Hello dear, dear readers, welcome to another entry in the Seriously Geeky Sundays lexicon, overseen from on high by Heather, owner of the bloody excellent Just Geeking By, a website which I heartily recommend you visit.
Today’s piece is titled Embellish, let’s see what Heather’s official briefing is…
When I was in school I had an art project called Adorn, Decorate and Embellish and that is the inspiration for this week’s theme. Embellish means to make something more attractive by adding decorative details. This week is all about the visual representation of locations in fandom.
Question 1 – Which fictional city’s architecture makes you drool?
Okay, maybe not the most obvious choice, but Final Fantasy VII‘s Icicle Inn, a town on the precipice of a great glacier, surrounding the inhospitable Northern Crater.
So what do I like about Icicle Inn? It looks cosy as heck! Outside the gales howl, driving snow and freezing temperatures greet any visitors (Tifa really should have worn a jacket or something around there, totally not dressed for the weather) yet, stepping inside any of the houses, pure comfort awaits.
Open fireplaces, rays of light coming in through the windows, it looks incredibly homely! Even outside, open to the elements, Icicle Inn is sure pretty, like a Christmas wonderland… minus the Christmas.
The Forgotten City of the Ancients is also magnificent, yet very sad!
Question 2 – What natural location in a fictional world amazes you every time you see it?
It has towns in it, sure, but I’m going for the rolling countryside of Lancre, from the great Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books. Lancre is all rolling forests, verdant fields, mysterious standing stones and honeycombed caverns throughout the mountains.
There’s a great connection to Paganism in Lancre, the divide between the Discworld and more unpleasant dimensions is thin there and old foes are always ready to invade. But all is not lost, for Lancre is also home to the great Granny Weatherwax and her band of witches, and it takes more than interdimensional evil entities to slow them down!
Question 3 – Sometimes embellishment goes overboard; what is the most blinged-up fictional place you can think of?
Los Angeles in the Blade Runner movies is so crammed with embellishment that it’s more real seeming than the actual city of angels! Ridley Scott (and Denis Villeneuve in the amazing sequel) breathe life into this futuristic city that you can almost smell the fog and noodle stands! Hover cars roam overhead, neon signs light up the sides of skyscrapers and the mighty Tyrrell Corporation HQ towers over all like some great monolith…
Also, those holographic ads are next level, check them out!
Question 4 – And other times writers are just a little too good at their job; which spooky fictional location chills you to the bone?
Having recently read it, the HMS Terror from the book of the same name, by Dan Simmons.
The Terror is a Victorian era Royal Navy explorer ship, sent with fellow explorer the Erebus to locate and navigate through the infamous Northwest Passage, linking Europe to the Americas via the Arctic circle. Their voyage goes awry, however, and both ships end up locked in the Arctic ice for three years. Supplies run low, scurvy runs rife and and mutinous (and worse still) sentiments begin to boil over.
But this isn’t the worst thing to blight the ill-fated vessel, as an unknown something out on the ice steals crew members one by one and leaves their mutilated remains to be found by the terrified survivors.
Simmons does a fantastic job of describing the dying vessel throughout the book and, at the very end when the ship is rediscovered after the harrowing events of the story, something so chilling and strange is discovered that it actually sent a chill down my spine.
Question 5 – Which adaptation got a location design spot on and which one failed?
Despite some narrative changes and Sean Beans’ awful US accent (why on earth would you ask Yorkshire’s Greatest Son to speak like an American?), the Silent Hill movie is actually pretty damned good. A major part of this is due to the fact that director Christoph Gans really caught the look, sound and atmosphere of the infamous spooky town one hundred percent.
The movie gets a ribbing (the awful sequel definitely deserves it), but I always quite liked it and recommend it if anyone wants to check out this world brought to life as a movie.
For the bad one, I’m going to jump on a pretty big (and controversial) one that’s doing the round at the moment, BBC America’s odd “adaptation” of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Watch series of books, set in the Discworld (oh, we’re here again!).
I mean… what the hell is this? It’s an adaptation in the loosest of terms!
Question 6 – Which fictional location made you think room #goals?
The main hall of the Spencer Mansion in the original Resident Evil! Talk about opulent!
Don’t get me wrong, the Umbrella laboratory messing up and unleashing zombies and killer lizards into the place probably didn’t help its sales pitch, but it’s sure a fancy looking room, with lots of doors, pictures and pillars. Ooh la la!
And there we are, we have embellished with the best of them and hopefully you have enjoyed this journey as much as I have! As ever, check out all of the other readers under the #SeriouslyGeekySundays hashtag (for they are all amazing) and I shall see you all