Friday, May 05, 2006

Fantasy worlds right next to our own.

With Ella Enchanted, Shrek (and its sequel) always on somewhere in the cableverse, one wonders if these fantasy worlds must be somewhere close to our own. In these films our popular music has bled through the fabric of spacetime to these worlds next door. Ella (Anne Hathaway) sings Queen's "Somebody to Love", while "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" serves as a terrific finale.

Shrek 2 has the Fairy Godmother singing "Holding Out for a Hero" and Donkey and Puss in Boots belting out "Livin' La Vida Loca". This idea appears in fantasy as well. The Dark Tower (caution Flash) series by Stephen King has some of the characters singing Beatles tunes. I wonder how many of the songs song in our world have oozed over from others.

Robert Heinlein may be one of the first authors to describe this idea, he calls it World as Myth. The idea is that an author who creates a real enough world with their writing actually creates the world somewhere and in several of his novels he has characters from these different worlds travel from universe to universe and interact with each other. The Wikipedia entry describing this idea uses the fancy term, Pantheistic solipsism.

Having all these mythological and fantasy worlds generates the risk that someone knows more about a world that doesn't exist (I give you, Trekkies, Star Wars fanatics, Simpsons fans, and scifi and fantasy fans of all stripes), than they do about the one that does.

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