I was talking with some neighborhood friends the other day about the soon-to-be released Hobbit movie (well, the first installment of it anyway) and one of them commented offhandedly: “I’d love to live in Middle-earth – it’s so beautiful there.”


It got me to thinking – yeah, Middle-earth would be great to visit but to actually purchase a house and live there? Having a seemingly immortal Dark Lord obsessed with destroying the world living in my backyard is, frankly, a deal breaker for me. Not to mention his armies of orcs and the mess that they leave in their wake.


After some deep contemplation – ie: a few hours spent searching through my library – here are my top ten science fiction/fantasy realms to live in:




3. The realm of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake saga (Guilty Pleasures, et. al.). In a world where most of the characters are supernatural, super sexy, and frequently engaged in, ahem, superabundant sexual acrobatics, what’s not to love? Or lust?




6. George Lucas’ Star Wars universe. For those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, the ecumenopolis of Coruscant is ideal! (Except I hear the traffic is terrible…)




9. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom. The fictional representation of Mars in ERB’s John Carter adventures, this planet appealed to me because of its lighter gravity. A “normal” Earthling on Barsoom is capable of superhuman acts – jumping over buildings, lifting tremendous amounts of weight, and eating 69 hotdogs in under 10 minutes…



QUESTION: If you could choose just one SF/Fantasy realm in which to spend the rest of your days, which one would it be?



Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can follow him on Twitter at @paulgoatallen and get all the latest Barnes & Noble book news from @BNBuzz.

by on ‎09-11-2012 09:58 PM



I thiink that I would like to live in Anne McCaffrey's Planet Bontany from her Freedom Books.



by Moderator dhaupt on ‎09-12-2012 10:57 AM

Thanks Paul, I'm calling my fantasy realtor right now :smileyhappy:

by on ‎09-12-2012 12:22 PM

Scadrial (the world Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series takes place on), except during the more modern Alloy of Law era. I love westerns, I love the magic system in the world, and there isn't a huge chance of being stabbed by crazy orcs or whathaveyou. :smileyhappy:

by L2 on ‎09-12-2012 06:16 PM

Manticore from David Weber's Honorverse.  Or maybe Sphinx.

by on ‎09-12-2012 07:10 PM

Hey, this is a brain twister!  I first thought of going down into Alice's Wonderland, but then wondered if I'd be beheaded by the Queen every five minutes...so, nope on that one.  Then I thought about the land where Peter Pan lived.  It was okay, but I didn't feel like fighting a hungry croc and a neurotic pirate, and raising a bunch of bratty kids.


Let's see, now.  I seem to recall a Kingdom called Wordsmithsonia, of which I happened to be the Queen.  That realm was actually ideal, the best place I can think of to live.  The people who lived there, and the creatures, were the best, mainly because I, and others who lived there, created it all.  A fun filled loving atmosphere, and a castle that had all the amenities, along with non allergenic animals to fill those loving pet needs.  My two-headed dragon was outstanding, too!  He could easily lite my fire any night of the week...ah, I mean fireplace. 


Well, I guess that's where I would have liked to live out the rest of my days...but it's a lonely place right now, foreclosures wiped out every occupant.  I'm in a quandary.....Maybe I should open the drawbridge again, and start growing organic fruits and veggies, and then open a little cobblestone-side stand to sell my produce.  


But, just a warning, there are baddies there too, but nothing that can't be handle with a little rod.  The flying monkeys...I forgot about the monkeys......well...never mind....I'll come up with another place....give me a decade or two to figure it out....now excuse me while I crawl back into my coffin...the sun's still up.

by on ‎09-12-2012 09:20 PM

You make some good points here for each book. I like your thinking on the Newflesh Trilogy, that would be a stress reliever. Is there a world where I could just read and have my dogs there with me? I'm not sure that world would make a good book series though.

by on ‎09-12-2012 10:01 PM
My library consist of packing boxes in a basement storage area, so refreshing my memory was not a possibility. The Pern thought did connect a couple of synapses. As much as I would hate giving up dragons, the McCaffery world I would choose would be Petaybee, the planet is unspoiled, self aware and protects the inhabitents. Not sure how much of it McCaffery actually wrote and not nearly as good a series but a very appealing world.
by on ‎09-13-2012 02:57 PM

Seriously, Paul, you somehow neglected the largest world in the history of fiction?  A world with a surface area roughly equivalent to 3,000,000 earth-sized planets?



by Moderator paulgoatallen ‎09-13-2012 03:16 PM - edited ‎09-13-2012 03:18 PM

Bravo, MacMcK - I've been waiting for someone to mention Niven's Ringworld or Silverberg's Majipoor!  :smileyhappy:

by on ‎09-13-2012 05:34 PM

Not a huge fan of Majipoor. 


Lately I've been reading Iain M Banks' Culture series, which features orbitals, smaller versions of a ringworld (say a million miles in diameter), each orbiting its sun independently, so the rotation of the orbital naturally produces night and day without the need for screens to block the sun.  It's also naturally stable, eliminating the need for Niven's attitude jets.

by bookscoutDR on ‎09-14-2012 06:35 PM

I'd love to at least visit Naomi Novik's England to see the dragons and their riders.



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