Fictional Realms

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Fictional realms are settings, whether countries, planets, universes or alternative realities, in which one or more stories are set. Some fictional realms are made over new by many authors who contribute their own takes on the stuff of legend, such as sunken Atlantis. Others are unique to one author, such as J. K. Rowling's wizarding world of the Harry Potter series. It could be argued that every work of fiction generates a world of its own, but to qualify as a fictional, alternative reality the setting should be distinct and germaine to the stories told there. By its very nature, fantasy and science fiction tends to generate fictional realms, but they may also apply to other types of writing where the time and place in which stories are set invokes a sense of a world apart and unique to the purpose of casting the tales told in it.

J. R. R. Tolkien has created Middle Earth, one of the better-known fictional worlds, and he has written at some length about the process of creating them, which he calls "subcreation".