Interesting post I happened across: WHAT IN THE WORLDBUILDING: SPORTS IN SCI-FI AND FANTASY (WHERE ARE THEY?)
As it happens, when it comes to sports, I am among the most entirely disinterested people you’ll ever meet. I barely know (or care) whether the Super Bowl is a football thing or a baseball thing.
Nevertheless, the title of that post did catch my eye. It made me think immediately of the Spiritwalker trilogy by Kate Elliot, where a particular type of handball sport was very important. I believe the reader encounters this aspect of the plot in the second book, but regardless, it’s definitely front and center for some part of the trilogy.
And obviously there’s quidditch.
Still, it’s true that we don’t see that many teams playing sports in SFF worlds (do we?). The author of the post says:
Because this is something that’s always been a mystery to me: how is that these elaborate SFF worlds come with their own ecology and political landscape and four fictional languages with five dialects each, but so rarely feature their own sporting events?
Which, okay, I grant, that’s a fair point. The author goes on to note a few instances where sports appear in SFF novels, and I have to admit, I totally missed the gladiatorial combat with sharks in Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamorra series (How did I miss that? It sounds pretty impressive.).
She then goes on to suggest reasons sports might not be a thing SFF authors include in worldbuilding. In my case, I guess it’s #1 (not a sports fan in real life) and #4 (not an expected feature, so I don’t think about it).
However, I do feel like I’ve skimmed across descriptions of sports here and there in SFF novels. Anybody got an example they can think of?