A while back, a fellow blogger posted an entry of her desired fictional destinations. Her mention of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Never Land simply revitalized my disdain for fantasy genre as a whole. And yes, this disdain includes Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which, in my humble opinion, sucked! (The Hobbit is a different matter entirely). I’ve always found the genre to be Eurocentric, unimaginative, and usually, devoid of any philosophical import. I mean, how many people of color or minorities do you read about in these books, unless they are the enemy? Don’t warlocks (except Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda, who’s freakin’ awesome!) and sorceresses, knights and elves, dragons and golems, kings and princesses get old after while?
I’m more of a fan of the science fiction genre. So, being that I’m a big copy-cat, I figure I’d make a list of my preferred fictional destinations, most of which are science fictional. They are in no particular order.
Warning! Nerd-mode has officially been activated.
1. Planet Arrakis from The Dune Saga by Frank Herbert
Scheming barons, laser guns, sword masters, women who can read minds, women who can control their internal biochemistry with their minds, women that can kill with their feet and can control people with the Voice, women who have access to the ancestral memories of their predecessors, legions of exclusively women warriors, sentient machines, prescient rulers of fanatic desert nomad warriors, clones that retain the memories of the original and of each successive clone, space ships that travel by folding the fabric of space-time, geriatric spice that lengthens life and grants prescience and gives you blue-within blue eyes. And to top it off, giant sand-worm gods and god-emperors on a desert world. Religion, politics, ecology, philosophy, martial arts, beautiful (and dangerous!) women, excellent dialogue: the Dune Universe has it all. Science fiction’s supreme masterpiece. Eat your heart out Lord of the Rings!
2. The Lord of Light universe by Roger Zelazny
Screw the Greek pantheon! How about a world where human beings assume the roles of Hindu pantheon? How about machines that can reincarnate you into anything, give you any body you want? I’ll take Mahasamatman’s, Siddhartha Gautama’s, the Buddha’s, the Lord of Light’s battles with Krishna, Kali, and Shiva over Zeus and his squad any day! One of science fiction’s legendary classics.
3. Woodcrest, Illinois from the Boondocks
What happens when you take two Black kids from the ghettos of Chicago and put them in the middle of White suburb? Answer: Aaron McGruder‘s satirical, genius comedy, the Boondocks. I would SO join the shenanigans of the Freeman family in White middle-to-upper class suburbia in a heart beat. Why? Intelligent comedy plus blind nigga samurais that’s why! If you’ve never seen the Boondocks, then you’re doing yourself a huge injustice. Long live Huey Freeman (the kid with the huge afro), the radical, ten year old Black revolutionary and freedom fighter!
4. The Western Air Temple from Avatar: the Last Airbender
People tell me I’d probably be an Earth Bender because of my demeanor and my physical frame (apparently I’m a pretty big guy), but man do I love the lithe, elusive, and spiritual Air Nomads! Who wouldn’t want to visit a Tibetan Buddhist style monastery that hangs upside down under a giant cliff? If you’ve never watched Avatar: the Last Airbender, then you’re once again doing yourself a grave injustice. F*@% the movie adaptation, though.
5. Inside Rama from Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
Say a gigantic cylinder containing an artificial, self-staining world inside suddenly appears in the our solar system and is making its way towards our sun. Do you go exploring inside of it before it gets atomized? Hell yes you do! Another sci-fi classic.
6. The Battle School from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
So check this out. There’s an imminent third conflict between the human race and race of insect-like aliens. You need fighters. What do you do? Easy. You gather the most genius, precocious kids in the world, put them in a school, and train them to fight using video-game like simulations. The thing is this: how do you differentiate between the training simulations and reality? You don’t! You commit xenocide. This is Battle School. Ender’s Game is another sci-fi masterpiece.
7. The Dark Tower from Steven King’s epic the Dark Tower Series
This is the nexus of all existence, a field of red rose with a menacing, black edifice at the center: the Dark Tower. Not exactly science fiction (more like “weird fiction”), but it’s Steven King. Enough said.
8. The office of Professor Hari Seldon from Issac Asimov’s classic Foundation series
You think your graduate adviser is bad-ass? How about the professor who invented the discipline of psychohistory, which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make (nearly) exact predictions of the collective actions of very large groups of people, like nations and civilizations? This guy predicted the fall of a Galactic Empire using mathematics and provided a solution! Not only that, his office only opens up every couple hundred years so that humanity can check on its progress! Can your grad adviser do that? I think not. What sci-fi list would be complete without at least one entry from Asimov?
9. Aboard the Firefly class ship Serenity
Firefly is what results when you synthesize elements of the wild west expansionism with science fiction. An economic war between China and the US leads to the US dominance (doubt it would happen this way in reality). Now imagine roaming the star system as a bounty hunter with this conflict as the backdrop, capturing bad guys wild west style, without the–you know–racist connotations. I’d be all up on the Serenity crew like white of rice! They have such a motley crew. All they need is a Black Muslim to complete the mix.
10. The Farplane from Final Fantasy X
I had to get at least one video game destination in this mix. I warned you Nerd-Mode had been activated! I’d love to visit the Farplane on one my off days. I mean, look at it! Doesn’t look cool! And on top of that, you get to see Auron, a one-eye sword master who wields a sword the size of a human being! You can’t look at that flowing red robe, those stylish sunglasses and that huge blade and tell me you’re not immediately jealous of his swagger!
11. The 13th Hierarchical City Kagutsuchi from Blazblue
The long Dark War with the Black Beast leaves the planet charred. These hierarchical cities are built so that humans can keep living their lives. The Blazblue universe is a interesting one indeed.