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message 1: by Freya, Dragon Rider (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1829 comments Mod
Given that August 2015 is the themed month for Colonisation and New Worlds, I thought I would pose everyone a question.

"Beauty was the promise of happiness, not happiness in itself; and the anticipated world was often more rich than anything real" p.108 - Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

This quote doesn't contain any spoilers but as I read it I thought about something I have thought about and dissected any number of times - How would I react if a portal (magical or sci-fi) appeared?

This question actually applies to everything we read really. I always think that I would run up to whatever it is and touch it / go through etc. but then I wonder how would I test it's not dangerous, would I really want to leave everything I know and love behind as I might not be able to get back? And so on.

Equally I like to try and imagine what the rest of the country/world would do when news broke... my mind tends to get tied up in bureaucracy and mild despair by then!

Added to what would you do... If there was one kind of world/portal that you would want to discover by accident while out on a walk, what would it be? :)


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin I think a wormhole would be fairly brilliant. Maybe a trip back to ancient Celtic, Greek or Roman times. Seeing some dinosaurs would be mind blowing too, even if I do get eaten as a result! Plus, a wormhole is entirely plausible... in theory. :)


message 3: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new)

Paul | 3543 comments Mod
Isn't every fantasy /scifi book a portal ;-)
Personally I'd like a link to a fantasy world of magic . Thats the stuff I grew up on. a modern way to test it , chuck a camera recording through on a string then draw it back.


message 4: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
If it was six years ago before I met my wife and had my kids you wouldn't even have had to ask me twice I would have volunteered to be the guinea pig. I was in a space where I had lost any and all respect for our own world and would have gladly left it all behind In a heart beat.

Now that I have people to care for and that care for me I do t think I could do it but would still be interested to know where it went.


message 5: by Trevor (last edited Aug 10, 2015 02:05PM) (new)

Trevor (sundowner) It is an interesting thought. I'm not entirely sure why but I've always dreamed of going to a place where we were long lived, the Culture civilisation of Iain M Banks, or maybe Robert Heinleins 'Time Enough For Love' society.

I have had some rough times in this lifetime but still the thought of living maybe 3 or 400 years is an enticing one.

In fantasy the only society/place I've ever wanted to live is in a peaceful Middle Earth. I would quite happily live in one of any of the societies lives there.


message 6: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1891 comments I dont know that I could leave everyone behind and go through unless I knew for sure what was on the otherside. Even then I would only go if my hubby was coming too.

The Necroscope series by Brian Lumley had portals to another world. They were one way only but there always seemed to be two, so one way in and another one home. That would be ok, it would be like a holiday without having everyone on the end of the phone. Sometimes I think that would be bliss!


message 7: by Kristofer (new)

Kristofer Hanson (kristofermhanson) | 73 comments The future Earth represented in Star Trek, circa 2364. WWIII is long past and humanity is the leading member of the United Federation of Planets. Society is a Utopia where you work, and everything is provided for you. Mankind has just about mastered the universe, with deadly threats far enough away in the other quadrants of the galaxy to not warrant a clear and present danger.

There is something to be said about the time frame of the 2150's, though. We had just made first contact with the Vulcans, and humanity is taking its first, true steps into space exploration with the NX-01 Enterprise, the first Warp 5 capable ship. Space is truly an unexplored territory, and Earth has just come together after its recovery from WWIII.

This question makes me think of the tabletop game, Rifts. Complex game, but I could just take the master game book and read it like a novel for hours on end. If you have never looked it up, you should. One of the few game worlds where ANYTHING can happen.


message 8: by Freya, Dragon Rider (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1829 comments Mod
Loving all your thoughts - some themes of peaceful locations! Would anyone willingly go into a dangerous environment? What would make it worth it?

The obvious thing would be to stay in our current world but discover that witches and wizards do exist (Harry Potter), because then you wouldn't need to leave family and friends behind. I have always been close to my family so regardless of the fact that I don't have little people dependants I think I would always be tied to family, unless I could bring them with... but would they hate it? I think my greatest problem is choosing what/where I would like to go... sci-fi in the future or a world of magic... or magic and science? Unless you had something where you could go to multiple portals you would have to just choose one. But then you could imagine the cringe-worthy adverts for 'magical holidays'!!

I think I would be interested to go to Pern, either as a colonist when it is so full of optimism or later when it is more feudal and when there are more dragons (and my chance of impressing one! though realistically I might be verging on being too old now).


message 9: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
I think the world of Chris wooding Tales of the Ketty Jay series would be sweet, airships and swashbuckling and all sorts of fun stuff :)


message 10: by Andreas (new)

Andreas | 106 comments Going in a fantasy land without a good dentist? No way.
Going in a scifi world with incompatible life (cf. Aurora), ruined climate or dystopian culture? No way.

I'm going to stay where I am, because I like it here. Hm. Maybe a Gor world with all those pretty slave girls :) But no, my wife is pretty.


message 11: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new)

Paul | 3543 comments Mod
Was the last line just in case your wife reads it ;-)


message 12: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
I've always though the dentist thing too but teeth might have been safer back then with the lack of soft drinks and such. Less products to ruin your teeth. At the same time less things to preserve them.


message 13: by Freya, Dragon Rider (last edited Aug 23, 2015 10:28AM) (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1829 comments Mod
Ahaha well Lancer, don't go to a fantasy world where your grains are stone-ground ;) Have you seen old skeletons where the dentine is exposed, the caries and the abscesses ?! Equally the human race have always loved sweet things, Queen Elizabeth I's teeth weren't too shiny when sugar came along, and before then we had honey. I don't know about you but I have noticed many fantasy books which refer to sweet/spiced honey cakes or fruit pies etc. :D

Having said that, if you go to a magical world there might be a spell for that. In Harry Potter you have St. Mungo's Hospital, so I would presume there to be a dentist equivalent!


message 14: by Andreas (new)

Andreas | 106 comments Freya wrote: "Having said that, if you go to a magical world there might be a spell for that. In Harry Potter you have St. Mungo's Hospital, so I would presume there to be a dentist equivalent!"

