What Fantastical Mileu hasn't been Fantasied?

Mon0Zer0

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Following on from this conversation, about Fantasy being stuck in the mud, and P Djeli Clar's novel "A Master of Djinn" set in an alt-history Cairo, what mileus haven't been featured enough in fantasy fiction?
 

Wayne Mack

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I feel there are a lot of ignored or under-represented cultures and environments that could lead to interesting tales. Pick up a world map and pick almost any locale, save much of western Europe, and research tits history. Also, skip using elves, dwarves, and European dragons.
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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Pretty much all of sub-Saharan Africa is untouched. Probably due largely to the relative paucity of African fantasy writers. Pre-Columbian North America, i.e. Native American/First Nations, is also unrepresented.
One that's always intrigued me is the Great Zimbabwe civilisation. A secretive culture in the East African interior who mined, traded and crafted gold, built some seriously impressive stone cities, and who disappeared a mere 600 years ago leaving no written evidence and no oral tradition. (Almost certainly not a lost tribe of Israelites, contra the archaeologists of Rider Haggard's day.) Seems tailor-made for a writer who's interested in history but willing to speculate a bit.
 

BAYLOR

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What about Mayas, Aztecs Incas, Toltecs, and all various advanced cultures I the new world. Ans what not a fantasy series dealing with the Anasazi ?
 

Abernovo

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Mayas, Aztecs Incas, Toltecs
Aliette de Bodard and Rebecca Roanhorse have written fantasy with the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. The cultures have also worked their influence into some of the South American magical realism, in terms of settings amongst the ruins, myths, and supernatural themes.
One that's always intrigued me is the Great Zimbabwe civilisation.
I was fascinated by the city of Great Zimbabwe when I first saw pictures, and I have been ever since. On the plus side, sub-Saharan voices are gaining more traction in fantasy, both in the diaspora, and at home. Ben Okri, Tomi Adeyemi come to mind. There will be others.

For my own interest, I'd love to read a fantasy detective story, set in ancient Sumer, where the cases are recorded in cuneiform. However, that's so specific, I may have to follow the old advice for when you can't find the story you want to read. Or a non-violent (or not overtly violent) fantasy set in ancient central Asia.
 

The Big Peat

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I feel there are a lot of ignored or under-represented cultures and environments that could lead to interesting tales. Pick up a world map and pick almost any locale, save much of western Europe, and research tits history. Also, skip using elves, dwarves, and European dragons.

This. And even in the sort of triangle that forms most of fantasy's underpinnings - basically France, the British Isles, and Scandinavia - there's no end of fascinating little tidbits that have gone ignored for the most part.
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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A couple more visually arresting settings:

The pre-contact Amazon basin. Before the indigenous population crash and colonial land grabs, there were large agricultural areas deep within the forest. Careful management of soil quality was a matter of life and death. Many of today's small, semi-nomadic tribes apparently have traditions inherited from their settled ancestors. I love the image of these islands of sustainable farmland hidden in the jungle.

The Liangzhu culture in neolithic China. Early city-builders who were heavily into water management. Their capital city was like an ancient version of Venice: there was a network of canals within the walls, linked to more canals and dams sprawling across the flood plain.
 

Guttersnipe

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Considering we're talking about fantasy, why not go further afield? How about a whole novel set in Hell? Or inside a clock, with springs and sprockets as characters?
There are lots of novels set in the afterlife, even, at least, one in Hell (Chuck Palahniuk's Damned). It's called Bangsian fantasy. But you're right--there are many options if you let your mind go wild. That's what's encouraged.
 

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