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A Bizarre, Odd And Strange World

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Oaken, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. Oaken

    Oaken Acolyte

    Hi all,
    This idea's been on my mind for some time, and I'd like to share it with you. Recently, I've really been into Lovecraft (Not fantasy), and I enjoy the way he sculpts his bizarre material. So, I thought: Why not merge this bizarre stuff with fantasy? I don't really know if this has been done before, but I have never came over such stuff.

    It all starts with someone becoming mad and beginning to perceive the world in a twisted way. His hallucinations lead him to view nature, people and life in general in a totally different perspective. And so, he enters a new world where everything is different. The sun, the moon and every other natural aspect are alive and take part in the story. Oxymorons and ironies can be used too to increase the oddities i.e. Flying eyeballs, donkey men, cat heads with chicken bodies etc.... Moreover, the guy with the hallucinations becomes the protagonist in this world and has to do some great task. Magic in this world is Yood Sushai, and religion is basically the gods worshiping their created.

    Well, it isn't exactly fantasy as it borders on science fiction, but many fantasy elements can be infused. :)
  2. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    Strangeness is great in Fantasy, since you have to suspend your disbelief anyway. I think about Piers Anthony's Xanth books as being a good blend of traditional fantasy and strangeness. I think you need to find a good balance of oddities and traditional stuff to make it appealing to readers. If I were to do a project like that I would start by creating the fantasy world in it's "pure form" then begin adding the oddities within the framework to make sure it works.

    Sounds like you have the creativity necessary to pull it off. :)
  3. Galbatroth

    Galbatroth Acolyte

    I have never heard of anything anything like it. But I like the idea, and would definitely want to read it. As it sounds like it would be si-fi/fantasy which is my favorite genre. :)
  4. Reminds me of the old horror RPG Kult. Based heavily on Gnosticism, I believe. It had a sanity value, but normal humans actually always had a sanity of 0. Getting negative sanity drove you insane, while getting additional sanity made you super-sane. Both were considered better than having 0 sanity, because being crazy actually helps you in this game.
  5. FireBird

    FireBird Troubadour

    What your describing really sounds like a genre called New Weird. It is an amazing genre and I love it. If you want to get a sense for it I would recommend reading Perdido Street Station and The Scar by China Mieville. The Etched City by K. J. Bishop is excellent as well.
  6. grimreaper

    grimreaper Scribe

    Sounds like a really good idea.

    As I always say, the fantasy genre desperately needs some fresh air.
  7. Oaken

    Oaken Acolyte

    Thanks a lot. I agree with what you say, it should be a bizarre world built upon the foundations of fantasy.
    Exactly what I want. I want to write something that no one has ever heard of. :D
    That game has a nice idea. Actually what I intend is that the protagonist (First person PoV) gets haunted by odd hallucinations and starts perceiving the real world differently. In his mad consciousness, he THINKS he is thrust into another world and has to to do a great task in that world, which he's only imagining. The ending, I don't know yet :D
    Thanks for the recommendations.
    Exactly my thoughts. The genre's borders need to be widened.
  8. Oaken

    Oaken Acolyte

    Thanks a lot, dudes. I'll try to start writing soon.
  9. ShortHair

    ShortHair Sage

    Since you mention Lovecraft, are you thinking of a situation like "From Beyond"? I'd love to see something like that--magical realism, but not in a good way.
  10. Astner

    Astner Guest

    Doesn't Lovecraft write fantasy horror?

    But your idea is still interesting. But as with all ideas, it depends on how it's executed.
  11. ShortHair

    ShortHair Sage

    Try The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. There's some fairly straight horror and some cosmic horror (which is vintage HPL), but there's also some achingly beautiful high fantasy. The same protagonist, Randolph Carter, appears in "The Silver Key" and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key."
  12. Endymion

    Endymion Troubadour

    The idea reminds me a bit of Don Quixote, though a bit scarier (The living moon freaks me out).
    Love books about insane people (am writing one right now, though it's not a fantasy book).
    Anyways, cool idea.
  13. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Lovecraft has been dead for a long time - but he did inspire a great many others, including several big name authors who either set stories in his universe or borrowed large elements from it.

    As to his genre'...mostly he was aiming for what might be termed 'dark science fiction' - taking the science of his day and showing just how limited it was and how weird and dangerous the the universe really was. The big exception would be his 'Dreamland' stories, which are heavily inspired by Lord Dunsay.

    (I've been reading a pile of Lovecrafts work and those of his successors as the mythos is a major background element in my worlds)
  14. Vinegar Tom

    Vinegar Tom Acolyte

    H. P. Lovecraft is getting a bit overused these days. I mean, you can even buy Cthulhu plush toys, for crying out loud! But since you obviously don't plan to simply shoehorn his monsters into your own tale, but are going with a less doom-laden and much more whimsical slant on his basic concept of the protagonist gradually losing his sanity and perceiving another very strange reality underlying this one, here's an idea for you to think about.

    Something very similar to this was done by Paul Di Filippo in his short story "Jack Neck and the Worry Bird", which you can read online here:

    Paul Di Filippo - Jack Neck and the Worry Bird

    This is not the story of a man perceiving an alternative reality because he's going mad, but of a perfectly sane man who happens to live in a world where absolutely everything is completely bizarre, including of course him. The author wrote it by assuming that the paintings of Chris Mars were perfectly accurate depictions of real people and places, and taking it from there. Here are the paintings he used:

    Chris Mars Publishing

    You could do worse than use paintings in a similar way. Not paintings by Chris Mars, obviously, but he's not the only weird painter in the world. Has anyone ever tried to write a historical fantasy set in the world depicted by Hieronymous Bosch? Anyway, it's a thought.

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