Mon
Dec 12 2011 8:07am

Oh! The Places You’ll Go: Reality in Fiction

Kate Winslet’s Necklace in Titanic

Are you the kind of person who would take a trip to Forks, Washington, just to be in the same place as the fictional Bella and Edward? Or perhaps when you’ve been in London you’ve taken a trip to 221B Baker Street, in hopes of running into Sherlock?

You’re not alone. A new site called Small Demons, currently in beta, is gathering and collecting details from books:

Suppose someone took every meaningful detail from all the books you love. Every song mentioned, every person, every food or place or movie title. And what if they did that for all the books everyone else loves, too. The ones you’ve never heard of. Suddenly you’ve got a whole world of seemingly random people, places and things, all gathered in one place.

Together they create something vast, wonderful and entirely new. A Storyverse. A place where details touch, overlap and lead you further. To new music to listen to. New movies to watch. Places to visit. People to know. And of course, new books to read. Getting started is simple. Just choose a book. See where it takes you.

And similarly, a group of Movieline reviewers just followed the Walk of Shame, visiting all the places Michael Fassbender does in Shame. Not to mention all the people who’ve taken trips to Cheers, or suffered abuse from the Soup Nazi.

Have you ever discovered something because of a piece of fiction? Read another author because of a character in a book? Listened to music because a character mentioned it? Eaten something—say Turkish delight from the Narnia books—because a character did?

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7 comments
Heather Massey
1. HeatherMassey
Yes! I have done the Turkish Delight thing, actually. I also ate at Mystic Pizza because of the film. Yummy stuff.
PJ Schnyder
2. PJ Schnyder
I've gone to the pub in Portsmouth where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle visited often when he was writing Sherlock Holmes.

I've also attended a panel on Bartitsu, the Victorian art of mixed martial arts, again due to a Sherock Holmes reference.

Also visited the Peter Pan statue in London. And the life sized Gundam in Japan. And the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.

I've tried several recipes based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's descriptions, including making sourdough biscuits. And I tried to recreate bubbly pies based on Anne McCaffrey's mention.

I've also wondered if there's actually a hotel in Seattle that puts a gold fish in your room if you're staying by yourself the way Charles described in Patricia Briggs' book. Cause I'd def stay there on a biz trip. It sounds so much nicer than the usual empty hotel room.
Myretta Robens
3. Myretta
Over at the Republic of Pemberley, we have created Gazetteers for all of Jane Austen's novels. For those of us obsessed enough to want to follow in the footsteps of her characters (of which I am one), these might be a fun place to start. They are based on period maps and travel guides, however, so you might also need a time machine. And, because we are the definition of obsessed, we also have a guide to Jane Austen film locations.
Heather Waters (redline_)
4. redline_
Yes indeed. For one, as I teen I made my family stop in Roswell, NM, on the way to the Grand Canyon, because I loved the show Roswell so much.

Let's just say I am easily marketed to.
PJ Schnyder
5. brontëgirl
Food: caramel ice cream (Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy and Joe)
buckwheat pancakes and fried apples 'n onions (Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books)

Music: 'net search for songs mentioned in Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books

Places: Haworth, England (the Brontës' novels)
Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross railway station, London (Rowling's Harry Potter books)
Rye, England (E. F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia books)
Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare)
Holmfirth, England (tv: Last of the Summer Wine)
Avoca, Ireland (tv: Ballykissangel)
Oxford, England's Eagle and Child Pub (J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) and Blackwell's bookstore (Colin Dexter)
PJ Schnyder
6. Katie Dancer
My husband and I always vacationed in the Monterrey-San Francisco area of CA until I read Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. I started bugging him to go to Eureka/Humboldt County until he finally agreed and now it's our favorite destination. We love the redwoods/mountains/ocean in the fall. But I still haven't told him the descriptions in a romance series first sparked my interest in going there.
PJ Schnyder
7. BrookynShoeBabe
When my husband first discovered the Spenser mystery series by Robert Parker in 1994, he would try out some of the recipes that Spenser threw together. As a matter of fact, I was longing for some fired sausage and apples in a beer reduction the other day--a recipe discovered by reading Spenser. I also developed a taste for Sam Adams beer also by reading Spenser.

Queer As Folk (USA) turned me on to techno electronica club songs.

I chaperoned a friend to the Soup Nazi and another friend of mine took me to the Seinfeld diner near Columbia University.

Because I'm a New Yorker, I've been to several places featured in NY-centric shows and movies like Sex and the City, Law & Order, etc.
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