|Now||2021||Previous||Articles||Road Essays||Road Reviews||Author||Black Authors||Title||Source||Age||Genre||Series||Format||Inclusivity||LGBTA||Portfolio||Artwork||WIP|
CCFF66: Siblings going offroad to utopia: 05/04/19
The next route for siblings to come to utopia is via an offroad route. It's a route that isn't as defined as through a cornfield, nor as full of blind alleys as a maze, or as meditative as a labyrinth, or as utilitarian as either a Blue Highway or an Interstate. It's the route that is neither quite magical nor mundane — a crossing over point.
For this spot in the spectrum, I have two exemplars, both which feature sisters. The first is Piece of Mind by Rob Reger, Jessica Gruner, and Buzz Parker (2011). The second is Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (2011).
In both cases, the siblings, while also sisters, are also identical. Now in Emily LeStrange's case, her twin is a clone she has made herself. In Sweet Venom there are identical triplets who have been raised separately and only recently reunited. Being identical adds to the power, something brought up repeatedly in the Childs's Medusa Girls series. In Emily's case, her twin power comes more from science than from magic, though magic does also exist in her world and in her family. Let's call it science in the service of magic.
More broadly speaking, the siblings don't have to be identical. They don't have to be children or teenagers, even though my exemplars here are.
The destination in these examples is utopia. Utopia is a no place; an unmappable, hard to reach destination. You have to know how to get there or stumble upon it through luck or misfortune. The utopic destination could be a eutopia (good place) or a dystopia (bad place), but it doesn't have to be.
For Emily and her clone it's the same seaside town she went once before. It's a town that only certain people can get to. For most people (save for Dark Aunts or Shady Uncles) the town is impossible to find. Emily's destination while it's being fought over by two sides, isn't a good or bad place, just a special one.
For the triplets, they aren't traveling, they are protecting San Francisco from a steady invasion of monsters from some other place via portal. In the third book, they will actually go through the portal, but in that case, their goal will be returning to the city.
The route as I've said, is offroad. For Emily that means going underground, through secret passages, and through the woods after clues and in the service of the science/magic she's using to keep the town protected. For the triplets, the route to their city is through a portal. Portals aren't cornfields, mazes, labyrinths, or roads.
Admittedly both of these examples are ones I read before formulating the spectrum. That means I was reading them with different things in mind. I should re-read these examples and be on the look out for others.