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Fantasy world

A fantasy world is an imaginary place or time in which magic or other similar powers work. The world may be a parallel realm or dimension tenuously connected to our world via mystic gates (like Narnia and The Dreamlands); somewhere in our mythical past (like Middle-earth and Hyborian Age) or future (Earthdawn, Dying Earth); or the story may have no reference to our reality at all.

J. R. R. Tolkien created Middle-earth, one of the better known fantasy worlds, and he wrote at some length about the process of creating them, which he called "subcreation". Most of the commercial fantasy writers like David Eddings and Robert Jordan write close copies of his tale.

Dungeons & Dragons, the first role-playing game has created several detailed and commercially successful fantasy worlds, with established and recognizable characters, locations, histories, and sociologies. The Forgotten Realms is perhaps the most extensively developed of these worlds. These elements of detail can be a large part of what attracts people to RPGs.

Many established fantasy writers have also derided Dungeons and Dragons because new writers tend to read the D&D Monster Manual instead of studying original mythologies from which the fantasy literature has sprung.

Due to the fuzzy boundary between fantasy and science fiction, it is similarly difficult to make a hard-and-fast distinction between "fantasy worlds" and planets in science fiction. For example, the worlds of Barsoom, Darkover, Gor, and the Witch World combine elements of both genres.

Table of contents
1 Pseudo-medieval fantasy worlds
2 Planetary Romance
3 Multidimensional fantasy worlds
4 Sword and Sorcery and heroic fantasy worlds
5 Books

Pseudo-medieval fantasy worlds

This is the most common type. Social conditions are modeled on medieval Europe although many stories have numerous gods and goddesses that suggest polytheism. They include Forgotten Realms and most other fantasy worlds connected to Dungeons and Dragons RPG. See also High fantasy.

Planetary Romance

Planets with fantasy trappings and usually magic and/or a pretext why swords and other melee weapons are necessary.
Barsoom tales are close runner. Many of the earlier tales were fantasy thinly disguised as science fiction.

Multidimensional fantasy worlds

Some stories take place in a series of connected universes (see:
multiverse). Noted for this include:

Sword and Sorcery and heroic fantasy worlds

Other fantasy worlds include: See also contemporary fantasy, juvenile fantasy, and urban fantasy