Friday, October 03, 2003

Friday Five

Will's turn to suggest a topic:

"Heinlein's Number of the Beast theorizes that all realities, even ours, come from someone else's imagination. And therefore, if you could learn to travel across dimensions it would be possible to find the worlds where every story occurred. The more fully realized story (and the better the story-teller) the more fully realized the world.

So,

What five fictional worlds would you like to visit once William perfects his inter-dimensional mini-van?"

1. The Dreaming, from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Home of Morpheus, the King of Dreams. The prime attraction for me is the library, which contains all stories ever dreamt of, from the Lord Peter mysteries that Dorothy Sayers never got around to writing to the super cool spy novel you were idly plotting out on the bus some time last year.

2. The England of Connie Willis' time travel stories (e.g. Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog): The world itself is nothing particularly special (a standard future extrapolated from current events) but it has one piece of technology to die for - time machines. Time machines used by historians. I want to live in Willis' Oxford and quietly study the Edwardian era.

3. Narnia from C. S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: A pastoral paradise with talking animals, dryads and fauns. As a child, I retreated into these books more times than I can count and the world of the books is inescapably entwined with my most nostalgic memories of childhood.

4. Darkover from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover stories (e.g. The Forbidden Tower): A pre-industrial world where some people exhibit extrasensory mental abilities like telepathy or telekinesis. The culture is the thrilling mishmash of medieval and renaissance cliches - long flowing dresses, sword fights, strict ritual and hierarchy - that is typical of fantasy, but Bradley manages to ground it in a way that makes it feel more realistic and fully fleshed out and she adds some less expected twists.

5. Dorothy Dunnett's 16th century, as seen in The Game of King's and it's sequels: Pretty much the historical 16th century with a bit more swashbuckling. And Francis Lymond, sigh. . . .

Also playing: Adam, Merideth, Chris (?), Gina, Colleen, Dave, Craig, Gord, Adrienne, Nannette.

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