Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fictional countries appear commonly in stories of early science fiction (or scientific romance). Such countries supposedly form part of the normal Earth landscape 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 Burroughs placed adventures of Tarzan in areas in Africa that, 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. 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 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", or "Latin American" country for the purposes of their story. (Relatively few fictional countries outside of alternative history have locations in North America or in Western Europe, presumably because global audiences have better familiarity with these areas' actual circumstances.)
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 stories about a royal family; if pre-20th Century, it will likely resemble Ruritania or feature copious vampires and other supernatural phenomena. A fictional Middle Eastern state often lies somewhere on the Arabian peninsula, has substantial oil-wealth, and either a sultan or a mentally-unstable dictator as a ruler. A fictional Latin American country will typically project images of a banana republic beset by constant revolutions, military dictatorships, and coups d'état.
Modern writers usually do not try to pass off their stories as facts. However, in the early 18th century George Psalmanazar passed 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 MacGregor sold land in the invented country of Poyais. In modern times, defrauders have invented the Dominion of Melchizedek and the Kingdom of EnenKio. Many varied financial scams 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.
Incomplete list of fictional countries
Fictional works describe all the countries in the following list as located somewhere on the surface of the Earth as we know it -- as opposed to inside the planet, on another world, or during a different "age" of the planet (see below).
- Al-Alemand - Islamic state consisting of the former Germany and the Low Countries. From the Alternate History book The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Al Amarja - Mediterranean island state in the Over the Edge roleplaying game
- Alpine Emirates - Islamic states in the Bavarian Alps. From the Alternate History book The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
- An - Patricia McKillip 's Riddle Master of Hed. It consists of the formerly independent countries of An, Aum and Hel. Ruled by Mathom.
- Ardistan - Karl Friedrich May
- Aslan - anime Area 88. Sometimes also transliterated "Asran".
- Axphain - neighbor of Graustark
- Babar's Kingdom
- Bacteria - thinly-disguised version of Fascist Italy from the movie The Great Dictator.
- Balinderry - strategically-placed quasi-Irish nation that is crucial to a defence radar system, but has an IRA-type insurgency, in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man
- Bangalla - The Phantom comic-strip. The Phantom's base lies in the deep woods of this central African nation.
- Beninia - John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar
- Berylon - city in Patricia McKillip 's Song for the Basilisk . Ruled by Arioso Pellinor.
- Bongo Congo - African kingdom in cartoon King Leonardo and his Short Subjects
- Borduria - Eastern European dictatorial country in Tintin comics
- Brainania - Pinky and the Brain
- Bregna - Aeon Flux
- Brobdingnag - a land of giants from Gulliver's Travels
- Brutopia - country appearing in several Donald Duck stories, possibly referring to the Soviet Union.
- Calia - Modesty Blaise episode "The Jericho Caper"
- Carpania - setting of The Great Race
- Carpathia - setting of The Prince and the Showgirl
- Costaguana - Joseph Conrad's Nostromo
- Country of the Blind - H. G. Wells
- Crab Island - poor Carribean island shaped like a crab, under the domination of Crocodile Island, in the Patrouille des Castors comic
- Crocodile Island - Carribean island shaped like a crocodile, with a dictatorial government which seems to be heavily influenced by Tahiti, in the Patrouille des Castors comic
- Dawsbergen - neighbor of Graustark
- Dinotopia - James Gurney's illustrated books
- Dominion of Melchizedek, created in 1990 to defraud people by David and Mark Pedley.
- Duchy of Grand Fenwick - The Mouse That Roared
- Eastasia - Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Ecotopia - Ernest Callenbach
- Ecuarico - homeland of an exiled dictator in an episode of Gilligan's Island
- Elbonia - from the comic strip Dilbert
- Eleutheria - a fictional island nation in the South West Pacific Ocean from the Eleutheria Model Parliament role playing game.
