, anyone who has ever had a conversation with me about books knows how obsessed I am with space fiction--as long as it's fun. While I absolutely respect (and adore) the world-building in books like Dune, do I really want to squeeze into a Freman bodysuit on Arrakis, snorting up spice and barfing up a lung from all the sand? Um, no thank you. I'd much rather be having conversations with a young James T. Kirk at Starfleet Academy or aboard a group of space travelers reminiscent of the crew on the Serenity. Though I've read a lot of books set in space (or in Starfleet's case, regarding space but set on Earth), these two are the space-related settings from series I'd most like to visit. Of course, if I could also find a Firefly-era Nathan Fillion or a snarky Chris Pine, that would be doubly amazing.
Though I've only read the first book in Kenneth Oppel's Matt Cruse series, Airborn, but he created a world filled with airships, where sailmakers rappel around the outside, patching holes, and where people can vacation and travel on huge floating dirigibles. I mean, I think about once a day how much I'd love to go in a hot air balloon. If I could ever go on an airship, I'd probably explode with happiness.
I think I need to stop, because I think I could find something exciting in nearly every single book I've read. I want to go to all the places!
- I wish I could visit Hobbiton for second breakfast.
- I wish I could visit Lyra in alternate universe Oxford so I could finally see what my daemon looks like (totally hoping for a spider).
- I wish I could get sorted at Hogwarts (totally hoping for Hufflepuff, because those friendly, humble kids don’t get enough credit).
- I wish I could spend a day training with Alanna in Tortall (even though she’d definitely kick my ass).
- And for the rare non-fantasy pick, I wish I could spend a day drinking “raspberry cordial” and stealing Gilbert from right under Anne’s perfect nose in Avonlea.
Phew. Now that I’ve gotten those obligatory choices out of the way, I’d love to talk about a few that I’ve only fallen in love with more recently. Recently, the idea of setting and world-building has become more crucial for me. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve read so many fantasies or because I’m just getting old or what but, as I’ve mentioned before, shallow/generic world-building is a complete deal-breaker for me. Lately I want amazing, panoramic, inventive, technicolor worldbuilding with all the bells and whistles and nothing else will do. If you’re like me, I suggest you check out:
Oh, Frances Hardinge how I love your crazy, crazy mind. Here is one of my favorite Frances Hardinge tweets (very appropriate for today!):
If the worlds from the two books of hers that I’ve read – the twisty caves of Caverna from A Face Like Glass and the treacherous Gullstruck Island – required a novella’s worth of setting notes then I am all for that mania.