Wednesday, 19 January 2011

All ways..?

A belated supplement for the post on portals. That post was set off by the domain-level project running at Hill Cantons and this one by The Angry Lurker mentioning Stargate. It's another list to inspire or help with research, as with the fictional mines and seventies films.

I've decided to include any method of instant or greatly accelerated travel through any or all of space, time, dimensions or universes. A major issue is classification of course. Alphabetical order is no real use, but we know there's little difference between high technology and magic, or science fiction and fantasy. So I've grouped them by general feel, but could it be better? And what else should be here?

Secret doorways

The entrance to Diagon Alley (the Harry Potter series)

Objects providing local access or mobility (from short ranged to long)

The portal gun, or Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (Portal)
The wristwatch (They Live)
The bed (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
The Knight Bus (the Harry Potter series)
The key (The Lost Room)
The Portkey (the Harry Potter series)

Portals to other locations in this world (from short ranged to long)

The entrance to Platform 9¾ (the Harry Potter series)
The ice mirror (Van Helsing)
The Floo Network (the Harry Potter series) 
The jump points (Wing Commander: Privateer)
The Jump Gate (Freelancer)
The stargates (Stargate) (video)
The star gate opened by 'the enabling force' (2001: A Space Odyssey) (video)
The Guardian of Forever (Star Trek: The Original Series)
The Iconian gateway (Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
The Mass Relay (Mass Effect)
The Eldar webway (Warhammer 40,000)
The Gateway (Warrior's Gate, Doctor Who)

Portals to other worlds (from one to multiple)

The rabbit hole (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
The looking glass (Through the Looking Glass)
The mirror (Reckless
The mirror (Warrior's Gate, Doctor Who)
The wardrobe (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia)
The painting of the Dawn Treader (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia)
The gate (The Silver Chair, The Chronicles of Narnia)
The tornado (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Neverending Story (The Neverending Story)
Puissant dreaming (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath)
The human voice (the Inkheart trilogy)
The stone seat (the Witch World series)
 The Charged Vacuum Emboitment (Doctor Who)
The staircases under beds and monster world (Little Monsters)
The closet doors and Monstropolis (Monsters Inc.)
The magic rings and the wood between the worlds (The Magician's Nephew, The Chronicles of Narnia)
Sigil, The City of Doors (Planescape, D&D)The watchtowers (Rough Draft)
The doors (The Dark Tower series)
Lemarchand's box (works by Clive Barker, including the Hellraiser franchise)
Æsahættr (The Subtle Knife) (His Dark Materials)
The Pattern (The Chroncles of Amber
The Trumps (The Chroncles of Amber
The D-Hopper (MythAdventures)
Magic (MythAdventures)

Portals between locations in other worlds (from short ranged to long)

The minor gates (Elvenborn series)

Natural phenomena and use (from short ranged to long; no time travel to great)

The Jump Hole (Freelancer)
The machine (Contact) (video)
The Bajoran wormhole (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) (video)
The wormhole opened by John Crichton (Farscape) (video)
The warp jump and warp spider jump generator (Warhammer 40,000)
Warp space travel (StarCraft series)
The between jump ('Between') (The Dragonriders of Pern)
The magical storm in Night Watch (Discworld)
The vortex (Sliders
The velvet paisley-covered Chesterfield sofa (Life, the Universe and Everything)
The holes in the spacetime fabric (Time Bandits)
The Cardiff Rift (Doctor Who / Torchwood)
L-space, or library-space (Discworld)

Abilities allowing teleportation (from short ranged to long)

Nightcrawler's 'bamf' (Marvel Universe)
The jump (Jumper)
Apparating (the Harry Potter series)
Hiro Nakamura's ability - also allowing time travel (Heroes)
The Jaunt ("The Jaunt")
The Talent teleportation / Push-Pull capsule (the Pegasus and Rowan trilogies)
Tessering (A Wrinkle in Time)

Devices allowing teleportation (from short ranged to long)

Bloody Stupid Johnson's Multidimensional Architecture (Thud!, Discworld)
The stepping plate (Known Space)
The transfer booth (Known Space)
The T-Mat, or transmat (The Seeds of Death, Doctor Who)
The transporter (Star Trek)
The transport capsules (Galaxy Quest)
The Ark (Doom)
The Gates (Spectrum)
The farcaster (Hyperion) (excerpt)
The bloobox (Gigacrawler)
The Well World (the Well of Souls series)