- Equatorial Kundu - from the television series The West Wing
- Erewhon - Samuel Butler
- Eretz - home of a visiting prime minister, Salka Palmir, in an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man
- Eurasia - Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Evallonia - John Buchan
- Fanelia - from the anime Escaflowne
- Findas - country sunk under the waves in the Book of Conquests
- Florin - William Goldman's The Princess Bride
- Forest Kingdom - Simon Green's Blue Moon Rising. Ruled by King John.
- Free Country, USA - Homestar Runner
- Freedonia - nation from the Marx brothers movie Duck Soup.
- Freiland - Theodor Hertzka
- Genovia - The Princess Diaries
- Gormenghast Castle - Mervyn Peake
- Graustark - novels by George Barr McCutcheon
- Groland - French television channel Canal+ 'presipality'
- Guilder - William Goldman's The Princess Bride
- Hed - Island nation in Patricia McKillip 's Riddle Master of Hed. Ruled by Athol.
- Heedaponkadoopick - Natural home of Ginzfortwoozelfimms, often found in literature by Duzett.
- Herun - Patricia McKillip 's Riddle Master of Hed, ruled by the Morgon El.
- Herland - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Hillsdown - Duchy in Simon Green's Blue Moon Rising. Ruled by Duke Alaric.
- Interzone, a fictionalised version of Tangier from William S. Burroughs Naked Lunch
- Isle of Naboombu, kingdom of anthropomorphic animals in the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks
- Islandia - self-isolated country in Austin Tappan Wright 's novel, Islandia
- Ixania - a small Balkan country of little global importance in Eric Ambler's The Dark Frontier
- Jesusland - from the Jesusland map Internet meme
- Kampong - The Thirteen-Gun Salute
- Keltic Sultanate - Islamic Sultanate comprising the British Isles. From the Alternate History book The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Kinakuta - island state in Southeast Asia of Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon. Compare Queena-Kootah in Neal Stephenson's novel The Confusion
- Klopstockia - from the W. C. Fields movie Million Dollar Legs
- Krakozhia - from the movie The Terminal
- Kuhndu - from the television series The West Wing
- Ladonia - Fictional, non-boundary country based in the southwest of Sweden
- Laevatia - Nevil Shute's Ruined City
- Latveria - authoritarian state ruled by Dr. Victor Von Doom from Marvel Comics.
- Leutonia - Eastern European home of the Happy Wanderers (Yosh & Stan Shmenge) from SCTV
- Lilliput - land of tiny people from Gulliver's Travels
- Low countries - Simon Green's Beyond the Blue Moon . Capital city: Haven.
- Lower Slobbovia - ice-covered wasteland from the comic strip Li'l Abner.
- Lugash - Mideast nation from the Pink Panther series of movies.
- Luly - Island of the bards in Patricia McKillip 's Song for the Basilisk .
- Lyonesse - land sunk under the waves in Welsh legend
- Magyaristan - Islamic state in the former Hungary. From the alternat history book The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Maple White Land - land of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World
- Mardi archipelago - Herman Melville's Mardi and a Voyage Thither
- Melnibone - from Elric by Michael Moorcock
- Molvania - Eastern European country used to parody travel guidebooks
- Monica - Aeon Flux
- Moominland - Tove Jansson
- Moronica - parody of Nazi Germany from the Three Stooges short You Natzy Spy
- Mushroom Kingdom - Super Mario Bros. games
- Mypos - home of Balki from Perfect Strangers
- Novistrana - from the computer game Republic: The Revolution
- Nagonia - fictional African country in Yulian Semyonov's spy novel TASS is authorized to announce... (ТАСС уполномочен заявить...), and in the Soviet movie of the same title
- Oceania - Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Orsinia - Ursula Le Guin's Orsinian Tales and Malafrena
- Osterland - Patricia McKillip 's Riddle Master of Hed . Ruled by Har from Yrye. There is a Osterland in Thuringia, Germany, but there is probably no connection.
- Osterlich - nation invaded by Bacteria and Tomania in the movie The Great Dictator; obviously supposed to be Austria.