I guess only rich or mighty people could afford magical healing. And there is always the risk that a magic spell goes sour and turns your teeth in boar's husks.


message 15: by Freya, Dragon Rider (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1829 comments Mod
Perhaps - and I would certainly not let Gilderoy Lockheart at my teeth! though the question remains would you rather have boar tusks (of whatever size) or no teeth?

I think it is interesting all the same, and some of these ideas can be useful to world-building depending on who your main character is - background nitty gritty you might consider even if you don't include it.


message 16: by proxyfish (new)

proxyfish | 58 comments Boar tusks?! Why then you would look like an orc! Perfect addition to fantasy land :D


message 17: by Mpauli, Bitten by a radioactive book (new)

Mpauli | 769 comments Mod
I think the essence of the sentence you posted is the well known "The grass is always greener on the other side" idea. And I kind of agree with that.
I often experienced that in my own life, where I thought that possessing a certain object, having a certain experience or relationship would somehow change some or many aspects of my life into something positive.
But when you get what you want that dreamy longing is gone.
Therefore I would most likely not fall under the illusion/promise of something entirely new.
But as a reader, of course I like to have the full story and a resolution. So I could be tempted by a view into the far future, just to see what happened in the times that I won't be able to experience.
Cuase taking part in history is a great tv show and dying its premature cancellation.


message 18: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
Very well put Mpauli.


message 19: by proxyfish (last edited Aug 23, 2015 03:22PM) (new)

proxyfish | 58 comments I think as fantasy/scifi fans we're always on the look out for adventure. But you're absolutely right mpauli, you only think you know what you want until you get it. Just think of the problems of travelling to another world, the society or lack thereof, the laws....the currency! I frequently think that if I went back in time my biggest problem would be currency. Would I have brought enough to trade? Would I have to live as an odd hermit in a hovel? I don't want to start my adventure as a grubby peasant! Oh the complexities of life as an inter-dimensional time traveller.


message 20: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
I think your best bet for travelling to a fantasy setting as far as currency goes would be to take as much expensive jewellery as possible. If you got gold and diamonds etc to barter with I think you will get a lot farther than with most other things


message 21: by proxyfish (new)

proxyfish | 58 comments Good plan!... note to self: rob jewellery store before embarking on an adventure


message 22: by Susie (new)

Susie  (susiend104) | 265 comments This is a fascinating topic! I've always thought that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go through such a portal... but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first one through! And, in all honesty, I'm well aware that my survival skills are relatively limited. But, if there were another world available, and I could be adequately prepared, yes, I would go. I'm not sure where exactly I'd go if given a choice, but someplace with magic would be irresistibly awesome.


message 23: by Lel (new)

Lel (lelspear) | 1891 comments Susie wrote: "This is a fascinating topic! I've always thought that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go through such a portal... but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first one through! And, in all honesty, I..."

I think that is something that I def. overlooked. If I went into a world like Lord of the Rings, I dont think I could light a fire or catch food. I would probably starve within a week! if nothing else got me first.....


message 24: by Kristofer (new)

Kristofer Hanson (kristofermhanson) | 73 comments Lel wrote: "Susie wrote: "This is a fascinating topic! I've always thought that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go through such a portal... but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first one through! And, in..."

LOL... this! I am a disabled veteran and Wounded Warrior. While I have the combat skills to survive I have no way to use them anymore. This is the reason I chose the world of Star Trek... have someone like the Doctor or Beverly Crusher fix me up. Then maybe step back through the portal to Fantasy land where my survival chances would take me beyond ten minutes.


message 25: by Lancer, Warden of the Slums (new)

Lancer (elancer) | 1666 comments Mod
Nothing some cyborg implants couldn't cure, you could be like when Cyborg Stan Smith came back from the future on American Dad.


message 26: by Rick (new)

Rick Have any of you read Julian May's Many-Colored Land? it's basically this. Kind of. With psi powers.


message 27: by Johanna (new)

Johanna H. | 101 comments Some possibilities: - land somewhere where i can't breathe & die at once. - land in prehistoric times & get eaten by dinosaur at once. - maybe i couldn't go back.
- land somewhere where an unknown disease would kill me slowly. - land in a time where humans are treated like slaves, end up as a slave. - have no money and end up on the street. - land in times of war. - land in times where the whole humanity has evolved but me. - - my language would be different & no one would understand me. - I land somewhere in the future where everyone lives up to 300 years & i don't have to die.
.. Which mean i would do it at once :D
If i knew i could go back for sure then probably. If not i would pass the opportunity to someone else who is good in survival.. like bear grylls :D Or i would take some technology with me.. bury it in the ground some 1000 years back travel to my time.. get the popcorn & watch while the whole world goes crazy. When i think about it while reading a book i always say that i would do it but in reality i probably wouldn't have a high chance of survival and die at once if it is sci fi or magic or just the future. But it's still cool to think about


message 28: by Freya, Dragon Rider (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1829 comments Mod
Yes Johanna! I have always considered the possibility that a portal to elsewhere could be lethal in terms of air toxicity and so on, or that people on the other side might wait for me to stick my hand/head/whatever through and chop it off (or a dinosaur bite it off!).

I think there is a definite fear of not being able to get back which would particularly matter if you have family and friends, I suppose this is why so many adventure stories work well with the 'orphan main character' because they are not bound to one place in the same way and it is more believable that they might just up and leave.


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