I’d like to ask members of the Worldbuilding community: can you recommend any fiction, poetry, film, or other media about the process of world-building? To clarify, I’m not asking for works that are the result of world-building (as most sci-fi and fantasy pieces are), but rather your favorite works that deal with the process and appeal of designing a fictional world.
Why am I asking this question? Recently, I’ve read two pieces that handle this theme, and I really enjoyed how they made me think deeply about the process of participating in WSE:
- Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, in which the protagonist learns of a secret society of academics who work to design a fictional society from the bottom up by “cataloguing” it in a series of encyclopedias.
- Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities, in which Marco Polo narrates to Kublai Khan about the strange cities that he has encountered during his travels. It eventually becomes doubtful whether Polo has actually seen these cities or is just inventing them himself (and whether it even makes any difference if they’re real or not).
I’d love to hear some suggestions for further reading/viewing about Worldbuilding-related topics! (Especially from experienced WSE users who have been doing this for much longer than myself.)