Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The 15 Nations of Great Britain

Years ago, when I commented on "Ship of Fools," I or another Yank had asked if there were a British equivalent to Nine Nations of North America, Joel Garreau's marvelous 1985 work that still has great explanatory power.

Someone at SOF wrote a beauty, which I kept and published here without attribution, while acknowledging it wasn't original to me.  Probably via search engine, someone Named Ken Brown has stepped forward and claimed it is his.  I have no reason to doubt it, though I don't have any ability to confirm it either.  He has his own site, The View From Nunhead Station, which has as its current tope entry "Toward a New Railway History of Middle-Earth.
It is a thing little remembered – even by the Wise – that Dwarven miners had been laying or carving tracks along the floor of their tunnels to ease the movement of ore trucks and other gear since at least the end of the Second Age. Moria, in its time of glory, was completely spanned by such, and a cable-hauled gravity-assisted rack-and-pinion railway was laid in the to take mithril and gems down to Lorien, and return with such provisions as even Dwarves need.
Sounds like my kinda guy.


Texan99 said...

I've always enjoyed thinking about what fantasy stories leave out about the nuts and bolts of everyday life. Who's growing all the food in Middle Earth, and how are they distributing it? How come there aren't any churches? Does anyone ever get a contagious disease, or toothache? Magic takes care of only so much as a plot device.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Bored Of The Rings touches on that somewhat, describing an elvish meal as consisting of bark, dirt, and twigs, typical of woodland creatures with no visible means of support.

It is a D&D problem for those who cannot drop the idea. When I would be designing an adventure, I would grow concerned about various denizens of an area had been subsisting on prior to the arrival of the adventurers.

Texan99 said...

I haven't read "Bored of the Rings" since I was a teenager, but when my husband and I watch the movies, we still can't resist calling out "Aeiee! The Nozdrul!"