Faster than light drives or similar (from short ranged to long)

The hyperspace drive ("The Cold Equations")
The Tyr drive (The Madness Season)
The Outsider hyperdrive (Man-KzinWars series)
Ghalamander / Zidrii Warp Drive
The Puppeteer hyperdrive (Ringworld, Known Space)
The Hawking drive (Hyperion) (excerpt)
The gravity drive (Event Horizon)
The starburst of the Leviathans (Farscape)
The Holtzman drive, foldspace and Spacing Guild navigation (Dune universe) 
The Infinite Improbability Drive (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
The bistromathic drive (Life, the Universe and Everything)

Means of time travel, including sophonts (from no physical movement to great)

The time machine (The Time Machine)
The message-sending time machine (Thrice Upon a Time)
The past viewer turned time machine (Making History)
The sphere (The Terminator series)
The box (Primer)
The Sphinx Tomb (Hyperion) (excerpt)
The liquor (Rip Van Winkle)
The plutonium (The Plutonian Drug)
Mrs Tachyon's trolley (Johnny and the Bomb
The DeLorean time machine (Back to the Future)
The quantum time machine (Timeline)
The odd computer (Many Waters)
The phone booth (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure)
The time portal (The Time Travelers)
The time tunnel (The Time Tunnel) (video)
Spinning the Earth (Superman)
The Shrike (Hyperion) (excerpt)
The slingshot effect (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
The Lodestone (Pyramids of Mars, Doctor Who)
The Third Cave Tomb (Hyperion) (excerpt)
The Silver Key (Through the Gates of the Silver Key)
The redbox (Gigacrawler) 
The Sarpeidon time portal (Star Trek: The Original Series)
The Time Ring (Doctor Who)
The vortex manipulator (Doctor Who)
The TARDIS (Doctor Who) (video)

Portals to unidentified destinations

The Buick 8 (From a Buick 8)
Wonderbuss shell #6 (The Strange New World)
The cracks in the skin of the universe (Doctor Who)


The tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator (Doctor Who)
The nydus canal (StarCraft)
The digitizing laser (Tron)
The red pill (The Matrix)
The blow to the head (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)
Becoming unstuck in time (Slaughterhouse-Five)
The time loop (Groundhog Day)
The methods of the History Monks (Discworld)
The wandering shops (Discworld)
The glass sphere containing Roundworld (Discworld)
The black holes in the afterlife limbo (Wristcutters: A Love Story)
Death and the former home afterlife (Beetlejuice) 

Pure imagination (from presentation of accepted knowledge to speculation)

The Spaceship of the Imagination (Cosmos: A Personal Voyage)

Clarification needed 

Cyclops' sister Colony (Marvel Universe) [ability allowing teleportation?]
An aboriginal X-Man (Marvel Universe) [span a totem on a rope? / ability not device?]
300 distinct beams meeting something where there should have been nothing (Qarlo?)
The bloodstained wall (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac)
The House of Foryx (Queste)  [how much physical movement?]
The teleportation spell (Elvenborn series)
Gorgonmilk's frame [exact nature as yet unknown]
The unicorns (A Swiftly Tilting Planet) [time travel? / how much movement?]
The events of Sucker Punch

For discussion as to suitability

The Lady of the Lake
Merlin (The Sword in the Stone) [lives time backwards]
The Grail and sword (Excalibur) [appear and disappear?]
Elements of belief systems

Removal suggested 

Firefly Class Core-Boost (Firefly and Serenity) [see C'nor's second comment here]



??? said...

Off the top of my head, I would include Wells' Time Machine and Adams' paisley sofa (the space and time eddy).
In Tad Williams' Shadowmarch series, some characters travel by using the emptiness behind the world, I would need to look up how exactly he describes it.
Anyway, great list! But I must admit that I have no good suggestion for classification, let me think about this a bit - stuff like that sends me into full librarian-mode!

watchman said...

88 mph delorean

Pontifex said...

Seen the movie Jumper?

Desert Scribe said...

Off the top of my head, I would include Wells' Time Machine and Adams' paisley sofa (the space and time eddy).

Who's Eddie?