- The Land of Oz - appears in all of L. Frank Baum's World of Oz novels
- Pala - fictional island utopia in Aldous Huxley's Island
- Palombia - Spirou stories
- Parador - Latin American nation from Moon Over Parador
- Petoria - from the "E. Peterbus Unum" episode of Family Guy
- Phaic Tan - Southeast Asia country used to parody travel guidebooks, from the same author as Molvania.
- Pokoponesia - island nation from the animated version of The Tick
- Poldévie - Eastern European country in a famous petition in the 1930s and in many novels by Jacques Roubaud
- Pottsylvania - Jay Ward's The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
- Poyais - 1820's fraudulent creation of Gregor MacGregor
- The realm of Prester John
- Qumar - from the television series The West Wing
- Qwghlm - a country off the northwestern coast of Britain in Neal Stephenson's fictions Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle
- Razkavia - Germanic country in Philip Pullman's The Tin Princess
- La Republica de las Bananas - from the board game Junta.
- Riallaro archipelago - Godfrey Sweven 's Riallaro, the Archipelago of Exiles
- Robonia - From Futurama television series. Country made up by Bender so he could compete in the Olympics.
- Ruritania - Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda and associated works
- San Glucos - The Simpsons episode "Sweets and Sour Marge"
- Sacramento - a banana republic from Érico Veríssimo's novel, O Senhor Embaixador (The Ambassador)
- San Lorenzo - Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle
- San Marcos - Latin American republic in Woody Allen comedy ‘Bananas'
- San Pedro - Sherlock Holmes story "Wisteria Lodge"
- San Serriffe - April Fool's Day joke
- The Triple Monarchy of Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania in the Dr. Engelbert Eszterhazy stories by Avram Davidson
- Shangri-La - from James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon
- Skandistan - Islamic state comprising what was formerly Scandanavia. From the alternate history book The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Skull Island - King Kong movie(s)
- Island of Sodor - Between England and the Isle of Man, the setting for the Reverend Awdry's Thomas the Tank Engine railway network managed by "The Fat Controller"
- Strong Badia - Homestar Runner
- Syldavia - Eastern European monarchy country in Tintin comics, it often appears throughout the series
- Sylvania - belligerent neighbor to Freedonia in the movie Duck Soup.
- Tadzhikistan - Snow Crash (but note Tadzhikistan as a former standard spelling of the non-fictional Tajikistan)
- Tanah Masa - Karel Capek's War with the Newts
- Taronia - from the film Thirty Day Princess
- Tecala - from the movie Proof of Life
- Tijata - Central American dictatorship from the movie The In-Laws
- Tomania - Nazi Germany-like country from the movie The Great Dictator, ruled by Adenoid Hynkel.
- Uqbar, - Jorge Luis Borges's Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
- Utopia - Thomas More
- Val Verde - Spanish-speaking country resembling Cuba, Commando
- Vulgaria - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Ymris - Patricia McKillip 's Riddle Master of Hed, ruled by Heureu.
- Kingdom Of Yr - Joanne Greenberg 's novel I Never Promised You A Rose Garden
- Virtú, - virtual reality in Roger Zelazny's Donnerjack.
- Zekistan - Full Spectrum Warrior, a Middle-Eastern country between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China. History and setting closely resemble Afghanistan.
- Zamunda - fictional African monarchy from the Eddie Murphy movie Coming to America
- Zanzibar Land - Sole nuclear power in the Metal Gear series of video games.
- Zembla - a fictional Northern European country in Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pale Fire.
- Zinariya - an African country famous for its copper mines, ruled by a dictator, General Bindiga (A. N. Wilson's My Name Is Legion)
- Odysseus visited the land of the Lotus-Eaters, the mythical island of Aeaea (home of Circe), and the palace of Alcinous
Lands in Tarzan series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan had adventures in:
- Castra Sanguinaries & Castrum Mare
- Xujan Kingdom
Lands in the Tintin stories by Hergé
Tintin traveled to:
Lands in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Lemuel Gulliver stumbled upon:
- Lilliput and Blefuscu
- the land of the Houyhnhnms and Yahoos
- Japan although real had a semi-mythical aura about it in Swift's day
Lands inside the Earth
See also Hollow Earth.
