Fictional universe

Fictional universe

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A fictional universe is a self-consistent
Consistency
Consistency can refer to:* Consistency , the psychological need to be consistent with prior acts and statements* "Consistency", an 1887 speech by Mark Twain...

 fictional setting with elements that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm (or world).

The terms multiverse, parallel universe
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

, alternate history, story or screen bible, backstory and crossover
Fictional crossover
A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common...

 have a considerable amount of overlap with fictional universes.

A fictional universe can be almost indistinguishable from the real world, except for the presence of the invented characters and events that characterize a work of fiction; at the other extreme it can bear little or no resemblance to reality, with invented fundamental principles of space and time.

The subject is most commonly addressed in reference to fictional universes that differ markedly from reality, such as those that introduce entire fictional cities, countries, or even planets, or those that contradict commonly known facts about the world and its history, or those that feature fantasy or science fiction concepts such as magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 or faster than light travel—and especially those in which the deliberate development of the setting is a substantial focus of the work.

Definition


What distinguishes a fictional universe from a simple setting is the level of detail and internal consistency. A fictional universe has an established continuity and internal logic that must be adhered to throughout the work and even across separate works. So, for instance, many books may be set in conflicting fictional versions of Victorian London, but all the stories of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

 are set in the same Victorian London. However, the various film series based on Sherlock Holmes follow their own separate continuities, and so do not take place in the same fictional universe.

The history and geography of a fictional universe are well-defined, and maps and timelines are often included in works set within them. Even languages
Fictional language
Fictional languages are by far the largest group of artistic languages. Fictional languages are intended to be the languages of a fictional world and are often designed with the intent of giving more depth and an appearance of plausibility to the fictional worlds with which they are associated, and...

 may be constructed. When subsequent works are written within the same universe, care is usually taken to ensure that established facts of the canon
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

 are not violated. Even if the fictional universe involves concepts such as magic that don't exist in the real world, these must adhere to a set of rules established by the author.

A famous example of a fictional universe is Arda
Arda
In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Arda is the name given to the Earth in a period of prehistory, wherein the places mentioned in The Lord of the Rings and related material once existed...

, of J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

's books The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

and The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion is a collection of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic works, edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, who later became a noted fantasy writer. The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R...

. He created first its languages
Languages of Arda
The languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien are a set of constructed languages, of which most but not all were created for his fictional universe, often called Middle-earth...

 and then the world itself, which he states was "primarily linguistic in inspiration and was begun in order to provide the necessary 'history' for the Elvish tongues."

Virtually every successful fictional TV series or comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 develops its own "universe" to keep track of the various episodes or issues. Writers for that series must follow the story bible, which often becomes the series canon
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

. For example, the American sitcom Friends
Friends
Friends is an American sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television...

posits a universe where the soap opera
Soap opera
A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble,...

 Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives
Days of our Lives is a long running daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around...

has a continuing character named Dr. Drake Ramoray and the actor in that role often hangs out at the fictional coffee shop Central Perk. Spin-off
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

 TV series (for example, Friends spin-off Joey
Joey (TV series)
Joey is an American sitcom, which stars Matt LeBlanc reprising his role as Joey Tribbiani from the sitcom Friends. It premiered on the NBC television network, on September 9, 2004, in the former time slot of its parent series, Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m...

and fellow NBC sitcoms Mad About You
Mad About You
Mad About You is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 23, 1992 to May 24, 1999. The show starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a newly married couple in New York City. Reiser played Paul Buchman, a documentary film maker. Hunt played Jamie Stemple Buchman, a public relations specialist...

and Seinfeld
Seinfeld
Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

) are often set in the same universe. Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 resides in the fictional municipalities of Smallville and Metropolis
Metropolis (comics)
Metropolis is a fictional city that appears in comic books published by DC Comics, and is the home of Superman. Metropolis first appeared by name in Action Comics #16 ....

