“Tough Traveling” is a weekly Thursday feature created by Nathan at Review Barn where participants make a new list each week based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones. This hilarious little book cheerfully pokes fun at the most prevalent tropes in fantasy. All are welcome to take part, and there is a link up over at his site. Join in any time!
This week’s trope is PEOPLE ON BOATS:
Grab a map of Fantasyland and you are sure to see there is water. Of course not everything important is going to happen on land, right? Sometimes people actually have to get on a boat and hit the water. Where, being fantasyland, anything can happen.
With this week’s trope, I’ve got the feeling that each list is going to look very different. Hopefully I’ve got a few unexpected picks on here!
| Basically Everyone- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
It doesn’t really get more ‘classic SFF’ than this one! Captain Nemo and co. are on board the fantastical Nautilus, which isn’t just a boat – it’s a submarine. Awesome.
|Will Laurence – His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Before getting roped into the world of dragons and becoming a member of a dragon air force, Will Laurence was a highly decorated and respected naval captain. There are a couple really great scenes where Temeraire flies alongside Laurence’s ship to eat fish and frolic – so I guess this one is ‘people [and dragons] on boats.’
|Pi & Co. – Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I mean…the whole book is just people on boats. And animals on boats. Yet somehow it was really great. Not sure that I’d call it SFF per se, but it’s definitely got some heavy magical realism going on.
|Everyone Living on Stormwrack – Child of a Hidden Sea
In this portal fantasy (another Canadian title!), an entire world is based on the concept of people living at sea, on ships. One of the most important elements of Stormwrack culture is the Fleet, a group of ships that all travel together and essentially comprise a floating city.