Tag: FrankHerbert

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8 Stunning Literary Landscapes

Fiction has the power to take us to different worlds. Sometimes, those worlds look a lot like ours. But other times, they’re breathtaking new places that exceed our wildest imaginations.

We’re celebrating the most incredible literary landscape in fiction. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

 

Arrakis

From Dune by Frank Herbert

Science fiction is full of awesome desert planets (even Star Wars has one) but Arrakis is the most iconic of them all. Dune is considered by many to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time, and it’s centered entirely around Arrakis. Arrakis’ deserts are fascinating because they are utterly endless – and hold the spice mines that make the planet so valuable.

 

Barsoom (Mars)

From A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Science fiction tries pretty hard to be realistic these days, and it doesn’t thrill George R.R. Martin. Martin, like a lot of us, longs for the days of crazy science fiction landscapes. Landscapes like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ version of the Red Planet, which is full of canals, alien civilizations, and other other cool stuff.

 

Middle Earth’s Mordor and surrounding mountains

From The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy world-builders like George R.R. Martin owe a huge debt to the original master, J.R.R. Tolkien. Just about any spot in Middle Earth would qualify as a great literary landscape. We chose the dark, stormy, and stunning landscape of Mordor, which is bordered on three sides by enormous mountain ranges. Very cool.

 

Narnia

From The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series include mentions of neighboring lands, but it’s Narnia itself that seems the most beautiful. While its neighbors sometimes feature more extreme landscapes (one bordering land is very arid, while another is very mountainous), Narnia is described as having gorgeous scenery of its own. Lewis’ vision of was inspired by the scenery of his own home country, Ireland.

 

Neverland

From Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Neverland is Peter Pan’s magical world, and it’s got it all: pirates, mermaids, you name it. It’s a fantastic island with, of course, fantastic scenery. Grottoes, forests, lagoons: Neverland has it all!

 

Shangri-La

From Lost Horizon by James Hilton

In Hilton’s book Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is located in a breathtaking valley in the middle of Asia’s Kunlun Mountains.  It’s a mystical place where people live peaceful and very long lives. No wonder “Shangri-La” has become a term for an earthly paradise! The image above is from the 2004 film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, which made use of Hilton’s Shangri-La myth.

 

Westeros’ Dragonstone

From the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

There’s some man-made wonder here, too: the super-cool castle with carved dragons on it. But you can’t ignore the awesome spectacle of the mountainous island. A Song of Ice and Fire has a ton of cool landscapes (and even more cool man-made structures), but this is probably our favorite.

 

Wonderland

From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


The name says it all! Wonderland is one of fiction’s classic fantasy worlds. We’re particularly excited about the interpretation you see in the image above, because Tim Burton is bringing that world back to the silver screen with a sequel to his 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. Alice Through the Looking Glass will hit theaters in 2016.

Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1RIRpuK

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10 Fictional Languages From Novels

Most of us think that it’s hard enough to write well in English, but writing in ‘common’ languages is just not enough for some authors. Throughout the history of literature, great writers have developed and written in entirely new languages. Particularly in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, these languages help create a complete world and transport the reader to another time or place. If you’re a fan of creative linguistics, check out the ten great fictional languages on this list! You can even learn to speak a few of them.

 

Dothraki from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world is incredibly complete, right down to the fictional languages that his different characters use. Dothraki is spoken by the Dothraki people of the Dothraki Sea (which is actually a desert.) The language is spoken from time to time in the book series, but it really took off when television producers hired a linguistics expert to flesh it out into a full-fledged language for the Game of Thrones HBO series.

 

Esperanto, used in the Stainless Steel Rat Series by Harry Harrison

Esperanto is different from every other language on this list, in that it wasn’t made up by an author. It was made up, however – by a linguist who wanted to create a more efficient and simple universal language. It’s done pretty well by made-up language standards, but it hasn’t exactly caught on worldwide. In Harry Harrison’s fictional future, however, it’s all the rage.

 

The Fremen language from the Dune series by Frank Herbert

The Fremen language is spoken by the Fremen, natives of the desert planet Arrakis in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe. In the novels, the Fremen language is a linguistic descendent of real-world Arabic. Herbert’s vision is incredibly complete: there are different dialects of the Fremen language, and its use is charted over Dune’s long history in Herbert’s many novels.

 

Lapine from Watership Down by Richard Adams

The rabbit protagonists of Watership Down don’t speak English: they have their own language called Lapine, an invention of author Richard Adams. Adams has said that his goal was to create a “wuffy, fluffy” language for his rabbits. There is a sort of fluffiness to the tone, but other influences include Arabic and Gaelic.

 

Nadsat slang from A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The characters of Burgess’ dystopian world speak English, but not in a way that you or I would recognize. Burgess’ neo-English is full of “Nadsat” slang, which gives his rough characters an unfamiliar and ominous voice. Burgess was a linguist, and he used his background to create a realistic form of quasi-English – the new dialect is influenced by the Russian language.

 

Newspeak from 1984 by George Orwell

George Orwell’s Newspeak language is more than just a fun, futuristic dialect for his science fiction book. It’s an integral part of the plot and the point of the book. Newspeak is a language that’s created by the totalitarian government of Oceania as a way to suppress freedom of thought.

 

Old Tongue from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is in many ways a quintessential fantasy epic. World creation is a huge part of the series appeal, including the extensive language that Jordan constructed for the books. The Old Tongue is a dead language, used primarily by scholars at the time of Jordan’s narrative.

 

Parseltongue from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

One of the earliest scenes in the Harry Potter series features Harry conversing with a snake. By the second book, Rowling has revealed that Harry was actually speaking a language called Parseltongue, which Wizards can use to communicate with all different types of snakes. Parseltongue, as you might expect, sounds like hissing to non-speakers. To Harry, though, it’s understood as if it were English.

 

Quenya (Elvish) from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Every made-up fantasy language since Tolkien has been measured against the great languages of the Lord of the Rings series. Tolkien invented several fantasy languages, but Quenya – the language of Middle Earth’s elves – is his most famous. It’s so well-developed that Tolkien aficionados can even learn the language.

 

R’lyehian from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft 

Lovecraft’s interconnected fantasy worlds feature lots of creative inventions, including this fictional language. R’lyehian made its Earth debut thanks to the spawn of Cthulhu (the famous tentacle-faced monster). It appears in many of Lovecraft’s short stories.

 

Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1KA1N2y

Stephen L., Staff Writer