Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag

ww2020

Our second Wyrd & Wonder tag ๐Ÿ™‚ We decided to go crazy, and there were a few we wanted to do for quite a while…

Ladies and Gentlemen – Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag, originally spotted on The Little Book Owl.

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A fictional world that you would like to tour

Piotrek: Middle Earth. There are many fascinating universes in the world of fantasy, but this is the one that started it all, the Amber of fantasy realms. I want to walk in Lorien, rest in Rivendell, climb… well, not necessarily Caradhras in winter, but perhaps Erebor, if Smaug isn’t around? Yes, one of the rare peaceful moments would be perfect for an extended tour. It already is one of my special places, although only ever visited in imagination.

I hope I’ll get to visit New Zealand as an acceptable substitute ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ola: Please do! ๐Ÿ˜€

IMG_20191102_133000IMG_20191102_135827IMG_20191102_113956

As I am already in the Earth-equivalent of Middle Earth, the fictional world I’d like to visit the most would be Amber – the pattern-world of fantasy worlds created by Roger Zelazny. Though in truth it’s a cheating answer – because from there I could get (more or less) easily to other worlds: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Robin Hobb’s Realm of Elderlings, Neal Stephenson’s Arbre from his absolutely mind-blowing Anathem (the review of which will come soon!), Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea, Glen Cook’sย world of the Black Company (but I’d only go there if I had a guarantee I would come back, even the mythical Khatovar doesn’t strike me as a good place to live), Iain Banks’s utopian Culture worlds and Neal Asher’s Polity, and so many others!

A specific place that you would like to visit

Piotrek: But if I were to choose a single special place… Hogwarts could actually be the one. I mean, so many wonders under one roof… yes, a shorter tour would be to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If a feast in the Great Hall was included in visitor’s package ๐Ÿ™‚

Ola: That’s a tough one for me. I could try to wriggle a bit and cheat again, and choose C.S. Lewis’s forest between the worlds… ๐Ÿ˜€ Or Zelazny’s Pattern in Amber… Unseen University’s Library with its L-space also seems like a great place to visit!

discworld-the-unseen-university-illustration-main-david-wyatt-terry-pratchett
Unseen University Library ยฉ David Wyatt

Well, by now you get the gist – I’m one of those who gifted with three magic wishes would make “infinitely more wishes” my first ๐Ÿ˜€

A character that you would like to meet

Piotrek: That would not be easy. One of the Great Wizards, undoubtedly. There are a few, but again, I have to go with Tolkien. With Gandalf the Grey, I would even smoke a pipe. His kindness, knowledge, his ability to advice… he’s not the only one, in this case, not even the original one – that title belongs to Merlin – but I would still choose Mithrandir.

Ola: Oh, another tough one! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to have a chat with Croaker, and Ged, and Paul Atreides, Fraa Jad from Stephenson’s Anathem (oh man, I’d absolutely love to talk to him, even if I wouldn’t understand half of what he says!), and with Merlin’s incarnation from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. But I think this time I’ll choose Tenar from Le Guin’s Earthsea series. I admire her strength and her unwavering acceptance of whatever life brings – acceptance rooted in hope and deep, quiet happiness, prevailing despite everything. She is her own person as much as all of the more active heroes, making the world a better place in her own small ways – but without her, it would have never been righted.

An event you would like to witness

Piotrek: The slow, magnificent sunrise on Discworld, from high above? That would be magnificent, even if there it happens every day.

Discworld

I thought about the many great battles of fantasy, but that could be a bit too dangerous.

Ola: The moment when Death talks to Azrael in Pratchett’s Reaper Man. I love this scene to pieces, and I get goosebumps every time I read it.

A sport/activity you would like to try

Piotrek: That’s a tough one, because I wouldn’t really want to try quidditch. Flying is cool, but the canon rules I consider a bit silly.

