Okay, natural extension for the “five real places you’d like to visit” meme: What are five fictional places you’d like to visit for a vacation? Not to live, just to visit. Assume a competent tourism industry and not only that, but you can assume any horrible world-shattering cataclysms, wars, dark lords, and other emergencies will hold off while you’re there. You get a nice vacation before or after a crisis, or in a locale where the crisis is temporarily in abeyance.
I know, limiting it to five would be really hard! But let me see. I don’t want to pick low-hanging fruit by saying Rivendell or anything like that. I want to pick things a little less obvious. Also, I have zero desire to visit any location in a world with slapstick elements, such as Hogwarts or any place on the Diskworld.
The choices below are mostly in the order I thought of them, not in any kind of priority order.
1)The City and the City.
I don’t entirely believe in Beszel and Ul Qoma. But what a remarkable idea. I would like to visit the city and the other city and just experience this whole unseeing thing, or watch citizens of the two cities manage to unsee the other city.
2) The Temple City of Duvalpore in Martha Wells’ The Wheel of the Infinite.
What a beautiful place. All those lovely canals and temples and palaces. Of course the right time to visit would be during the festival when the rite when the Wheel is redrawn.
3) The Quaddie habitats in LMB’s universe. I’d like to see the Minchenko Ballet. There aren’t any good covers for any LMB novel (right?), but at least this version of Diplomatic Immunity tries to feature a Quaddie.
Admittedly, it doesn’t do a very good job. But sure, points for trying.
4) Larry Nivan’s Ringworld. Here’s the artwork, sans text, because hey, Michael Whelan’s art is always worth emphasizing.
This would be a fantastic place for a working vacation — imagine being a naturalist here. I would want to stay for a good long time. A year, maybe, rather than a couple of weeks. Not sure I’d want to actually live there forever, but a loooong vacation for sure.
5) The Floating Islands.
I would really like to visit the Floating Islands, try to see the dragons, eat the amazing food, and just generally sight-see.
How about you all? Which SFF world would you pick for a vacation?