Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Underutilized Settings

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! Once hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, it is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s a weekly book feature where a topical list-prompt is posted and readers respond with their top ten for that prompt. Yours truly tends to go over ten, but hey, what can a passionate reader do?

This week’s topic is: Settings I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All)

This one was a little challenging, because at first, I was like, “Oh, I totally have tons of things I want to see more of,” before I reread it and realized it was settings I want to see more of, which is a bit different. So, here are some of my favorite settings that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. And though I’m sure there are plenty of books (hopefully, probably?) that already use these settings, these are settings that, for me, personally, I haven’t stumbled across enough and would love to read more!

Anything That Isn’t Western Culture: I feel like this might be self explanatory, but I will never get enough of novels that aren’t set in a world I’m familiar with, inspired by a history I don’t share. I want more of those worlds and more of those characters.

Hidden Cities: Except, I’d love to read a story where the conflict isn’t about being found or trying to escape. I dunno what the conflict would be, but hidden cities or entire civilizations would be fun to see.

Peaceful Kingdom by andreasrocha
Artist Cred

Airships: Um, I am such a sucker for airships. I love steampunk as an entire genre and I don’t read it nearly enough. But I freakin’ love airships and I’d love to read more works incorporating them and hell, even taking place completely on them.

Steampunk Cityscapes | [image: Inline image 2][image: Inline… | Flickr
Artist Cred
Forested Cities: I am trash for the fantasy genre, so I love me your traditional forest setting (it’s also one of my favorites to write); especially since exploring and hiking in a forest is one of the favorite things to do, um, ever. But, I’d love to see more forested realms or cities (think Lothlorien, which completely and definitely ignited this desire), since Peter Jackson has basically made me wish that was my actual home since 2001.

makemechoose GIF

Ships: I think I just don’t read enough fantasy that incorporates ships, but I’d be seriously game to read more fantasy aboard ships (or more fantasy pirates, honestly).

season 2 starz GIF by Black Sails

Animals as Homes: This one is a little out there, but hear me out: an entire civilization that lives off the backs of GIANT ANIMALS.

(I swear I saw incredible art that had this, once, but for the life of me, I cannot find it again, which is so infuriating, because I cannot do this justice.)

Jungle: While I love my forest, I think jungles are bit unexplored and I’d love to see more of it! Oh, and why not add volcanoes in the mix, because honestly? How rad would that be, to live in a civilization that is able to live in a volcano, but always has to vacate when they erupt, forcing them on a journey to find another dormant one before the cycle starts all over again?

dinosaur jungle GIF

Desert: The sand. The heat. The vast endlessness of it. Give me more journeys across that.

wide eyed wow GIF by Men In Black: International

Cyberpunk: What can I say, this is growing on me and I just love to write in this very futuristic, gritty, surreal environment and it’s a great palette cleanser from my traditional fantasy readings.

sci-fi televisions GIF

Dead Realms: Give me more stories set in realms like Hades’ Underworld: dark, depressing, yet beautiful and terrifying.

movies, Underworld Hades - Hercules

Cave Dwellings: An entire civilization set in a massive cave network. Glowing cave worms providing light. I dunno, I think it’d be cool to see this done as a focus in a narrative, instead of just a shelter or another part of the passing landscape (or just nightmare fuel, as it usually is for me).

dark cave GIF

What do you think? Do you agree with these choices (or have any favorites that incorporate these settings)? What do you think I should have added? Let me know in the comments below and Happy Tuesday!

Read on!

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Underutilized Settings”

  1. I like your desert choice. Just one day out of water, and everyone’s in dire jeopardy! I think a story in an ordinary town or location but with something out of kilter, like the town is quarantined, or the bright city has a power outage and no one (because they live in a city) has gas backup generators.

  2. I live in the desert, so I get enough of that setting every day! I’m not a boat lover, but I did include “at sea” as a favorite setting on my list today because I do love a good book set in the ocean. I’m not much for fantasy, but I’m down for a good historical, mystery, survival story, or even a non-fiction book about drama on the sea.

    Happy TTT!


    1. I’ve never even seen a real desert, let alone actually walked through one! But, I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want to read about it! And yay more sea novels!

      Happy TTT!

  3. Can I just like…fling the rest of my projects at you upon completion?

    One takes place in a dark world with taverns the size of cities.

    One takes place in an underworld with glow bacteria on the ceiling which simulates the day time.

    Another that’s just a plot bunny takes place entirely underwater on the skeletons of whales.

  4. Solid list.
    I feel like a bunch of these are “event” settings or whatever, where they happen in fantasy but only for the climactic destruction of the ring or whatever. It would be really interesting to get more slice of life stuff from dwarven cave cities instead of just “That’s where we fought the_____”

  5. Okay, so I have never ever tried writing fantasy stories, but after reading your post there are SO MANY THINGS I WANT TO WRITE with these settings ahhhh. These are such great choices. An entire hidden civilization or city sounds so great to write about, and giant animals, and forests and ahhhhhhhh. I’m having all the ideas in my head, these all sound so good. This is a fantastic list! 😀

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