ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Geofiction?

Updated on March 23, 2011
Photo by gari.baldi
Photo by gari.baldi

Geofiction is a hobby in which people design imaginary places: cities, countries, worlds, even entire universes! Unlike most worldbuilders, geofiction hobbyists do not necessarily create their worlds as a background for a novel or role-playing game, they create them for the fun of creation.

Geofiction can be as simple or elaborate as you like. In addition to geographical details, many hobbyists enjoy creating constructed cultures (concultures), languages (conlangs), or species. Geofiction is usually based in the science fiction or fantasy genres, but can be set in a realistic setting as well. Some geofiction hobbyists enjoy working with "alternate earth" or "alternate history" scenarios as well.

One of the most famous geofiction hobbyists was J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a linguist by profession, who invented several languages and then created the cultures that spoke them, and the world his new peoples inhabited. Tolkien's hobby eventually resulted in his Lord of the Rings series, one of the most influential fantasy series ever written.

Getting Started With Geofiction

Geofiction is one of those wonderful hobbies that is completely free. All you need to get started is an idea. Well, at some point you might want some paper and pencils to write down the details, but even those aren't urgent.

So, how do you get an idea?

Well, lots of geofiction enthusiasts start with something they love. Tolkien loved languages so much he created his own, and then built an entire world around them. One of my most elaborate countries is set on a vast sea of grass that bears a totally non-coincidental resemblence to my beloved Nebraska Sandhills.

Many other geofictioners start with a doodle. Many of us are inveterate doodlers, and sometimes those doodles produce something really interesting. The famous science fiction author Orson Scott Card wrote his novel Hart's Hope about a world that began as a doodle of a walled city.

Still others start with a question or concept. What if night lasted for a hundred years? What if unicorns existed? Another of my worlds started when I offered up "werewolf apocalypse" while playing a game of Horrifically Undignified Ways To Die with a friend, and then started thinking about what a society being exterminated by werewolves might look like.

So, there are many ways to come up with an idea. Once the world has been developed in a little (or a lot)more detail, many geofictioners like to share their work. Some, like Tolkien and Card, end up writing novels or role-playing scenarios. Others buy webspace, or take advantage of wikis and other sites that offer inexpensive or free hosting for geofiction projects. And of course, some people keep their worlds for their own private enjoyment.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have fun!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      10 years ago

      You can also have a look at this website about imaginary cities :

    • profile image

      Semyon Edikovich 

      10 years ago

      Perhaps you could include a fuller list of geofiction sites;,, etc.

    • Oroyukae profile image


      10 years ago

      I found this to be quite intriguing, never having heard of Geofiction before; you explained it rather well, I must say. I am a huge fan or J.R.R. Tolkien and found his work to be awe inspiring; how fitting it was for you to use his work as an example, a fine one at that.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'd never heard of geofiction before - very interesting.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I was never aware that what I was doing was a hobby. I knew writing was, but I didn't know I was a geofictionist. That's cool that you explained it that way.

    • Earl S. Wynn profile image

      Earl S. Wynn 

      13 years ago from California

      WOW. Now that's cool. You just opened my eyes to something very very awesome sounding. Thanks!

    • profile image

      F. Prefect 

      13 years ago

      For those interested in geofiction and conworlding, here's a place that might be of interest.

      "Project Conworld is a world building project (known as a constructed world, or "conworld") beginning from the ground up, in a very literal sense. Using a map created in Fractal Terrains, members construct societies throughout history, starting with the world's earliest civilizations, and role play different places, periods, and people. Project Conworld is developed simultaneously on a forum, where roleplaying and discussion take place, and in a wiki, which serves as the source of all knowledge of the conworld.

      Our project is cooperative, not competitive. Our project is one in which respect for other members and their ideas is very important. We demand a polite and friendly atmosphere in which each member may feel free to let their ideas flow, and work with others to make their creation come to life by interacting with the creations of others."


    • helenathegreat profile image


      13 years ago from Manhattan

      Very interesting! I had been completely ignorant to this even existing before, so thanks for opening my eyes to it!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)