Fiction is a wonderful place to be, there are so many opportunities for wonder and amazement it’s unsurprising that they offer up a myriad of locations I would love to visit. Choosing just a few of the places I want to go to is difficult, I could choose some very easy places like Paris, New York or Rome. Yet where is the adventure in going on holiday? I want to be wowed by amazing architecture or events that I can’t experience in a photo or film.
I could go to the echoes of places that have been captured in fiction, whether it be Les Miserables or Gladiator, but somehow that feels even less real than completely imaginary locations. It is like being offered cheese and having to have processed yellow slices. Instead I am going for bacon.
So keeping that in mind here are just some of the places I want to go.
Of all the Sci Fi and fantasy books I’ve read none have fascinated me more than China Mieville’s world of Bas Lag. A strange world of science, magic and the weird. Sitting at the heart of Bas Lag is the city of New Crobuzon.
The city itself seems to me to be a version of Victorian London that is populated by the mundane and the bizarre in equal fashion. Inhabited by Cacti-men, amphibians who can mould water, scarab-headed artisans, sentient constructs and primarily humans; New Crobuzon is a city-state where the government maintains control through a system of militia and political manoeuvring.
Faced by threats as diverse as riots, trans-dimensional spiders and floating cities, it is the first series of fantasy where I don’t believe there can be a deus ex machina as anything that can happen could, and it would not seem out-of-place. It is normally very tempting to read the end of a book to find out what happens, but in New Crobuzon the end is nowhere as near interesting, or important, as the journey to get there.
What could be better than a beautiful Caribbean island? Perhaps a great big theme park…with dinosaurs. Isla Nebula is home to Jurassic Park, the ill-fated genetically modified fun fair where a slight malfunction caused a little problem.
A number of my geek boxes are being ticked here, plus it taps into my love of systemic chaos. Obviously there is a slight danger of death, but it’s my fantasy and I’m going to be safe. In reality the ride through the park doesn’t excite me, if anything my favourite moments in the film are when they are out in wide open spaces of the park.
Where you ask? Pleasantview is the home of The Sims, and I can’t imagine a better place to live. Every single person has the opportunity to be a doctor, actor or paranormal investigator. The world of the Sims is the ultimate meritocracy. You can only progress by skill alone. It’s also easy to tell what others are thinking, all you have to do is look at the bubble above their head. No more misunderstandings, no more crossed wires.
There is also stuff. Lots of stuff. In fact you could probably call The Sims a stuff-collecting game. I like stuff.Perhaps the best thing about living in Pleasantview, you don’t have to do a thing. Instead you are controlled by some non-existent power who runs your life clicked that giant green diamond above your head. If anyone knows if I can book any of these from Expedia please let me know.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tourist Trap.”