Day for of Armchair BEA is here! We're reaching the end, which is definitely bittersweet. I've had such a fun time participating this year.
We're talking about fictional worlds today, which is one of my favorite aspects of many books. I mentioned in my Armchair BEA introduction post that world building is a big part of why fantasy is my favorite genre. Needless to say, it's something that I'm excited to discuss.
When it comes to the fictional worlds I want to live in the most, it will surprise no one who knows me when I say: Harry Potter. I'm too old to go to Hogwarts now, but even so, if I could magically appear in the Harry Potter world right now and live in it as an adult, I'd take the opportunity. I don't know how I could not. There might be some lingering sadness that I couldn't go to Hogwarts, but I would still be over the moon about getting to explore the wizarding world.
Just strolling around Diagon Alley would make me happy. Or Hogsmeade. Or the Ministry of Magic. Honestly, I would just explore. I'd probably be satisfied with being able to explore as a muggle, but if I was lucky enough to discover that I was a witch, I would, of course, immediately make my way to Flourish and Blotts (assuming I was still too old to attend Hogwarts) and Ollivander's to get everything I needed to begin learning magic.
That being said, I'd like to be in the Harry Potter universe when everything is peaceful, not in the midst of the war. If you were to ask me if I'd want to live in our reality or go to Hogwarts during the war, I'm not sure what I would choose.
That's what makes saying I'd want to live in fictional worlds difficult for me. There are plenty of fictional worlds that I'd love to explore, but I'd also like to not get caught up in any life or death struggles that the main characters often go through. Give me the option of explore them free from all that, and I'll probably say yes.
As for fictional worlds I wouldn't want to visit no matter what the circumstances, just about every dystopian world would apply. It's such a cliche answer, but there are reasons for that. I could visit many of those worlds without threat of death if I stayed out of the main conflicts shown in the books and if I was careful to follow the status quo. But following the status quo would mean being complicit in all of these terrible systems, and I just don't know if I could consider that a positive experience. I think I'm much better off sticking to reading about dystopian worlds in books.
Although maybe I would visit some of them once everything had been resolved and they're building a better world. Panem, for instance, might be cool to explore once they're rebuilding just to see how things have changed and how they've made their world a better place (hopefully).
For the most part though, I'd consider dystopian worlds as off limits for me.