Lost world (genre)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Lost World literary genre is a fantasy or science fiction genre that involves the discovery of a new world out of time, place, or both. It began during the late Victorian era and remains popular to this day. The genre arose during an era when lost civilizations around the world were being discovered, such as Egypt's Valley of the Kings, the city of Troy, or the empire of Assyria. Public imagination was ready to believe just about anything as real stories of Indiana Jones-type discoveries made headlines.

King Solomon's Mines (1885) by H. Rider Haggard was the first of the Lost World genre , and was very popular. It laid the groundwork and was highly influential on Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Land That Time Forgot, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King and HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. A much later Lost World novel was Michael Crichton's Congo, which involves a quest for King Solomon's lost mines, fabled to be in a lost African city called Zinj.

Other works, such as Samuel Butler's Erewhon (slightly earlier than the above), use a similar plot as a vehicle for Swiftian social satire, rather than a pure adventure story. James Hilton's Lost Horizon had great popular success in using the genre as a takeoff for popular philosophy and social comment, rather, again, than pure adventure. That book introduced the name Shangri-La, which became a meme for the idea of a Lost World as a paradise.

More recent Lost World books include Michael Crichton's The Lost World which was the basis for the movie The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

The Lost World genre is present in many other mediums. In video games, it is most notably present in Tomb Raider and its sequels. In movies, the film adaptations of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park novels, the Indiana Jones series, and Disney's National Treasure series make use of similar concepts.

The genre has similar themes to "mythical kingdoms", such as El Dorado.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lost world (genre)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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