There are countless fictional worlds, cities, and countries that have been created over the years in books, movies, and television. Sometimes, these fictional locations are integral parts of a narrative while others are far more interesting than the characters or stories that take place there. There are countless places that would be amazing to live in, or at least visit, and would make even the most amazing places in real life seem like a bore.
In this two-part article, I’ll be visiting some of the coolest places in fiction. Come back next week when I look at some of the most terrifying. Just as a clarification, these are for the most part completely fictional, not just modern cities with fictional characters thrown in, so no Marvel Comics cities.
Gotham City (Batman)
Depending on who you are, Gotham City is either the coolest or most terrifying city you could live in (more on that second one later). But if you go by the name of Batman, Robin, Nightwing, or Batgirl, you’ll have the perfect place to fulfill your compulsive need for justice! If you’re a super criminal, you’ll have a great playground to act out you psychotic urges, but I hope you like dank, dark, and scream-filled asylums, you’ll be staying there intermittently. If you’re a cop, you might not have such a great time, but as long as you don’t have a family, you don’t have much to lose. Even if you’re an everyday citizen, you can still find excitement in seeing the Bat Signal light up the sky and hoping that Batman rescues you before The Joker cuts your face off.
Greendale Community College (Community)
A school so cool you’ll wish you had gone to a community college. The education is terrible, but that’s not the point. Why bother properly learning Spanish, when you can excel in classes like “Advanced Breath Holding” and “Can I Fry That?” There’s a monkey (and sometimes a Chang) living in the vents, the dean is both the best and the worst ever, and school-wide events like Paintball Assassin really spice things up every year. Not to mention the constant unnecessary dances, like the Transfer Dance, aka The Tranny Dance! Plus, the loudspeakers are commonly found playing the soothing sounds of “Daybreak.” You may not be able to get into the coolest study group on campus, but the experience will be well worth the lack of quality education you receive.
The Grid (Tron)
This place is the perfect mix of danger and adventure. It’s a world without a sun, but its dark corridors are filled with light emanating from glowing buildings, people, identity discs, and light cycles. The center of The Grid, Tron City, is both dangerous and spell-binding while the Outlands and dark and mysterious. The stormy skies, cold but bright lights, and pulsating sounds all make The Grid far enough removed from this world that it feels as if anything is possible. Combine that with incredibly fast vehicles, battles against tyranny, and the omnipresence of Daft Punk, and the appeal of The Grid far outweighs its dangers.
Barring that unfortunate incident where Superman, Zod, and a terraforming machine leveled a good portion of the city, Metropolis is a bright and shining beacon in the DC Universe. Superman patrols its friendly skies, stopping super villains and rescuing kittens from trees in the same day. Its skyscrapers are gleaming beacons of hope and a representation of progress. Sure, anyone from Metallo to Mongol may try to destroy it at any minute, but Superman is always ready to save the day. Like Gotham, this city reflects its hero. But rather than being dark, broody, and gothic, Metropolis is a city of hope and progress like the Man of Tomorrow who has become its hero.
Vice City (Grand Theft Auto)
Want to steal a car, blow up a building with a rocket launcher, and then drive off a cliff to your death while listening to “I Ran” by Flock of Seagulls, only to come back to life a second later? Then come to Vice City! Living here gives you carte blanche to indulge in neon-soaked, ‘80s-filled excess without consequences. While other Grand Theft Autos have given players the chance to run wild, no other has allowed you to truly live it up like Scarface. Just be warned, others may not like your rampages so much, like the cops, construction workers, and fellow blazer-wearing criminals looking to make a name for themselves. But just hide behind a dumpster for a few seconds and they’ll forget about you.
Los Angeles, 2019 (Blade Runner)
You wouldn’t necessarily want to live in this future Los Angeles right away, but you may eventually in real life anyway, so you better start getting used to it! Daytime doesn’t seem to exist, pollution is rampant, and modern technology is intertwined with urban decay. But these ideas of decay and degradation result in neo-noir beauty. Rain-soaked streets, towering buildings, glowing umbrellas, flying cars, and an orange-streaked sun all make Los Angeles in 2019 the most beautiful dump you would ever want to live in. It’s a perfect place to wonder if androids dream of electric sheep and if you’re really a human at all.
Cloud City (Star Wars)
Star Wars offers a wide variety of locales that range from wondrous to terrifying, but none are as cool as Cloud City, floating in the atmosphere of the gas giant planet Bespin. Only someone who’s as cool as the other side of the pillow like Lando Calrissian could live in a flouting metropolis blanketed by clouds and patrolled by twin-seated speeders. Plus, he has an awesome robo-butler. Its clean corridors and stunning views more than make up for its government rolling over for The Empire. Maybe even Lando himself will give you a glass of Colt 45 to wash down that delicious cloud meal as you watch the sunset. Ah yes, space meals. Way better than Dagobah.
The World of Avatar: The Last Airbender
While it’s similar to our own world several centuries ago, the world of Avatar has several key advantages. First, it’s populated by fire, water, earth, and air bending masters who not only do battle with their powers, but create amazing cities and sculptures unlike any in the real world. Second, the Spirit World provides an even more mysterious land that is both beautiful and dangerous. Finally, it’s filled with mythological animals like dragons and sky bison, as well as wild crossbreeds like platypus bears and polar bear dogs! The land and sea are dotted with air bender temples, fire nation outposts, water bender fleets, and earth nation cities. No matter where you are or whether you have powers, adventure can be found anywhere.
Click here for Part 2, where we continue to look at some fictional places that put our poor real world to shame.