Whether you’re a fan of music, movies, TV shows, or books, you’ve probably found yourself transported to a few places that don’t exist. Fictional cities, if written well, can make you homesick for somewhere you’ve never been, wishing for a plane ticket to somewhere you’ll never go. Some creators craft fantastical worlds full of magic and monsters unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Others are more inspired by real life, presenting you with a city that feels as real as the one you live in.
What makes these fictional cities so iconic? Some may say the escapism makes a fictional location exciting, while some may appreciate the opportunity to analyze and comment on the real world using a fictional place. Whatever the reason, there are a variety of fictional realms that have gained notoriety in the real world. Let’s break down a few of the most iconic fictional locations in popular media.
Springfield, and beyond
One of the most popular and longest running TV shows on air today is The Simpsons, which takes place in Springfield. While there are several U.S. states that have a city called Springfield, there is a running joke that the show never specifies what state this Springfield is in. Despite taking up an unidentified space in the fictional United States, Springfield has a colorful cast of characters and locations that die-hard fans know more intimately than their hometowns.
Next on the list of fictional cities is Gotham City, which first appeared in 1940. Home to Batman and a gallery of equally comical and sinister villains, Gotham City has been imagined and represented in comics, film, video games, and so many other mediums. Some argue that Gotham City is meant to be an analogue to New York or New Jersey due to its distinctly grey and gritty East Coast feel.
While not technically a city, Wonderland is a significant fictional location because of its appearance in several famous stories by and adapted from Lewis Carroll. Wonderland is a whimsical world filled with nonsense words and creatures of Carroll’s own creation. The fantastical land has inspired children and adults alike for over a century, making it one of the most famous fictional locations.
Explore Del Rio
There are so many fictional cities, countries, and universes to get lost in no matter what your interests are. This winter, pick up a book and take yourself on a vacation to somewhere that’s too good to be real.
If you’re looking for a fictional city to get acquainted with this holiday season, we recommend Del Rio, a novel by Jane Rosenthal. Set in the fictional Central Valley town, the novel centers on a district attorney trying to launch her career and the gruesome case that takes her on a trip to the Mexican coast. Visit Jane Rosenthal’s site to learn more about how Mexican culture helped shape the Central Valley of California and, in turn, her invented town of Del Rio.