Desert Scribe said...

Also, the aliens' watches in They Live and the transport capsules in Galaxy Quest.

??? said...

The machine build in Carl Sagan's Contact (it uses wormholes). And the Infinite Improbability Drive from Hitchhiker's Guide.
The Gravity Drive from the Event Horizon movie may tend to kill the people travelling with it, but you didn't ask that the suggested method were safe.
The Ark teleportation device from Doom (the movie at least, I have no idea if it's featured in the game as well).

I strongly second the Galaxy Quest suggestion, it's easily the most hilarious method.

Porky said...

You guys are amazing. I get back to find the list all but doubled in length. I'll get to work on adding these now.

@ Jebediah - Incredible. Looks like it's not just the ability to classify you've got there, but an encyclopaedic knowledge too! That's six, possibly seven suggestions. You've given me a lot to do, but I'll do it with pleasure.

@ watchman - Your specialist subject, and a good job done too! How did I miss that? Funny how 88 is suggestive of this one context now, even without the mph.

@ Greg Christopher - No I haven't, but I get the feeling I might want to! Based on what I know, there's even a chance it's about a dimension-skipping overgarment, and the not knowing is exciting. I'll look into it.

@ Desert Scribe - Jebediah might have been reminding Ed of something important. Well, relatively. And you're coming up the outside with two, and one strongly seconded even. Well done!

??? said...

I have two more: the very cool mini-series The Lost Room features a key that will open any lock (well, tumbler lock), giving you access to a motel room that can take you anywhere you like.

Stephen King paid homage to Alfred Bester in The Jaunt. In Bester's novel, jaunting is a human ability, but in King's story, it involves a machine. He also has featured a Buick as a sort of dimensional portal in one of his novels (again, that one's not really safe...)

Cronickain said...

Don't forget the bed from Bednob and Broomsticks!

Porky said...

And still the suggestions come - thanks to both of you! Jebediah, I'm really impressed! Is this your Mastermind specialist subject?

All of them so far have gone in, even Bedknobs and Broomsticks! The bed does vanish and reappear after all, although we do see it in flight too. The Lost Room is a really great idea for a series, and From a Buick 8 may actually be the only potentially interdimensional portal so far. Pick me up on that if I'm wrong.

I've also added some others. The Contact visuals reminded me of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure so that went in, and I also added the red pill from The Matrix. How many more can there be?

*feigns nonchalance*

Chris Kutalik said...

What about the "holes" in the fabric of space-time in Time Bandits? As I seem to remember it the dwarves had stolen a map of the holes from the Supreme Being.

I loved how strange and unpredictable the holes were as portals, one being a movable section of the boy's room.

Cronickain said...

Return what you have stolen from me!!!

Adam Dickstein said...

I'd add the Atavachron from the TOS Star Trek episode "All Our Yesterdays".

If you'll recall, Mr. Atoz in the library of the planet Sarpedion (sp?) indicates that tapes covering particular historic periods of that world's past can be used to send someone through the Atavachron time portal, thereby escaping the destruction of the planet in the present from its sun going Supernova.

The Iconian gateways could also transport people vast distances (Next Generation and DS9).

Does Sigil, the City of Doors, from Planescape qualify?

Porky said...

@ ckutalik - Good thinking, and you're right, as ArmChairGeneral all but confirms. This is a cool take on the idea, and I love the strangeness too - the stranger, the better as far as I'm concerned.

@ ArmChairGeneral - "... Return the map! It will bring you great danger." That's the point of course! At least in the short term; maps over time tend to remove danger, or the sense of it.

@ Barking Alien - That's a good memory you've got there. Maybe it's the research you're doing, bringing everything back. It seems the Atavachron was a device allowing entry to the portal itself, but details are sketchy enough that anyone who's seen the episode recently is welcome to chip in. For now I've listed it under 'The Sarpeidon time portal'. The other two are going in as well, of course; Sigil is very similar to the wood between worlds.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Between, Dragonriders of Pern.

Warp Spiders (Warhammer)? Sounds like it, but I have no clue what exactly they do, or how far they can travel, so...

Push-Pull Capsule, Pegasus series.

Tyr Drive System, which may have been developed by the Saudar first. Not safe for humans, but so are some of the others on here.

Adam Dickstein said...

