A travelogue into strange worlds? Written by a man who has disappeared. Consolidated from notes and drafts that he left behind? Notes from Small Planets by Nate Crowley merges fantasy-world building and travel writing in form of a travel guide, published by HarperVoyager, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Well, the pandemic may not really be a time to travel. At least physically. But then, there are types of travels that require you to sit on an armchair and let your imagination do the hard work. This travelogue is for that kind of special traveller.
Now here is a book that really takes your imagination to a different level. There is Floyd Watt, a journalist who has written the travelogue on these other worlds. There is his editor Eliza Salt, who critiques his work. The heated and completely irreverent banter between the two is just the beginning of the fun that underlines this book. Not to be outwitted by each other, the cross-banter between the imagined journalist and the imagined editor, is produced as footnotes in the book.
The book is exactly like a real-world travel guide. Except, that the places mentioned within don’t exist- except of course in the imagination. But, what a realistic picture the author has painted! It is a comprehensive tourist guide indeed, albeit to a fictional world, complete with maps, can’t miss experiences, a region by region breakup, snippets from the history and georgraphy of the imagined lands, special travel tips, wildlife, people, details about when to travel, getting around, where to stay, currency, packing tips, manners and etiquette, and well, even suggested itineraries.
So, do you fancy a homestay with an orc? Do you want to live the good life with superheroes around you? Or many, visit dark deep forests with magical creatures. You may want to engage in fantasy warfare, and live the life of a pirate. Or if you are a wildlife enthusiast you may just want to have a tryst with sea serpents and other fantastic creatures. Maybe jostle with skeletons as tour guides? Space could be the space for you…but yes, do heed the space fashions that you could consider. If your heart can take a bit of gore, there is Grondorra that you can visit, and meet the iconic barbarians there. Maybe you would like to attend a wizard’s school or look for fantastic beasts? And all these are just the tip of the iceberg. Well, as you see there are options aplenty. And like any other decent tourist guide this will leave you with dreams and hopes if travel and adventure.
We have seen world imagined in books and expressed on multimedia. But, reading an actual travel-guide on vivid fantasy worlds is a different kind of experience all together. Try this book if you love make-believe worlds and some wicked humour. This is a book that will jostle the reader out of his or her comfort zone and stretch the mind to newer horizons.
What you can definitely do with this book is let your imagination run wild. So, are you ready to take the flight of fantasy?