, both of which have extensive backstories.

Frequently, when a series gets too complicated or too self-inconsistent (because of, for example, too many writers), the producers or publishers will introduce retroactive continuity (retcon) to make future editions easier to write and more consistent. This creates an alternate universe that future authors can write about. These stories about the universe or universes that existed before the retcon are usually not canonical, unless the franchise-holder gives permission. Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths is a 12-issue American comic book limited series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then 50-year-old continuity...

was an especially sweeping example.

Scope


Sir Thomas More's Utopia
Utopia (book)
Utopia is a work of fiction by Thomas More published in 1516...

is one of the earliest examples of a cohesive fictional world with its own rules and functional concepts but it comprises only one small island. Later fictional universes, like Robert E. Howard
Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. Best known for his character Conan the Barbarian, he is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre....

's Conan the Cimmerian
Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Barbarian is a fictional sword and sorcery hero that originated in pulp fiction magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films , television programs, video games, roleplaying games and other media...

stories or Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman
Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist, notably the author of the novels Warp , Codex , The Magicians and The Magician King...

's Fillory
Fillory
The Magicians is a fantasy novel by Lev Grossman, published in 2009 by Viking Press. It tells the story of Quentin Coldwater, a teenager from Brooklyn who discovers that the magical world of which he's read in books is, in fact, real...

, are global in scope and some, like Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

, Honorverse
Honorverse
The Honorverse refers to the military science fiction book series and sub-series created by David Weber and published by Baen Books. The series is set primarily after Honor Harrington's October 1, 3961, birth; although she is the protagonist in most of the stories, more recent entries make only...

, or the Lensman series, are galactic or even intergalactic.

A fictional universe may even concern itself with more than one interconnected universe through fictional devices such as dreams, "time travel
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

" or "parallel worlds". Such a series of interconnected universes is often called a multiverse
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

. Such multiverses have been featured prominently in science fiction since at least the mid-20th century.

The classic Star Trek
Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek is an American science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry, produced by Desilu Productions . Star Trek was telecast on NBC from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969...

episode "Mirror, Mirror" introduced the Mirror Universe
Mirror Universe (Star Trek)
The Mirror Universe is a fictional parallel universe in which the plots of several Star Trek television episodes take place...

, in which the crew members of the Starship Enterprise
Starship Enterprise
The Enterprise or USS Enterprise is the name of several fictional starships, some of which are the focal point for various television series and films in the Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. It is considered a name of legacy in the fleet...

 were brutal rather than compassionate. The 2009 movie Star Trek created an "alternate reality" and freed the Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 franchise
Media franchise
A media franchise is an intellectual property involving the characters, setting and trademarks of an original work of media , such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. Generally, a whole series is made in a particular medium, along with merchandising and endorsements...

 from continuity
Continuity (fiction)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time...

 issues. In the mid-1980s, DC
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 comic books' Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths is a 12-issue American comic book limited series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then 50-year-old continuity...

told of numerous parallel universes that were destroyed.

Format


A fictional universe can be contained in a single work, as in George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...

or Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

's Brave New World
Brave New World
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

, or in serial
Serial (literature)
In literature, a serial is a publishing format by which a single large work, most often a work of narrative fiction, is presented in contiguous installments—also known as numbers, parts, or fascicles—either issued as separate publications or appearing in sequential issues of a single periodical...

ized, series
Book series
A book series is a sequence of books having certain characteristics in common that are formally identified together as a group. Book series can be organized in different ways, such as written by the same author, or marketed as a group by their publisher....

-based, open-ended or round robin
Round-robin story
A round-robin story, or simply "round robin," is a type of collaborative fiction or storytelling in which a number of authors each write chapters of a novel or pieces of a story, in rounds. Round-robin novels were invented in the 19th century, and later became a tradition particularly in science...

-style fiction.

