This, on the other hand, is the kind of thing that makes me excited to play: an inverse aerial cloud mine “dungeon” composed of enclosed floating platforms attached to the ground far below by great chains. Back when I read SF+Fantasy ( or *cough* at all) I liked it mostly (and I know this makes me an alien, for anyone who's gone to writing school) for the scenery.** For the cool environments and equipment and visuals and stuff I could think about illustrating.
Which leads me to the deep wizardry and weirdness of Super Mario Galaxy 2. I'm probably the last person on Earth to have this experience. I ignored every previous rotation of Mario apart from the original Donkey Kong. Somehow my path through games just never touched Nintendo until now. But what the hell? Dynamically shifting gravity, puzzles that involve manipulating the in-game camera, running around tiny planetoids and then jumping between them to avoid being eaten by animate lava camels... this is a level of because-I-say-so high-octane hallucinatory freakiness I've just never seen in a commercial product before. Half the time I have no idea what the laws of physics are supposed to be. I literally don't know which way is up. And I love it. Which makes me think there is some very, very smart game design going on here. Of course, it's of absolutely no use to roleplayers, it doesn't want to be an RPG, and you couldn't make one out of it. Which makes me declare it a sign of greater maturity in the medium than a hundred Halos or Thiefs or Metal Gears.
I am all excited to see Ward Shelley's map entitled A History of Science Fiction, but because it was just strangemaps'd the site is down right now, dammit. Direct links to his work here, where can also be found the ridiculously intriguingly named Extra Large Fluxus Diagram... when they come back up again.
Farsnews says Iran has unveiled a flying saucer, in what must be one of that country's first internationally-recognized works of retro-stupid mutant-futurism. Meanwhile China goes the James Bond route with an underground nuclear sub base, accessed by sea tunnel. Are you guys missing the Cold War? I have another cave in my sights:
Or this page of general Parisian oddity.
Actually, the Museum of the Middle Ages in the old Abbey and baths of Cluny (which holds the tombstone) is phenomenal, and way too big for the kids. It starts slow, with beaten up marble capitals and odd bits of stained glass, but once you get upstairs and past the astonishing tapestries it's endlessly diverting.
** That's probably why I liked Tolkien, actually. Not so enthused about Frodo and Sauron and all that, much more so about the Black Gate and Moria and the Emyn Muil as unfriendly environments.