OK, it’s hot as all anything in my apartment right now, and I honestly don’t think I have the mental capacity to come up with ten entries, but we’ll see how we do.
Middle Earth – The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Peaceful farming towns (Hobbiton), magical elvish communities (Rivendell, Lothlorien), mysterious forests (Mirkwood, Fangor), majestic citadel (Gondor), and so much more.
Discworld – The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
Ankh-Morpork, Quirm, Klatch, Lancre – Terry Pratchett was a master of world-building, creating a complex, hilarious world filled with memorable characters and unforgettable places.
Narnia – The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Evidence of Lewis’ background as an academic, and his friendship with fellow fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien, can be seen in the epic world-building that has made The Chronicles of Narnia such a classic.
The English countryside – Five Children and It / The Railroad Children by E. Nesbit
Oh how I longed to explore the English countryside with the children in Nesbit’s stories! It always seemed to be the perfect blend of safe and exciting, familiar and strange, nostalgic and relatable. The children found adventure and excitement around every corner, but never had to leave our world to find out.
The Land of the Wild Things – Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Who doesn’t dream of unleashing their inner wild thing, and romping around with cuddly wild things?
Chewandswallow (before everything goes haywire) – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Imagine if you never had to cook or shop for groceries because all the food you ever needed literally fell into your lap. Of course, the good times don’t last, but it’s pretty sweet (and very delicious) for a while anyway.
Whoville – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
What kid wouldn’t want to try out all those crazy instruments and noisy toys?! Definitely looks like heaps of fun. Might not make for the happiest of neighbors, though…
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
This fastastical candy wonderland is a child’s dream come true, filled with crazy creations, imaginative inventions, and the most delicious sugary treats, but it’s not without its unsettling elements. It’s both weird and wonderful, dark and delightful, and totally unforgettable.
- Forests. Forests of any shape, kind, size, or century.
- Ingary. Who can resist a land where such things as magic carpets and seven league boots really exist? Also, I love the descriptions of the moors, or Porthaven, of the markets, even of the shops.
- The Old Kingdom. Which you would think would be an unhappy setting, given the propensity of the Dead and Free Magic creatures to intrude, but no. The Old Kingdom is wonderful.
- Eddis and Attolia (mountain kingdom and valley kingdom, respectively). I… love mountains? And valleys? (True story!) Not Sounis (relatively desert-filled kingdom), with apologies to Sophos and the Magus. (It’s not about the desert, honest! Well… it’s not all about the desert.)
- Narnia and Redwall, the two pastoral realms of my childhood.