Well that’s not true. Plot must come first, characters second but I have always loved world-building, because it allows me to enter a world different than my own — and sometimes these worlds are extremely fascinating. Especially, when the writer takes on Future worlds, based on this one.
Brave New World, for example, blew my mind. But in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, I was totally blown by all of his world-building, moving from the past well into the unknown future.
I think he is right on track with his predictions that humanity will “trip the fall.” And the whole thing will start over, in reverse. That’s mad clever.
Octavia Butler, I think is another awesome world builder. All these writers built new and crazy worlds out of humanities glaring flaws, that are changing the world anyway. It’s so interesting to try and predict what the world will look like, 100 to 2000 years from now, based on the current trends of humanity’s failures.
As long as it’s not too depressing…MadMax and the Thunderdome was just…ugh. Same thing with Book of Eli. Snow Piercer was interesting, though a better name for it might be, World on a Train.
Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and GoT are so beloved, because really they are exploring common themes from our world, but putting them inside others. It allows people to have the necessary distance from the dysfunctionality of our own world, by exploring it in another.