Top Ten Tuesday 61: Worldbuilding 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme: Top Ten books on my syllabus for Worldbuilding 101

These are books with fantastic and intricately detailed worlds that have blown me away with their uniqueness, implications, or just plain awesomeness!


No surprises here! Sanderson is a master of worldbuilding, and Roshar is no exception. Everything about it, from the spren to the politics to the gender roles to the magical creatures, has been carefully crafted to create one incredible world.

This world blows me away with its complexity, not because of a crazy magic system  or magical creatures, but because of all the different cultures and their unique take on gender. Plus, parallel universes. Sold.
 Promise of Blood (The Powder Mage, #1)

I'll admit I thought this world was kind of cluttered at first because it had so much going on (powder mages, elementals, gods, manipulative false priests...) but this world is just plain awesome. I mean, magic in the time of gunpowder and guillotines. Awesomeness.
 Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)

Technically, the world in this series is our world just far in the future. But it's so believable that a mega-corporation is going to make us want to be young again in exchange for fighting in intergalactic wars. Okay, so maybe I'm not so convincing, but Scalzi definitely is!

Considering the organ shortage and the number of wards of the state/"troublesome" kids we have, it's not really so crazy to imagine a world where teenagers are "unwound" and allowed to live "in a divided state" after being donated in pieces to other people in need. Thoroughly creepy and chilling, and what's even worse is that Shusterman includes real news articles that show us that we aren't as far away from this future as we might think. The world become increasingly complex and plausible as the series goes on, and I found it utterly terrifying.

Speaking of terrifying, this book takes place in a future where climate change has flooded most of the world and very few plants survive. People are desperate for food, and the search for genetically modified seeds that can still grow in the wasteland of earth is intense. But plants aren't the only things being genetically modified...

As intricate as this world is, it's the characters I remember. Definitely worth a read.

This book is really cool because it's portal fantasy and the fantasy world is an archipelago with a bunch of warring city-states. It's fun to see modern technology collide with the magical world, especially with our curious biologist protagonist. The politics of Stormwrack were really interesting, as is the magic system and the way the fantasy world intersects with the real world.

The world in this book is simply epic, and it's crazy how much the world influences the culture and implications of people's actions here. Mind-blowingly awesome!

I may not be the biggest fan of this series, but I have to admit it's a very rich fantasy world with a very intriguing mythology. I'm not a fan of the characters in this book, but the worldbuilding is incredible!

This is one of those books where the world is a character all on its own. Everything about this book is gorgeous and I cannot recommend it enough!

What are some of your favorite fantasy and sci-fi worlds?

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