Dude, its Trek. :)

Seriously, when it comes to Trek my 'research' is ongoing. I read the 'Star Trek: Encyclopedia' cover-to-cover once a year. I watch the original series episodes and movies constantly. Given time I'm sure I could come up with others.

Porky said...

@ C'nor (Outermost_Toe) - Thanks very much. These especially show just how widely the idea is used - one or two of them I can't even pin down! The problems are the Push-Pull capsule possibly and the Tyr drive for sure. In the case of the first I've assumed you meant the Talent teleportation ability, but I've not read the books so these may not be one and the same. The second I'm assuming is from The Madness Season by C S Friedman, but I'd be glad of your confirmation. For now I've added the Talent teleportation, the between jump from Dragonriders and the warp spider jump generator, which is from Warhammer 40K so you were near enough spot on. The between concept is for me an especially interesting idea. How much could the nothingness actually be nothing I wonder?

@ Barking Alien - Mine too. I dream of having the time one day to watch the entire output in transmission order, with the later series overlapping. Check back any time you like - I'll be ready to add whatever you've come up with.

??? said...

Michael Ende has come up with (at least) two ways: the book in the Neverending Story and a house in one of his short stories, I think in the collection "The mirror in the Mirror". I would need to look up the title, but the protagonist is a boy who discovers a house that has no dimensions. If you enter one door, you come out immediately again through the door on the other side. But it's suggested that the house can be used as a portal because people do enter it and even vanish in it, never returning again. The story really freaks me out.

Sergey Lukyanenko has featured portals that enable people to travel to other planets on Spectrum and in the novel Rough Draft there exist towers with doors that open to different worlds. A bit like the Iconian gateways Barking Alien suggested (which are one of the coolest things in Trek ever), althought the doors are fixed to one specific world and also can connect to alternate universes.

Time Line by Michael Crichton features a time machine and Stephen Fry invents one on Making History At first, it can only be used to view the past, but it is turned into a machine that can send things into the past.

The Cardiff Rift from Torchwood/Doctor Who can be used to travel (although it seems to mainly happen by accident).

I've been thinking about how to classify the whole list and here's my suggestion: natural phenomenons, machines and objects turned into/functioning as ways to travel. There will be some overlaps between the categories, but I think it works reasonable well.

This stuff is no particular speciality of mine, to answer your question. I just read a lot and when I come across a list like this, the little librarian in my head sets to work and comes up with suggestions out of the blue.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...


Yep, you're right about the Tyr drive. As for the Talent abilities as opposed to the capsule, I'm not sure. From my reading of Pegasus in Space, they needed it to actually go long distances, but I'm fairly sure that changed from the earlier books, so that sounds like something you'd hae to decide. Maybe a combined entry?

And some new stuff:

Bloody Stupid Johnson's Multidimensional Architecture, (Thud! by Terry Pratchett)

Outsider hyperdrive (Man-Kzin Wars)

Puppeteer Improved Hyperdrive (Ringworld)

Apparating (Harry Potter)

Narnia Doors, such as the one which is gone through in The Silver Chair.

Yellow rings (The Magicians Nephew, discussed in The Last Battle), as they are needed to actually get to the Wood Between The Worlds, and certainly act as a portal.

The painting of the ship, Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Star drives (There may be an official name for them, I don't remember at this point), The Cold Equations. Note: Distinctly separate from EDS Engines; I'm talking about the things the Cruisers use.

Bloo/Redbox, Gigacrawler.

Porky said...

What a Pandora's box this is becoming! I don't regret opening it though, and I can only thank you very much, especially for the time you've taken in finding the links and arranging the information in the same format I'm using. An excellent range of ideas. I'll get to work on adding them.

Jebediah, your suggestion is a good basis and I'll take it into account. I'm not sure though how easy it will be to determine how natural a phenomenon is. The wardrobe for example is made of wood from a seed originating in Narnia at around the time of its creation by Aslan. Is it natural? This turns on the issue of who or what Aslan is, and that's a biggie as we all know! I'll admit to feeling a little overwhelmed by the scope of the ideas.

??? said...

I've been thinking about the Tardis - it's a living thing after all. I'd still group it with machines, though. The wardrobe would be an object in my opinion, since it functions as one (but I'm no experts on Narnia).
I think there will be more that somehow walk the line between our definitions, but that's part of the fun ;)

Porky said...

