Locations and Borders

Authored by: Gerard Hynes

The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638914
eBook ISBN: 9781315637525
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315637525.ch1

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Abstract

The number of imaginary worlds that could potentially be created is nearly infinite. Given how many imagined worlds have gone unrecorded, being either orally transmitted or private to an individual in the first place, they are also uncountable. The admittedly selective timeline in Mark J. P. Wolf’s Building Imaginary Worlds (2012) lists more than 1,400 worlds and since then dozens more have been created, from Anne Leckie’s Radch Empire and Ken Liu’s Dara to the universe of Jupiter Ascending (2015) and the eighteen quintillion planets of No Man’s Sky (2016). Imaginary locations have been the vehicles of philosophical, anthropological, political (both utopian and dystopian), historical, and linguistic speculation for thousands of years. Many of these worlds are defined as much by specific locations—the Shire, the Battlestar Galactica, Silent Hill—as by the characters or narratives that populate and shape them.

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