Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Fictional Worlds I'd Rather Not Visit

So, I see that Lydia Schoch is participating in a Weekly Blogging Challenge, which looks like fun. Today's theme is "Fictional Worlds I'd Rather Not Visit," which given the amount of horror I read, well... boy, howdy. But all right, just off the top of my head, here are some worlds I'd definitely prefer to steer clear of:

Free Zone - From Stephen King's The Stand, this is the home of the new civilization that the America-based Good Guys try to set up in Boulder Colorado. Even leaving aside Captain Tripps, the re-engineered mutant influenza virus that kills off something like 99% of the population (and that's plenty of reason to avoid this world, thanks), this is just... a horrible idea. I mean, the rationale for moving to Boulder was to abandon Mother Abigail's lovely arable farmland for a semi-arid city where everybody can live off of canned food (which doesn't go bad, right?) and other stored supplies (which don't go bad either, right?) so that they can use the generators on the local dam (which don't require any sort of maintenance, right?) to provide electricity.

Recluse - From the series by L.E. Modesitt Jr., Recluse seems on the surface like it might be a pretty decent place to live... and parts of it honestly might be, most of the time. I'd still rather not visit, though, because it seems like at least once a generation there's another epic conflict between the forces of Order and Chaos, the conclusion of which requires rearranging the landscape, altering the climate, turning an army into a field of ashes, and/or sinking a fleet of warships. The result is that probably every thirty years or so, this world suffers a major ecological and economic disaster. And with my luck, that would be exactly the moment I picked to swing by for a tour.

Underland - from The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. This is actually a really fascinating little series, and it would fun to learn how to ride around on the back of a giant bat. The big issue here is that if you somehow manage to reach the Underlands from the Overlands (our world) alive -- and this is much more difficult than it sounds, and mostly a matter of luck -- well... everything is trying to eat you, you might get caught up in some horrible ancient prophecy, and it's ridiculously hard to get back out of the Underlands. Also? Giant, talking cockroaches and giant talking spiders. That's not actually a deal-breaker for me, but it would sure take some getting used to.

Yharnam - The setting for From Software's Cosmic Horror video game Bloodborne. Honestly, the "Cosmic Horror" part says it all: there are no good options here. Either you're one of the citizens, in which case you're infected and almost certainly turning into some sort of horrible monster, or else you're a hunter, in which case you'll almost certain get yourself torn apart or find some other, equally horrible death. Never, ever plan a vacation in Yharnam.

Hell Divers - I absolutely adore the concept of Nicholas Sansbury Smith's world, in which the last of humanity remains alive in giant helicarriers, and Hell Divers skydive down to the surface wasteland to scavenge the parts and supplies needed to keep those ships in the air. It's a great setting, but I would never want to visit it: scarce resources, unbelievable crowding, and a surface world too dangerous for humanity to return to.


  1. I think it's awesome that you're participating this week! Have you added your blog to the round-up yet so that everyone else can read your post?

    And, yeah, the Free Zone wasn't well-thought-out at all. They should have stayed put.

    1. Didn't realize we could!

      Done now, though. Thanks!

  2. I'm so sorry for the delay in responding! I just saw your link, so hurried on over. Hope to see you again tomorrow (and this time, I'll know to keep an eye out for you). First off, I had no idea Suzanne Collins had another series, and I've hied myself off to the library website to check it out.

    I did love "The Stand" but there were a few things that really made me scratch my head. I think most post-apocalyptic worlds are probably pretty horrible, though.

  3. Welcome to the Wednesday Blogging Challenge... I love your ideas AND you've given me a lot of new books to check out! Thanks!!


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