Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week’s topic is SAVING THE WORLD
SAVING THE WORLD is something many Tours require you to do. You have to defeat the DARK LORD or WIZARDS who are trying to enslave everyone.
One would think that as easy as it was to find dark lords for these lists that finding end of the world scenarios would be just as easy. In a way it was, but I decided to pick a few that didn’t involve dark lords. Through the magic of Goodreads (and stretching the rules until they fit) I came up with a list that should work. A great many worlds need saving though so let’s jump on it.
The Color of Magic/The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett –Glad to get some Pratchett back on the list, this one was too easy. Loveable Rincewind, the most inept wizard (wizzard) on Discworld has held a spell in his head with zero knowledge of what it is.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Great A’tuin has taken a direction that seems to be on a crash course with another celestial body. What if the only chance to save the world rests with a person who may no longer be on the world? What if Rincewind doesn’t remember the words? What could a giant space turtle find so interesting out there anyway?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – Ahahahaha! I did it! I got Pratchett on to the list twice! And they said it couldn’t be done.
Ahem. Ok but this is perfect because it quite literally deals with the end of the world. As in the four horsemen, antichrist, rising oceans and all that jazz. With the most adorable little antichrist you can imagine, look at his cute little toesies!
A dream collaboration with two of the best writers around. There really is no reason to not read this hilarious take on the apocalypse. It has a buddy film vibe between an angel and daemon, a gang of little rascals, and enough humor to satisfy even the gruffest reader.
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey – Twice in two weeks, I obviously have Pern on the brain. But thread is coming my friends, and there just are not enough dragons to combat it. On top of that the Holds are holding out (hehe) from their duties to the weyrs. It is chaos out there and it all needs to be figured out before that nasty little problem hits.
Oh, and if you didn’t know, thread falls from the sky and eats every bit of organic matter it comes in contact with. This little problem, if not fixed? End of basically all life. May want to work on that.
Warhammer 40k by various authors – Not the end of the world, but the universe. Not a physical end though, there will still be life of sorts. But Chaos is creeping in and must be fought with extreme prejudice. Mankind is under siege by all sides; there is no evil to fight, just heresy. Oh sure chaos can come in the form of warped armies, but it just as easily can sneak into a supposedly safe system through something as simple as a piece of tainted glass.
Oh life is hell, hope the corpse of an Emperor can keep up for another couple thousand years.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Turns out that earth is directly in the path of an intergalactic shipping lane and needs to be destroyed in the name of progress. It is up to Arthur and Ford to save… oh that’s right.
Ford, you are turning into an infinity of penguins. Stop it.
Join us next week as we look at SHAPESHIFTING
SHAPESHIFTING is frequent among both WERES and MAGIC USERS. The usual form taken is that of a WOLF, but lions, eagles, serpents, owls, and cats are common too. In all cases the rule is that the shapeshifter cannon stay too long in animal form without actually becoming that animal.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!