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Old 12-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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Gazetteers of Imaginary Places

I'm looking for books either science fiction or fantasy that describe interesting places. I'm in the mood for travel guides to places that never were. Any recommendations?
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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Let's go old school:

Gulliver's Travels
Of the Best State of a Republic, and of the New Island Utopia
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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The classic would probably be Sir Thomas Moore's "Utopia", an English translation of which you can download right here at MR. Or you could try Plato's "Timaeus" and "Critias", which describe "Atlantis" (it's where the legend of Atlantis originates); that's in the "Complete Works of Plato" which again you can download here at MR.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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'Lost Horizon' by James Hilton - Shangri-La.
'Prisoner of Zenda' by Anthony Hope - Ruritania
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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'Lost Horizon' by James Hilton - Shangri-La.
'Prisoner of Zenda' by Anthony Hope - Ruritania
Aren't they books that are set in imaginary places, rather than being about imaginary places? They have a "story" - books like "Utopia" don't; it's just the description of a place.
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
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Aren't they books that are set in imaginary places, rather than being about imaginary places? They have a "story" - books like "Utopia" don't; it's just the description of a place.
Ooops, you may have a point there.
But isn't 'Utopia' about politics and government, rather than topography?
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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I'm currently reading two translations of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. There are your descriptions of interesting places.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 12-06-2009 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Correct a grammatical error.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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Ooops, you may have a point there.
But isn't 'Utopia' about politics and government, rather than topography?
Mostly, yes, although the book does have a map .
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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I'm currently reading two translations of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. There's your descriptions of interesting places.
VERY interesting places!
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:09 PM   #10
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Mostly, yes, although the book does have a map .
Mine doesn't - pesky cheap editions!

How about the island of Sert from Richard Herley's 'The Penal Colony'? That's described in a lot of detail (I thought it was an actual island, but apparently it isn't).

Last edited by Sparrow; 12-06-2009 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:56 PM   #11
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"The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" by Alberto Manguel is literally a gazetteer of imaginary places. I read the old version 25 years ago but its been updated to include places from newer works like Hogworts and Jurassic Park. Its entries aren't single sentence descriptions but are often pages long with maps and what you would want to know as a traveller.

http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Ima.../dp/0156008726

Google Books has a preview:
http://books.google.com/books?id=T36...age&q=&f=false

Last edited by BenG; 12-06-2009 at 05:01 PM.
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