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View Diary: Bookflurries: Bookchat: Tales of Many Cities (152 comments)

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  •  Fantasy cities (11+ / 0-)

    Others have already covered Ankh-Morpork, so I won't bother except to say that I cherish the following line from Mort:  "a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers."

    Minas Tirith, of course, is probably the best known.  I still remember gasping at the glimpses of it in the background as Gandalf reins in his horse in the opening scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring.   It's one of the greatest of fantasy cities, with its seven levels and the court of the White Tree.

    Also in LOTR - Esgaroth upon the Long Lake, the city on stilts...Hobbiton and Bree, more towns than cities, but no less real...Caras Galadhon, built in and of the very mallorn trees themselves...Meduseld, more mead hall than city but the closest the Rohirrim have...doomed Gondolin...Rivendell..

    There are other fantasy cities, too.   The Emerald City, chief metropolis of Oz and seat of Princess Ozma, is so powerful an icon that its destruction in a Ray Bradbury story is the signal of the death of the human imagination.   Rhiminee, capitol of Skala in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunners series, is a wonderfully convoluted mess of intrigue, crime, beauty, and magic, and its predecessor, the corrupt and plague-ridden Ero, is even more vividly drawn.  Liavek from the shared world anthologies, Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, Roger Zelazny's Amber...the list goes on and on.

    And when it comes to urban fantasy, don't forget the vision of Minneapolis as a battleground between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Faerie in Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, or, my God, Charles De Lint's amazing vision of Toronto in Moonheart and Mulengro and so many others.  And Wen Spencer's Pittsburgh in Tinker and....

    So many cities.  So many adventures.  How can I possibly choose?

    •  Great list of great places...thanks! (6+ / 0-)

      I do like Toronto as you say.

      We have been blessed by authors' imaginations!

      So many of those beautiful places are in my heart, too.

      In the Dragon Lance books, the inn is in a huge tree.  That grabbed me right away.  :)

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:02:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll read ANYTHING by de Lint. (9+ / 0-)

      Not a city, but a series of...places...and now I am forgetting the author's name AND the title of the trilogy.

      It was published in the early 1980s, I think by Ace.

      A guy from Earth accidentally drives through a portal that sends him to other worlds.  There are series of these portals, created by aliens, and he ventures through many worlds (and adventures) before finding his way home.

      I loved it at the time, and would re-read it in a heartbeat, if I could remember the author or the titles.

      Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

      by Youffraita on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:27:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They sound interesting (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, newdem1960, Youffraita, Dumbo, jolux

        I know several books about gates or portals, but not one with a car.

        I will hope someone here can remember.

        Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:30:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I think you'd love it, cfk (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MT Spaces, cfk, newdem1960, jolux

          He drives back in time to the Big Bang, iirc.  Or at least...something like that.  It's been almost thirty years since I read those books.  But they were great fun & quite well written.

          Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

          by Youffraita on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:42:46 PM PDT

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        •  I've been trying to find a book (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, jolux, newdem1960

          like that too--I distinctly remember reading one in the late 70's to early 80's, like 78 to 82, with portals that was so cool, I've always wanted to read it again but have forgotten the title and author. I remember it had something to do with sand. Sands, dunes? or a desert?

          I thought it was a Zelazny book but although he's written about portals it's not the one. I once stayed up all night searching on amazon for sci-fi with "Gate" in the title, "Doorway," etc. and just couldn't find it.

          ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

          by sillia on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:10:34 PM PDT

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          •  hmmmm...Zelazny does have one called (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sillia, jolux, quarkstomper, newdem1960

            Roadmarks and I read it, too.  :)

            http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...

            The Road runs from the unimaginable past to the far future, and those who travel it have access to the turnoffs leading to all times and places—even to the alternate time-streams of histories that never happened. Why the Dragons of Bel'kwinith made the Road—or who they are—no one knows. But the Road has always been there and for those who know how to find it, it always will be!

            Annotation
            An extraordinary time-travel adventure by one of sf's most acclaimed masters of imagination--the award-winning author of the new hardcover A Night in the Lonesome October. Travelers of "The Road" can get off at exits leading to all times and places--even alternate histories that never happened. Reissue.

            Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:18:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't remember any dragons (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, newdem1960

              in the book I'm thinking of, though at this point I'm not sure if I can trust my memory--maybe I've invented this book in the intervening years!

              However, that Zelazny one sounds great, I'll look for it. Thanks!

              ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

              by sillia on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:33:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And oh, how could I have forgotten? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, newdem1960

      Tai-Tastagon, setting of P.C. Hodgell's marvelous novel Godstalk and its sequels, and Sanctuary from Thieves' World, and....

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