terminology question

Is there a standard term in fantasy (or for that matter, science fiction) for secondary worlds that are distinctly based on a specific primary-world culture? I mean things like the Not-Japan of Lian Hearn’s Tales of the Otori, etc — settings where the author has lifted an entire culture en masse, rather than just taking elements of it. Is there a word for that?

0 Responses to “terminology question”

  1. novalis

    Guy Gavriel Kay?

  2. astres

    Parallel universe?

  3. nojojojo

    I haven’t yet gotten my copy of The Rhetorics of Fantasy, but I did attend an interesting panel at World Fantasy where she (Mendelson) talked about terminology. I know she used “immersive” to refer to a secondary world that is original, no relation to our own. And I seem to recall hearing her use the term “mirror fantasy”, but I’m not sure if that was applied to a non-original/derivative secondary world or something else.

    I need to order that book. -_-

  4. strangerian

    If there were a good term for it, I suspect it would have been discovered, or coined, about the time Dune was published. It’s reasonably clear that Middle Earth maps vaguely onto Europe, for that matter, but “secondary world” seems a little too general. We need the word for a secondary world *of* something that’s more single-source, more coherent, right?

  5. markdf

    Derivative? 😉

    In Zelazny’s Amber series, his characters used the phrase “shadow worlds (or realm?)” to describe similar worlds that are “shadows” of Amber, the one true world.

    In the comics world, there’s the term “pocket universe” which usually is about grabbing something non-continuity and sticking it in another dimension. They tend to be worlds that have the exact same histories and cultures as ours except one thing changed everything.

    Um, um, are you doing a blog entry/essay/PhD proposal :)? Maybe context for what you need it for will spark something.

  6. dr_whom

    Fantasy Counterpart Culture?

  7. pameladean

    Off-topic triviality: I love that icon.


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