In most small-scale fictional universes, general properties and timeline
Timeline
A timeline is a way of displaying a list of events in chronological order, sometimes described as a project artifact . It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates alongside itself and events labeled on points where they would have happened.-Uses of timelines:Timelines...

 events fit into a consistently organized continuity
Continuity (fiction)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time...

. However, in the case of universes that are rewritten or revised by different writer
Writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

s, editors
Editing
Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information through the processes of correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete...

 or producers, this continuity may be violated, by accident or by design—film productions are notorious for altering fictional canon of written series.

The occasional publishing use of retroactive continuity (retcon
Retcon
Retroactive continuity is the alteration of previously established facts in a fictional work. Retcons are done for many reasons, including the accommodation of sequels or further derivative works in a series, wherein newer authors or creators want to revise the in-story history to allow a course...

) often occurs due to this kind of revision or oversight. Members of fandom
Fandom
Fandom is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest...

 often create a kind of fan-made canon (fanon) to patch up such errors; "fanon" that becomes generally accepted sometimes becomes actual canon. Other fan-made additions to a universe (fan fiction
Fan fiction
Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator...

, alternative universe
Parallel universe (fiction)
A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

, pastiche
Pastiche
A pastiche is a literary or other artistic genre or technique that is a "hodge-podge" or imitation. The word is also a linguistic term used to describe an early stage in the development of a pidgin language.-Hodge-podge:...

, parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

) are usually not considered canonical unless they get authorized
Authorization
Authorization is the function of specifying access rights to resources, which is related to information security and computer security in general and to access control in particular. More formally, "to authorize" is to define access policy...

.

Collaboration


Shared universes often come about when a fictional universe achieves great commercial success and attracts other media. For example, a successful movie may catch the attention of various book authors, who wish to write stories based on that movie. Under US law, the copyright-holder retains control of all other derivative work
Derivative work
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work .-Definition:...

s, including those written by other authors. But they might not feel comfortable in those other mediums or may feel that other individuals will do a better job. Therefore, they may open up the copyright on a shared-universe basis. The degree to which the copyright-holder or franchise retains control is often one of the points in the license agreement.

For example, the comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 was so popular that it spawned over 30 different radio, television and movie series and a similar number of video games, as well as theme park rides, books and songs. In the other direction, both Star Trek
Star Trek
Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The core of Star Trek is its six television series: The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise...

 and Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

 are responsible for hundreds of books and games of varying levels of canonicity
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

.

Fictional universes are sometimes shared by multiple prose authors, with each author's works in that universe being granted approximately equal canonical
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

 status. For example, Larry Niven
Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven / ˈlæri ˈnɪvən/ is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld , which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics...

's fictional universe Known Space
Known Space
Known Space is the fictional setting of some dozen science fiction novels and several collections of short stories written by author Larry Niven. It has also in part been used as a shared universe in the Man-Kzin Wars spin-off anthologies sub-series....

 has an approximately 135 year period in which Niven allows other authors to write stories about the Man-Kzin Wars
Man-Kzin Wars
The Man-Kzin Wars is a series of military science fiction short story collections , as well as the eponymous conflicts between mankind and the Kzinti that they detail...

. Other fictional universes, like the Ring of Fire series, actively court canonical stimulus from fans
The Grantville Gazettes
The Grantville Gazettes are anthologies of short stories set in the 1632 universe introduced in Eric Flint's novel 1632.The Gazettes started as an experiment: a professionally edited, officially sanctioned "fan magazine" published electronically...

, but gate and control the changes through a formalized process and the final say of the editor and universe creator
Eric Flint
Eric Flint is an American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.- Career :...

.

