Books take us places, that much has already been confirmed by science. But where do we want to be taken the most? This week’s Top Five Wednesday is all about the places or times we’d like to see more of in books! Get out your invisible passport and prepare for some new stamps!
I’ve been slowly working my way through The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, and have really been enjoying the Indian mythology. I can’t recall encountering Indian culture in my YA before, and definitely not in the realm of fantasy, which tends to be steeped in pseudo-European settings. One of my good childhood friends was born in India, which might explain my heightened interest in Star-Touched Queen. Either way, even something as simple as seeing the word “sari” instead of “gown” or “tunic” is proving to be a breath of fresh air.
- The Circle Universe | Tamora Pierce
I’ve been reading the Circle of Magic books since I was little, and have somewhat aged along with the characters. This is one of those series that only grows in quality over time, as you leave the original, child-friendly Circle of Magic books behind and follow the four mage friends into adulthood. Even though the focal characters sometimes split paths over the course of their stories, the cohesion between The Circle of Magic, The Circle Opens, and The Circle Reforged series is incredibly immersive. Getting an unexpected signed ARC of Battle Magic at ALA a few years ago was a major win for me!
- Better Near-Future America
Let’s be real – you could bury Alaska under the amount of near-future, dystopian-USA books that are available. But most stop at simply redrawing the boundary lines of North America and then create a largely generic world within that (i.e. the below maps from the Hunger Games, Selection, and Legend series). Maybe next time redraw a different continent? Or do as The Queen of the Tearling does, in which America becomes so royally screwed up that they leave it entirely. I’m a fan of that idea in particular because Tearling drops in occasional modern references that keep it from being a true high fantasy novel (such as Kelsea having The Hobbit in her library) but it’s distanced enough to not be tacky or forced. It also gives more credence to the sheer amount of destruction a nationwide natural disaster/revolt/war would create, which is typically what forces these near-future societies into existence.
- Discworld | Terry Pratchet
JK there’s already like 8 million of these. And by that I mean more than 40. But seriously – I’ve only read a few of them, but I know some people (coughcough younger brother coughcough) who would be perfectly happy if the number of Discworld books kept growing for all of eternity. Flat world + 4 elephants + turtle + space = large quantities of awesomeness.
- 1920s Australian Science Fiction
Just so we’re clear, this is the Husband Unit’s contribution. And just to be doubly clear, I’m drawing a complete blank for this category. But a dream setting is a dream setting, so here it is. The closest approximation I can offer is the movie The Fountain, a weird weird weird (but good) film that satisfies the realms of science fiction and Australia by virtue of Hugh Jackman being in it. Plus conquistadors, which is historical but not quite the 1920s, and a tree and a space bubble and a monkey. Now accepting more suitable suggestions.