Lands of Robert E. Howard
While the map of Earth in the "Hyborian Age" differs markedly from today's, some of Howard's fictional, ancient countries are obviously serve as ancestors of historical ones.
- Aquilonia, kingdom of Conan the Barbarian.
- Cimmeria, home of Conan the Barbarian.
- Valusia , kingdom of Atlantis ruled by Kull
Lands of Arda and Middle-earth
Though J. R. R. Tolkien indicated that he intended Arda to represent our Earth in a previous age, sometimes few correspondences exist between modern landmasses and countries and those of Arda. The following countries, areas or regions feature on the continent Middle-earth:
- Angmar, country of the Witch-king of Angmar
- Dunland, the country of the Dunlendings
- Forodwaith, the Northern Waste
- Haradwaith, a Southron land, home to the Haradrim
- Ithilien, trans-Anduinian Gondor
- Lothlórien, greenwood land of Galadriel (also Lórinand and Laurelindórenan)
- Mordor, mountain-girt land of evil
- Moria (also Khazad-dűm), a country or city-state beneath the Misty Mountains
- Rohan, home to the horse-lords
- The Shire, land of the Hobbits
See also the category Realms of Middle-earth.
- Dinosaur Island
- Gorilla City
- Kooey Kooey Kooey
- Posidonis (Atlantis)
- Santa Prisca - Caribbean republic, birthplace of super-villain Bane in the DC Universe.
- Themyscira (Paradise Island) - Country of the Amazons (Hippolyta, Wonder Woman)
- Vlatava - Balkan nation once ruled by ancestors of Count Vertigo, destroyed by The Spectre
Lands of the Marvel Comics universe
- Monster Isle
- Muir Island
- The Savage Land (hidden under Antarctica)
- San Diablo
- Transia (location of Wundagore Mountain)
Not on Earth
These countries do not exist on our Earth, but on another planet (or in another universe).
- Abh Empire from the anime Crest of the Stars
- Archenland a kingdom featured in The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis.
- Calormen an empire featured in The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis.
- Hyrule, a kingdom that is the chief setting of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda games.
- Jurai - Planet and interstellar empire from the anime Tenchi Muyo!.
- Klatch empire on the Circle Sea in Terry Pratchett's Discworld
- Lancre, mountain kingdom of Terry Pratchett's Discworld
- Lost Hope, faerie kingdom ruled by the man with thistle-down hair in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
- Majipoor and other lands appear in works by Robert Silverberg
- Narnia a kingdom that is the chief setting for many of The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis.
- Novindus, a continent in the book series The Riftwar by Raymond E. Feist
- Tlön (actually an entire world), of Jorge Luis Borges's Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
Some lands exist uneasily on the borderlands of fiction and fact, of imagination and reality. There follows a list of places with a real counterpart, but which in romantic/poetic imagination or nationalist fervour or historical dimmed memory can become "other". Note that a Latinate name may conjure up visions of (questionable) past grandeur.
- Canary Islands
- Blessed Islands (putative identification)
- Eastern Roman Empire
- Prussia (not an exact match...)
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Pacific Ocean
- South Seas
- Puerto Rico
- New Troy
- United States
- Columbia (as in "Columbia, the gem of the ocean...")
- South East Asia
- East Indies (approximately)
- Sri Lanka
Countries from stories, myths, legends, that some people have believed to actually exist
- Alberto Manguel & Gianni Guadalupi: The Dictionary of Imaginary Places ISBN 0-15-626054-9
- Excellent book; includes details of inhabitants, government structure, and sightseeing tips. Does not cover off-planet locations.
- Brian Stableford: The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places
- Archive of fictional things
- Imaginary country
- List of fictional counties
- List of fictional buildings
- List of fictional companies
- List of fictional planets
- Fictional city
- Constructed world
- Jennifer Government: NationStates
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