The concept of world and the practice of world creation have been with us since antiquity, but they are now achieving unequalled prominence. In this timely anthology of subcreation studies, an international roster of contributors come together to examine the rise and structure of worlds, the practice of world-building, and the audience's reception of imaginary worlds. Including essays written by world-builders A.K. Dewdney and Alex McDowell and offering critical analyses of popular worlds such as those of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and Minecraft, Revisiting Imaginary Worlds provides readers with a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the issues and concepts involved in imaginary worlds across media platforms.
Mark J. P. Wolf is a Full Professor and Department Chair of the Communication Department at Concordia University, Wisconsin. His books include Abstracting Reality, The Medium of the Video Game, Virtual Morality, The Video Game Explosion, Myst and Riven: The World of the D'ni, Before the Crash, Encyclopedia of Video Games, Building Imaginary Worlds, The LEGO Studies Reader, and Video Games Around the World. With Bernard Perron, he is the co-editor of The Video Game Theory Reader 1 and 2, and the Landmark Video Game book series.
Introduction Mark J. P. Wolf I. Worlds on the Rise 1. Why Worlds Now? Marie-Laure Ryan 2. Fictional World-Building as Ritual, Drama, and Film Lily Alexander 3. The Past as an Imaginary World: The Case of Medievalism Dimitra Fimi II. Structure 4. The Subcreation of J. R. R .Tolkien's Middle-earth and How it Became Transmedial Culture Lars Konzack 5. Secondary World Infrastructures and Tabletop Fantasy Games Neal Baker 6. Battlestar Galactica and Caprica: Using Religion to Create Imagined Worlds Erica Hurwitz Andrus 7. God's Infinite Loop: Religious Impulse in World-Building Edward Castronova 8. Spawn This: The Imaginary Worldssssss of Minecraft Lori Landay III. Practice 9. A New Wonderland: The Source of It All Michael O. Riley 10. "All Over the Map": Building (and Rebuilding) Oz Henry Jenkins 11. Discovering the Planiverse A. K. Dewdney 12. The Rilao Project: World Building for the Future of Narrative Alex McDowell 13. Imaginary Countries on the Field of Battle David W. Brown IV. Reception 14. "Trek in Name Only": J. J. Abrams's Anti-Fans, Trekkers, and Ontological Security William Proctor 15. The Hyper-enchantment of Visiting an Imaginary World: Liveness, Brand Fandom and Moments of `Being There' Matt Hills 16. The Importance of Overflow and Chunking in World-Building and the Experiencing of Worlds Mark J. P. Wolf 17. Language Makes and Breaks Worlds: China Mieville's Embassytown Gerard Hynes 18. Destroying Arcadia: Undermining Literary Britain in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Jennifer Harwood-Smith 19. Bookland: Connie Willis's Construction of England Helen Conrad-O'Briain Appendix: Worlds Apart: Toward a Canon of Imaginary Worlds Mark J. P. Wolf