Other universes are created by one or several authors but are intended to be used non-canonically by others, such as the fictional settings for game
Game
A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements...

s, particularly role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

s and video games. Settings for the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. . The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997...

are called campaign setting
Campaign setting
A campaign setting is usually a fictional world which serves as a setting for a role-playing game or wargame campaign. A campaign is a series of individual adventures, and a campaign setting is the world in which such adventures and campaigns take place...

s; other games have also incorporated this term on occasion. Virtual world
Virtual world
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...

s are fictional worlds in which online
ONLINE
ONLINE is a magazine for information systems first published in 1977. The publisher Online, Inc. was founded the year before. In May 2002, Information Today, Inc. acquired the assets of Online Inc....

 computer games, notably MMORPG
MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

s and MUD
MUD
A MUD , pronounced , is a multiplayer real-time virtual world, with the term usually referring to text-based instances of these. MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat...

s, take place. A fictional crossover
Fictional crossover
A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common...

 occurs when two or more fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

s, series or universes cross over with one another, usually in the context of a character created by one author or owned by one company meeting a character created or owned by another. In the case where two fictional universes covering entire actual universes cross over, physical travel from one universe to another may actually occur in the course of the story. Such crossovers are usually, but not always, considered non-canonical by their creators or by those in charge of the properties
Intellectual property
Intellectual property is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized—and the corresponding fields of law...

 involved.

See also


  • Alternate history
    Alternate history (fiction)
    Alternate history or alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories that are set in worlds in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. It can be variously seen as a sub-genre of literary fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction; different alternate...

  • Alternative universe (fan fiction)
    Alternative universe (fan fiction)
    An alternative universe , commonly abbreviated as AU, is a type or form of in which canonical facts of setting or characterization in the universe being explored or written about are deliberately changed.Stories that fall into this definition are usually what-ifs, where possibilities arising from...

  • Constructed world
  • Continuity (fiction)
    Continuity (fiction)
    In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time...

  • Diegesis
    Diegesis
    Diegesis is a style of representation in fiction and is:# the world in which the situations and events narrated occur; and# telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting.In diegesis the narrator tells the story...

  • Expanded universe
    Expanded Universe
    The term Expanded Universe is generally used to denote the 'extension' of a media franchise with other media...

  • Fantasy world
    Fantasy world
    A fantasy world is a fictional universe used in fantasy novels and games. Typical worlds involve magic or magical abilities and often, but not always, either a medieval or futuristic theme...

  • Fictional country
    Fictional country
    A fictional country is a country that is made up for fictional stories, and does not exist in real life, or one that people believe in without proof....

  • Fictional location
    Fictional location
    Fictional locations are places that exist only in fiction and not in reality. Writers may create and describe such places to serve as backdrop for their fictional works. Fictional locations are also created for use as settings in Role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons...

  • Future history
    Future history
    A future history is a postulated history of the future and is used by authors in the subgenre of speculative fiction to construct a common background for fiction...

  • Index of fictional places
    Index of fictional places
    * Alternate history* Campaign setting* Counterfactual history* Fantasy worldFictional populated places * List of fictional city-states* List of fictional towns and villages* Fictional islands* Fictional companies* Fictional counties...

  • List of fictional universes
  • Micronation
    Micronation
    Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations...

  • Mythical place
    Mythical place
    Places which appear in mythology, folklore or religious texts or tradition, but which are not probably genuine places, include:...

  • Paracosm
    Paracosm
    A paracosm is a detailed imaginary world involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations. Often having its own geography, history, and language, it is an experience that is developed during childhood and continues over a long period of time: months or even years.The...

  • Parallel universe
    Parallel universe (fiction)
    A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality...

  • Planets in science fiction
    Planets in science fiction
    Planets in science fiction are fictional planets that appear in various media, especially those of the science fiction genre, as story-settings or depicted locations.-History:...

  • Setting (fiction)
    Setting (fiction)
    In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may...

  • Simulated reality
    Simulated reality
    Simulated reality is the proposition that reality could be simulated—perhaps by computer simulation—to a degree indistinguishable from "true" reality. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not be fully aware that they are living inside a simulation....

  • Virtual reality
    Virtual reality
    Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...