If you’re going on holiday this summer, how are you travelling to your destination? Probably not by one of these transport methods, unless you’re a character in a book…
Floo Powder: The Harry Potter world has so many wonderful kinds of transport. One of the most original, in my opinion, is Floo Powder. It’s a way of travelling between fireplaces on the network. However, if you mispronounce your destination you could end up anywhere (as Harry discovers when he first tries it). I would assume the name is inspired by chimney flues.
Sentient train: Philip Reeve’s amazing Railhead trilogy is set in a future where you can travel across the universe on hyperspace trains. It’s the Network Empire. The trains are a form of Artificial Intelligence. I love this concept and it doesn’t seem too far-fetched. The railway still has a romance attached to it, even though the age of steam is behind us.
Giant peach: What better way to cross from Britain to the Big Apple than in an airborne fruit of the Prunus persica tree? No need to bring food with you, it’s all included, assuming you like peaches. I did wonder why Roald Dahl decided to send James and his insect friends travelling in this particular fruit. Why not a lemon or a pineapple? Turns out it was almost a cherry.
The Heart of Gold: This cutting-edge spaceship, equipped with an Infinite Improbability Drive, is stolen by President Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Luckily, the ship picks up stranded hitchhikers Arthur and Ford. I would rather travel on this one than risk being forcibly read terrible poetry on the Vogons’ ship.
A sieve: ‘They went to sea in a sieve, they did / In a sieve they went to sea.’ Edward Lear’s poem ‘The Jumblies’ is about some green-headed, blue-handed people who defy the haters and go to sea… in a sieve. It works out well because they visit all kinds of interesting places and buy some interesting stuff, before returning in 20 years’ time.