Home Looks Like a Hobbit Hole: Finding the Cozy Spaces of SFF

This charming piece by Molly Templeton on Tor.com discusses the idea of home in Science-Fiction and Fantasy literature and how the imaginary spaces we are drawn to as readers is rather telling. She lists some of the fictional houses and homes that made an impression on her at an early age (the warrens in The Wind in the Willows, Howl’s Castle, and more). Personally I always had a curious affinity for the Beavers’ hut in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. And although it’s not SFF, Orchard House from Alcott’s Little Women will always be one of my favorites.

Fantasy is full of homes that a reader may or may not imagine as the author saw them. The house in The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, which I envisioned full of libraries and animals, a mountain house that was isolated but comforting, cozy and stern at once. The weyrs of Anne McCaffreys’ dragonriders—how did we picture those? What did they look like? Why does my brain hold onto a single image of a hallway from a Melanie Rawn book when I can’t remember which book, or why that location might be important?

Somewhere in all of our heads is an utterly feat of impossible architecture, all of these places connected, like an M.C. Escher drawing of towers and forests and clean stone walls.

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