A fictional country is a
countrythat is made up for fictional stories, and does not exist in real life. Fictional lands appear most commonly as settings or subjects of literature, movies, or video games. They may also be used for technical reasons in actual reality for use in the development of specifications, such as the fictional country of "Bookland", which is used to allow EAN "country" codes 978 and 979 to be used for ISBNnumbers assigned to books, and code 977 to be assigned for use for ISSNnumbers on magazines and other periodicals. Also, the ISO 3166country code "ZZ" is reserved as a fictional country code, thus no Internet top-level domainwill ever end in " .ZZ".
Fictional countries appear commonly in stories of early
science fiction(or scientific romance). Such countries supposedly form part of the normal Earthlandscape although not located in a normal atlas. Later similar tales often took place on fictional planets. Jonathan Swift's protagonist, Lemuel Gulliver, visited various strange places. Edgar Rice Burroughsplaced adventures of Tarzanin areas in Africathat, at the time, remained mostly unknown to the West and to the East. Isolated islands with strange creatures and/or customs enjoyed great popularity in these authors' times. By the 19th century, When Western explorers had surveyed most of the Earth's surface, this option was lost to Western culture. Thereafter fictional utopian and dystopian societies tended to spring up on other planets or in space, whether in human colonies or in alien societies originating elsewhere. Fictional countries can also be used in stories set in a distant future, with other political borders than today. Superheroand secret agent comics and some thrillers also use fictional countries on Earth as backdrops. Most of these countries exist only for a single story, a TV-series episode or an issue of a comic book. There are notable exceptions, such as Marvel Comics Latveriaand DC Comics Quracand Bialya.
Fictional countries often deliberately resemble or even represent some real-world country or present a utopia or dystopia for commentary. Variants of the country's name sometimes make it clear what country they really have in mind. (Compare semi-fictional countries below.) By using a fictional country instead of a real one, authors can exercise greater freedom in creating characters, events, and settings, while at the same time presenting a vaguely familiar locale that readers can recognize. A fictional country leaves the author unburdened by the restraints of a real nation's actual history, politics, and culture, and can thus allow for greater scope in plot construction.
Writers may create an archetypal fictional "Eastern European", "Middle Eastern", "Asian", "African" or "Latin American" country for the purposes of their story.
Such countries often embody
stereotypes about their regions. For example, inventors of a fictional Eastern European country will typically describe it as a former or current Soviet satellite state, or with a suspense story about a royal family; if pre-20th century, it will likely resemble Ruritaniaor feature copious vampiresand other supernaturalphenomena. A fictional Middle Eastern state often lies somewhere on the Arabian peninsula, has substantial oil-wealth and problems with radical Islam and will have either a sultanor a mentally-unstable dictatoras a ruler. A fictional Latin American country will typically project images of a banana republicbeset by constant revolutions, military dictatorships, and coups d'état. A fictional African state will suffer from poverty, civil war and disease.
Modern writers usually do not try to pass off their stories as facts. However, in the early 18th century
George Psalmanazarpassed himself off as a prince from the island of Formosa (present-day Taiwan) and wrote a fictional description about it to convince his sponsors.
entrepreneurs have also invented fictional countries solely for the purpose of defrauding people. In the 1820s, Gregor MacGregorsold land in the invented country of Poyais. In modern times, the Dominion of Melchizedekand the Kingdom of EnenKiohave been accused of this. Many varied financial scams can play out under the aegis of a fictional country, including selling passports and travel documents, and setting up fictional banks and companies with the seeming imprimatur of full government backing.
Fictional countries have also been created for polling purposes. When polled in April 2004, 10% of British people believed that the fictional country of Luvania would soon join the
European Union. [cite web |url= http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/29/luvania_eu/|title= Brits welcome Luvania to EU|author= Haines, Lester|date= 2004-04-29|publisher= "The Register"] In a similar event, two thirds of Hungarians polled in March 2007 demanded that absolutely no asylum be granted to immigrants from the fictional country of Piresa. [cite web |url= http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03/21/piresan_immigrants/|title= Hungarians demand ejection of Piresan immigrants|author= Haines, Lester|date= 2007-03-21|publisher= "The Register"]
Countries from stories, myths, legends, that some people have believed to actually exist.
* Mu (continent)
* Zembla (See "
* Alberto Manguel & Gianni Guadalupi: "
The Dictionary of Imaginary Places," ISBN 0-15-626054-9
* Brian Stableford: "The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places"
List of fictional countries
List of fictional European countries
List of fictional counties
List of fictional companies
List of fictional planets
List of fictional universes
List of fictional U.S. states
* [http://conworld.wikia.com Conworld Wiki at Wikia]
* [http://conmyth.wikia.com Fantasy Conworlding Wiki at Wikia]
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