Floating Cities for Space Cadets

March 3, 2017
Diego Molano Rodriguez
Riveted Editorial Board

Have you ever been accused of “living in the clouds?” If you’re a total space cadet like me, this is probably a constant refrain from parents, teachers, bosses, and significant others. Well, if our heads are always in clouds, maybe we should look for a city in the clouds to live in! In honor of Lauren DeStefano’s Perfect Ruin, our free read until March 13th, the Riveted staff has rated a few of our favorite flying locales in order of livability.

1) Internment from Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin

The fact that Internment is a utopian society with a minuscule murder rate and the expectation that you can become anything that you dream are definite positives. There’s really only one rule to follow – don’t get close to the edge. I think this is excellent advice for denizens of any floating city.
On second thought: It seems like a large portion of the population is trying to jump off. It seems like such a great place but it is literally called” Internment.”
Final rating: They may take our lives; they’ve definitely taken our freedom. 2 awkwardly-named protagonists out of 5.

2) Columbia from Bioshock: Infinite


This steam punk floating city features an excellent public transportation via a network of sky rail cars, as well as personal transportation skylines accessible using your standard issue sky-hook. Combined with a picturesque Americana feel and excellent public safety provided by horrifying automatons, Columbia seems like the perfect place to raise a family.
On second thought: A deeply racist and classist society ruled with an iron fist by a religious zealot and terrorized by a giant flying monster. Hard pass.
Final rating: You’re really going to ask me after reading the second thoughts? 1.5 songbirds out of 5.

3) Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back

Cloud city

So this one has everything we could want. Floating in Bespin habitable zone, this metropolis has all the amenities that a posh Galactic Empire hang out would have. Transportation is provided by personal cloud cars, the most stylish way to travel on this list. Also, you’d get to hang out with Lando Calrissian, the coolest guy in the Star Wars universe this side of Poe Dameron.
On second thought: This whole place is essentially a giant imperial trap; any droids you bring with you will probably end up tortured and dismantled.
Final rating: I, for one, welcome our new Imperial overlords. 4 cloud cars out of 5.

4) Sky High from Sky High

Sky high

Okay, so maybe you couldn’t technically live here (i.e, I’m cheating), but hey, a high school for super powered teens in the clouds might be an awesome place to search for a career. Also, education tracks for “Hero Support” are available for those of us who may not be as gifted in the superpower department.
On second thought: Being one of the few normies in a sea of super powered teenagers might be hazardous to one’s health.
Final rating: High school never ends. 2 plastic participation trophies out of 5.

5) Laputa from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift


One of Gulliver’s travels after Lilliputia and Brobdingnag, Laputa is a floating island kingdom near India. Noteworthy for its absolutely incredible achievements in science, astronomy, music and technology, Laputa is a geek’s paradise. Inhabitants are so often deep in thought that their heads are permanently tilted. National safety is ensured by the power to block out the sun of hostile territories.
On second thought: Inhabitants of Laputa are so focused on the abstract and the theoretical that they never figured out any practical applications for their vast knowledge.
Final rating: What good is advanced science and mathematics if shopping for pants becomes even more of a nightmare than it is now? 2 ill-fitting garments out of 5.

After careful analysis, maybe skyward utopias aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. We should probably just leave the day dreaming to our lunch breaks and stay here on Earth. Do you agree with our ratings for these floating metropolises? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out Perfect Ruin, available as a free read on Riveted until March 13th!

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