So… dragon riding? Out of all the flying creatures dragons seem most epic. Perhaps even over Westeros (and other parts of the known world), despite all my antipathy towards Valyrians. There are some sights there!IMG_20200512_190216Would I put anything on fire? Well, I’d try not to…

Ola: Dragon riding would be my first choice. Not necessarily in Westeros, there are some more picturesque places to visit, such as Le Guin’s Earthsea – though there I’d probably have to ask very nicely to be taken for a ride ;).

Not sure if this can count as a sport/activity, as it’s sedentary (though involves a lot of intensive thinking!), but I would also really like to play the game of stones from The Realm of Elderlings.

A weapon you would like to wield

Piotr: There are many great weapons of fantasy, and if I have to fight with one of them, the choice would depend of my enemy. But I really wanted to include something, or someone, from Amber. The world of Amber… I would like to visit almost as much as Middle Earth, but that would be cheating – as it potentially includes all existing and non-existing worlds. So, for my weapon I would choose Grayswandir, Corwin’s sword. Corwin is one of my favourite characters of one of my favourite sagas, and he had a mighty sword indeed!

Ola: See? I had no such qualms! ๐Ÿ˜€

I always wanted to fence, preferably with saber or sword. Saber is uniquely versatile, but not very popular in the fantasy genre – so, a nicely balanced bastard sword would be the best. There are plenty of those to choose from, but if we are to fully indulge in this fantasy, I can readily admit that I’d like to hold Excalibur for a moment ๐Ÿ˜€ No heads would roll, nor (hopefully) any wounds would be incurred (myself included), but nevertheless – there is something fetching in a lovingly crafted, perfectly balanced, deadly steel.

That said, do Elvish rings of power count as weapons? ๐Ÿ˜‰

And I know I’m bending the rules once again, but Ian Cormac’s Tenkian weapon, Shuriken, is something I’d like to see (preferably not aimed at me)!

An item you would like to use

Piotr: The Luggage, obviously! The best artifact of all fantasy. Safety, gold, and clean socks. What more would I want?

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Ola: The mirror of Galadriel. Knowledge is power! (buahahahaha!)

We had a lot of fun with this tag – so, while we’re not going to name names, if you do feel intrigued by it, give it a try! ๐Ÿ˜€

63 thoughts on “Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag

  1. I enjoyed reading this. I’d also love to visit New Zealand. Hopefully I’ll be able to do so when it’s safe to travel again.
    Would also love to see the sun rise over Discworld. Actually, I’d like to witness different types of weather in Discworld. I don’t want to experience all of them.
    And same here – I’d like to fence. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, do come! If you ever visit Auckland, let me know and maybe we could meet! ๐Ÿ˜€

      It’s a cool tag and we enjoyed doing it – although it had been around for a while, I think, we only recently found it ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you haven’t done it yet, feel tagged! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Great! I’ll be looking forward to your possible NZ visit! ๐Ÿ˜€
          Oh bugger, we’re always late with these tags and everybody has even forgotten about them before we get down to writing our answers – unless we make our own tag! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lol! That’s okay. These things go around and it’s so hard to tell who has done what. Plus, sometimes people so tags again. I sometimes do that too.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing post! I really enjoyed this one. And I agree with watching the sunrise over Discworld, but specifically from the rim, pretty much what happens at the end of Colour of Magic, only with a sunrise. Though… it might be a bit bright. And… you could try to experience the world of C.S. Lewis by locking yourself in a wardrobe. Pretty much the same, yeah?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜
      Yes, it was amazing amounts of fun! ๐Ÿ˜€ But now I’m in quandary – all this thinking made me wish to re-read all the books mentioned… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. piotrek

      Thanks! Yes, Middle Earth is the source of it all for me, even if they were fantastic realms created earlier. There’s actually an interesting comment on that in Gaiman’s non-fiction that I might review later this year…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, it reminded me to start reading Black Company, and maybe a reread of the first half of Amber.

    That first Amber answer is brilliant btw, great cheat.

    If I had to pick a place, it might be Urth of The Book of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe – that’s wholeheartedly recommended to the both of you, probably my next reread after I finish the Dune series again, give me a few years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ๐Ÿ˜„ Thanks!

