Question: what’s the best way to travel? Answer: with a bit of literary magic. Here are 5 more types of fictional transport…
Great Glass Elevator: Dahl’s sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sees the Bucket family travelling with Willy Wonka into outer space in an extraordinary glass elevator. It’s a bit like the Tardis but not quite as good. At least it’s strong enough to protect the travellers from the Vermicious Knids (stretchy aliens who snack on astronauts).
Sky ships: Elegant wooden ships sail through the sky in Stewart & Riddell’s Edge Chronicles. The ships are kept in the air by means of buoyant flight-rocks. So much nicer than aeroplanes. Sky ships are the main mode of transport in the Edge world, because there are too many dangers on the ground.
Portkey: In the Harry Potter universe, not everyone can Disapparate (teleport oneself between locations). The closest thing to that is an object magically turned into a Portkey. You only have to touch the object and hold on tightly. For example, this is how Harry and the Weasleys go to the Quidditch World Cup. It’s a good idea that can also be used for malicious purposes, however.
Pumpkin coach: Fairytales are full of wonderful transport methods – dragons, flying carpets, witches’ brooms, houses that walk – but for some reason the coach from Cinderella always caught my imagination. Just for one night, an ordinary pumpkin is transformed into a coach, just as an ordinary girl is transformed into a potential princess.
Armoured polar bear: In Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights, courageous Lyra makes friends with Iorek, a huge talking polar bear who doesn’t mind her sitting on his back as he leaps through the snow. I think the advantage of this transport method is that no one will have the courage to attack you, except for other armoured bears. Otherwise I think it could be a little uncomfortable.