Ideas come to me at the oddest moments. I was passing a truck on the highway about a week ago, did the quick sidelong glance at the monster beside me, and my brain flashed “turtle!”.
Maybe it was something about the angle, the curve of the headlights, the positioning of all the parts you find on the front of a semi, but it reminded me of nothing more than a snorting, determined, slightly mad turtle.
Of course, me being me, I came up with a turtle-truck hybrid to put in a far future world I’ve been putting together from fragments of inspiration for several months. Farscape has introduced the term biomechanoid into my vocabulary, a concept that fits very well into this world. Cargo-carrying,wheeled, snapping, red-eyed, repitilian, with high-domed shells–I think these will make it into the background of the story very nicely.
I enjoy an original twist on common everyday things, like transportation. I’ve read about Liveships and Brainships. In Paula Volsky’s The Grand Ellipse (sorta like Around the World in 80 Days meets World War 2 in a fantasy world), the characters get around in a number of a different ways–two-man bicycles, golems, boats pulled by water buffalo-like creatures, horses, trains, ships, and of course, their own two feet. Cables and trams and trains play big roles in my more steampunk stories. And I just get a kick out of airships.
Have you read any books with a memorable twist on transportation? Or come up with one of your own?