      Yes, the first half of Amber books is amazing. The rest less so, but still pretty ok. I still think ลปelazny wanted to write another set of books to wrap this mess up, but he simply didn’t have enough time.

      I need to read The Book of New Sun, so far all your recommendations always paid off very well for me! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. New Sun is in a league of its own – it’s hard to describe how great it is on so many levels. But it’s not an easy read, and sometimes batshit crazy.

        It’s for sure in my all time top 5 reads, regardless of genre.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll read it this year for sure. What are the other four? Dune, probably, is one of them?

          In the meantime, my Anathem review will be on the blog in the beginning of June ๐Ÿ˜€

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          1. Good question, it was a bit of an off-hand remark, as I don’t have a top 5 ready. I guess Dune indeed, maybe also ‘Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity’ by Richard Rorty. That’s 3.

            If I had to add more SF maybe Excession by Banks, or Anathem by Stephenson, but I guess I should include other stuff, so maybe ‘Je kunt geen twintig zijn op suikerheuvel’ by JHM Berckmans, and the Van de Wetering reprint of Corpus VI on Rembrandt. That’s 5. Or The Flexibel Phenotype by Piersma. That’s six. ๐Ÿ˜Š

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Nice list. I’m impressed by your Rorty!
            Not sure if I could choose only 5. Definitely not if we include philosophy books! We had this idea for 11 books that influenced us the most, but sadly, only Piotrek held up his end of the deal, I never really finished it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Maybe I should come back to this idea…

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          3. Yes because of the comment, I was thinking of doing something along those lines, not really favorite, but most important in my development as a reader of so, but more than 5, that’s impossible.

            The Rorty is great. Among other things it talks about philosophy being a form of literature. After that I basically stopped reading philosophy, except Rorty :D. I started making a favorite philosophy books post, but never finished it, as I realized I couldn’t include that many books at all, even though I have 4 shelves full of it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I need to read that Rorty then. I read about Rorty, certainly, but I haven’t read his works. You’ve always tended to strike me as leaning more toward natural science, but if you want literature in philosophy, there’s no one better for me than Alfred Schutz. I also love the poetic simplicity of Koล‚akowski’s style. All in all, I think there’s surprisingly much poetry and literature in philosophy, if you look at the names like Kierkegaard or Husserl ๐Ÿ˜‰

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          5. I’ve read lot of philosophy from my 17 to my early 30ies, but kinda stopped because Rorty showed me how it works as a genre.

            Schutz & Kolakowski are new names to me, will look into them a bit.

            Never been a fan of Kierkegaard, tried a few times in a few of his works, but always got bogged down. I do believe most science has more to offer than philosophy nowadays.

            As for Rorty, a good introduction besides ‘Irony,…’ is an interview collection called ‘If you take care of freedom, truth will take care of itself’.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Have you read Freeman or Feynman? (That to science versus philosophy argument ;)) Kierkegaard is not easy not pleasant, ditto for Schopenhauer ๐Ÿ˜„ And Husserl is difficult for me, though interesting – phenomenology is a view close to my own heart.
            I’ll definitely look into Rorty, thanks for the recommendations!

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          7. No, never read Freeman or Feynman.
            As for phenomenology: I think experimental neuroscience/psychology is the way to go, as mere non-falsifiable thinking about our conscious experience is filled with blind spots & bias. This is not to say phenomenology can’t pose interesting questions – but answers, that’s a whole other matter.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. Phenomenology doesn’t intend to give answers, it’s too humble for it; instead, it poses the questions, and it’s better at it than most! ๐Ÿ˜œ

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I like how some of your favourite books/worlds were inevitably highlighted through this tag. I actually have a huge hardcover copy of Anathem that I’ve been meaning to read for almost 5 years… Your comment on the character has me so intrigued now more than ever hahaha I would also love a chat with Atreides. I’m incredibly hyped up for Denis Villeneuve’s two-part movie adaptation for Dune. Gosh. I pray it won’t get delayed due to covid or something! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. piotrek

      Well, there were some clips on YouTube published recently, documenting Dune’s progress… it looks good, and probably will arrive on time ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, my spoiler-free review of Anathem is scheduled for the first week of June ๐Ÿ˜„
      Yeah, the book does look imposing, like a challenging teacher sitting on the shelf and judging you for not being picked up ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

      I do wonder too what Villeneuve will make of Dune! It looks promising.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, well, well. Look at you. Scheduling things in advance. Bet you read and finished that since a while now. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› Look forward to that review though. Not going to lie that Anathem is the one by Stephenson that I wanted to read first. Although Snow Crash had piqued my interest too.

