Tough Traveling: Saving the World!
The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information. Compulsive list-maker that I am, I’m very excited to take part!
This week’s tour 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.
After a few weeks of easy topics, Nathan decided to toss us a hard one this week. We’re talking about saving the world. Not saving a kingdom. Not saving the protagonist’s own little corner of the realm or a slice of his or her community. We’re talking the WORLD or nothing, all of life at stake and the whole shebang.
Modern fantasy has actually shifted away from a lot these “OMG the whole world is at stake!” stories in recent years, so I actually had a tough time coming up with pure fantasy examples that I have read lately and my brain isn’t working really well this week. And you know what I realized? For a lot of these books, despite our protagonists desperately trying to save the world, things don’t always end well.
This is simply one WEIRD book, so rather than try to explain, let me just let the novel’s Wikipedia entry do the talking: “An inexplicable event has occurred at the British Museum of Natural History — a forty foot specimen of giant squid in formalin has disappeared overnight. The wondrous squid represents deity to the Church of Kraken Almighty. Did they liberate their god, or could it have been stolen by a rival cult? The only thing that all agree upon is that the fate of this embalmed kraken is intimately tied to the End of the World.”
When Mac’s sister Alina was murdered in Ireland, she travels there to hunt her killer. But then she discovers that she and Alina are descended from an ancient bloodline of Fae hunters. The battle between humans and the immortal Fae have been waged in secret for thousands of years, and now the Fae are trying to break through to our realm and take over. Dark zones are appearing not just in Dublin but all over the world.
A killer asteroid is approaching earth, set to collide with the planet and cause planet-wide effects and effectively ending human civilization as we know it. However, young detective Hank Palace is determined to do his job to the very end, even though his sister Nico has fallen in with a group of suspicious radicals armed with heavy artillery and who claim to have a plan to destroy the asteroid and save humanity.
I’m sure I’m leaving off a lot! Looking forward to seeing other people’s lists to school me in what I’m missing.