This Story Was So Incredible I Took a Pilgrimage to the Places In It

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Not every beloved science fiction or fantasy story is set in an alternate world, which is why sometimes you desperately want to visit the places where they're set. Are there any stories that inspired you to travel to their settings?

Photo is a detail of the original book cover of Child of the Owl, via Annalee Newitz

I have visited a few places where great movies were filmed, sometimes by accident — for example, the opening scenes of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes were filmed at UC Irvine, very close to where I grew up. So I was looking for ape janitors all the time when I went to check books out of the UCI library.


But my most memorable pilgrimage was when I was little, and I read Laurence Yep's amazing middlegrade novel Child of the Owl. It was set in San Francisco, and one year when we vacationed in San Francisco, my parents took me to all the places we could find in it. Later, we went to see Yep give a lecture at our library and told him that we'd done that, and he confirmed that we'd found the right places. When he said that, I felt like pretty much the coolest kid in the world — with the coolest parents ever.


Tell your stories about taking trips to the places in the stories you love. Pictures, videos, and links are welcome! As are stories about how you figured out where the places actually were.