        I’m a die-hard fan of his movies so there’s very little negativity you’ll ever hear from me regarding his work hahaha He’s from Quebec too! Can’t promise that some kind of #represent feelz takes over me regarding him on an international level. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nice, huh? ๐Ÿ˜› Actually, I read it only recently, maybe a month ago ๐Ÿ˜› I’m not gonna say anything before the review is up, though!

          Heh, I figured! Some local patriotic feelings, I see ๐Ÿ˜› Can blame you though, I value the Polish connection too – Copernicus, Chopin, Curie-Skล‚odowska… ๐Ÿ˜€
          I have high hopes for Villeneuve’s Dune, Quรฉbecoise or not :D.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I would go to Narnia, definitely, I owe it to my younger self who was obsessed by the Narnia books. Nangilima is also tempting, I would love to see what it looks like, but of course I count on going there after I finish my bucket list ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nangilima would be the final destination of the tour! ๐Ÿ˜„
      I would love to see Aslan’s song of the creation of Narnia. Sorcerer’s Nephew is my favorite Narnia book!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s what I’m counting on ๐Ÿ™‚ Aslan’s song would be incredible to see but what I really want is a time-machine. I want to see mammoths on the European steppes and follow the Scandinavian ice sheet on its retreat. It has shaped so much of the landscape around me, I would love to see it happen.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So a time machine and a way to fast forward, to see the ice masses actually move! ๐Ÿ˜„
          Northern part of Poland is probably a bit similar in how it was shaped by ice masses flattening the land, creating lakes, moving and abrading the rocks along its way. That would be majestic!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, or I could just use the time-machine to move forward a decade or so at the time to see the changes. I could have found so many great uses for a time-machine! Around 11700 years ago the water level in the Baltic Sea suddenly dropped by 25 m in just a few years, as the ice front retreated enough to let the water flow through central Sweden. It must have been an incredible flood, imagine watching it break-through (from a safe elevation). Northern Poland is also cool, I could definitely have imagined doing a few stops there on my time-travels…

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh wow, that must’ve been truly impressive! Do you know whether there were any people (sapiens or neanderthal) in Sweden at that time? Sounds like a flood of truly biblical/Mesopotamian proportions!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. It’s too late for neanderthals but there probably were people more or less following the ice-front, so someone could have watched it, hopefully from a safe distance. That’s probably one reason why i find this particular event so fascinating. If other people got to see mammoths, or giant ground sloths, or the Baltic drainage event, it is surely only fair that I should be able to too ๐Ÿ™‚ I mean, I’m not asking for something completely outrageous, such as a travel to Cretaceous time (although that would have been amazing too).

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Oh no, you wish is totally modest, if it were up to me I’d grant it to you already! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wonder if events such as this could have been retold and kept in human memory through oral history and served as origins of the flood myths…

            Liked by 1 person

          5. I definitely suspect that real flood events remain long in the oral tradition. Not necessarily this particular one, but I would imagine that e.g. the Storegga tsunami, which impacted coasts all around the North Atlantic 8000 years ago, would have remained long in the oral tradition. I know that on ร–land a place called Sandby borg was considered a “bad” place in local tradition, although no one remembered why. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed a massacre there during the late 5th century. Admittedly that’s only 1500 years of oral tradition, but I still find it impressive.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Yes indeed! There’s still a lot we can learn from oral traditions, especially local ones. Thank you for that discussion, it is very interesting and informative!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag – A Refuge from Life

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