Back from World Fantasy 2009 full of thoughts and interesting questions. One of the panels I attended was about how laws and cultural ideologies would change when supernatural beings are accepted as fact and not fiction. What legal ramifications would be involved in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" if vampires and werewolves were our neighbors? Could they run for office? Talk about one long senatorial run if you had an immortal in the seat.
Fantasy and Science Fiction authors build worlds that take these possibilities into account, providing in the subtext and richness of the story the tangible changes it would make. There are some fantastic worlds out there, and I have been fortunate enough to visit several: Middle Earth, PERN (Parallel Earth, Resources Negligible), Midkemia, Osten Ard, Amber, Recluce, and so many more. Is there an SF world out there in which you see yourself feeling right at home? Currently, I'm revisiting Recluce. Where are you?