From horses to spaceships and everything in between, there is no shortage of transpiration methods in books, no matter when or where they are set. However, apart from the more traditional methods of getting around, some authors have also come up with some very unique forms of transportation for their characters. Some of them, such as teleportation, have become so popular that they were adopted for other books, movies and television shows. Here are just a few of the more innovate ways that characters reach their destinations in the world of fiction.
The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind
Means of transport: The Sliph
In The Sword of Truth series by author Terry Goodkind it is possible to travel hundreds of miles in less than a day, but there are some caveats. Travelers must have both subtractive and additive magic and cannot carry certain magical items with them on the journey. What makes the Sliph unique is that although it is a quicksilver-like substance, it can also take the form of a beautiful woman. This is because the Sliph was originally a prostitute who was transformed by the wizards of the keep she used to frequent. Travelling via the Slip requires travelers to breath in her substance as they are moved along the underground tunnels it occupies.
Predator Cities series by Philip Reeve
Means of transport: Traction Cities
As a result of a war, which caused destruction and geological upheaval, the post-apocalyptic world of the Predator Cities series by author Philip Reeves is a pretty inhospitable place. A lot of scientific knowledge is also lost due to the war, humanity does come up with a way to modify cities with wheels and engines to make them mobile. These so called traction cities are not just able to roam around, but also eat other cities to gain their resources. This is a pretty fantastical concept, but fans will be able to see these cities in action when the movie adaptation by Peter Jackson hits the bigscreen.
The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
Means of transport: Genetically modified airwhale
The Leviathan Trilogy by author Scott Westerfeld features an alternative take on World War I where nations using mechanized war machines clash against those who uses living creatures that they fabricate genetically. The latter faction is called Darwinists and their most unique form of transport is the Leviathan. It takes the form of a large airwhale that uses its cilia for flight along with genetically modified hawks and bats for weapons.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Means of transport: MagnaPoon
One of the more unique ways of getting around in the world of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is the MagnaPoon. This device is used by a “Kourier” and takes the form of an arachnofiber cable that is attached to a large, padded electromagnet. The MagnaPoon is then launched at other vehicles while the owner uses their skateboard to ride along. It is quite dangerous though and due to the fact that they slow down their targets the owners of MagnaPoons are not very popular. This often results in vehicle owners trying to shake their unwanted guests loose, but the MagnaPooners are usually prepared for these types of maneuvers and even respond by slapping a sticker on their victim’s window to voice their displeasure.
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
The Hawking mats in the Hyperion Cantos series by author Dan Simmons are essentially flying carpets. However, unlike the magic used to power these mats in legends and fairytale, the Hawking mats are based on science. They use a simple containment field to help passengers stay on-board and to shield them from high winds, while touching the flight threads in a certain way controls the steering. Due to the fact that these mats are so dangerous to handle and hard to deal with they are mostly seen as a novelty and banned on most of the Hegemony worlds in the books.