Taking all of your thoughts into account, I'm thinking along these lines:

Everyday objects providing local access or mobility (from short ranged to long)
Abilities allowing teleportation (from short ranged to long)
Devices allowing teleportation (from short ranged to long)
Portals to other worlds (from one to multiple)
Portals to other locations in this world (from short ranged to long)
Natural phenomena and devices using them (from short ranged to long; with no time travel to great)
Faster than light drives or similar (from short ranged to long)
Time travel devices, including sophonts (from no physical movement to great)
Portals to unidentified destinations
Clarification needed

I'm trying with these to avoid a single entry needing to be under two headings. By writing 'local access or mobility' in the first heading, we'd push the wardrobe into 'portals to other worlds' for example. The TARDIS could be placed with the Guardian of Forever under 'time travel devices, including sophonts'; I'd actually forgotten it was intelligent, but it's a rather natural idea. It's good to have you here!

Anyway, this might not cover everything, but bridging headings can be created if necessary. I'll wait for feedback before going ahead of course.

Unknown said...

Stephen King 's Dark Tower doors.

The Uncanny X-men:
Nightcrawler's 'Bamf'
The aboriginal dude who made portals
Cyclops' little sister who became queen of . . . ummm - pugatory? Some sort of in-between dimension? She made portals in and out of there.

The comic books genre opens up a lot of new possibilities, like a can of worms. Superman's spinning the earth around backwards to reverse time, I think Flash did that too. And so many more . . .

In that Star Trek movie, they dove at the sun to travel back in time.
Similarly, in Farscape John did some sort of diving, sideslip maneuver with his space pod to create a wormhole. (Fantastic TV series, if you're not familiar.)
This site [] has a looooong list of star trek time travel episodes and the methods used. (My favorite was "Yesterday's Enterprise").
The Terminator series - we never see the machine that did the work . . .
Quoting wikipedia:"Thrice Upon A Time is a science fiction novel by James P. Hogan, first published in 1980. Unlike most other time travel stories, Thrice Upon A Time considers the ramifications of sending messages into the past and/or receiving messages from the future, rather than the sending of physical objects through time."(which seems like it needs a new category?) It wasn't a great novel, but as a teenager, I loved it, and it deals well with the paradox . ..
How about groundhog day? There's also a similar episode of the outer limits . . .
Oh! A recent movie called "Primer" got bad reviews, but it's a really great treatment of the paradox of time travel! Very similar in a way to the paradoxes in Hogan's novel, above.
Ahhh, the Butterfly Effect - a classic!
And, I think, another new category? Slower than light drives relativistically hurtling their passengers into the future: Several Larry Niven examples, several Asimov examples, Anne McCaffrey, etc, etc.
And in the book Hyperion: The Shrike controls time, moves backward in time?, and the Farcaster singularities (with many space portal oddities) and the Hawking drives.
The later books in the Dune saga: Some of those people compress time using mental powers.
Another Niven example: stepping disks.

I think your list will be so long as to be impossible . . .but it is a great idea nonetheless!
Maybe eventually the categories could be further ranked by publication date, so a teleportaion device from 50 years ago would rank higher than one from last year?

Porky said...

With your comment, it does start to seem impossible! Wow. Has Jebediah met a match in you? I certainly have! I think we need a wiki.

When I get the time and summon up the courage I'll start to add this in. You've also given me food for thought re drives. I've assumed faster than light, but I don't know and can't even check in every case. I'll need to generalise there, or there'll need to be two headings, one for the knowns and one the unknowns.

Your point about seniority is a good one. In the list as it stands I've taken this partially into account, and with the suggested headings I've fudged it a little to have the more senior higher up, in some cases. I'll bear it in mind when I put the headings in place, and of course we can see what feedback others might give in the meantime. As is now clear, there are plenty of us with an interest - far more than I expected - and Jebediah for one is full of good ideas re organisation. All could well have more thoughts.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Nydus gate (Starcraft), as well as whateer the overmind does when they go flying off to another world. Probably could simply be called "Overmind Interplanetary Teleportation Ability" or something.

300 distinct beams meeting something where there should have been nothing. I don't remember the name of the short story at the moment, but I'll post it when I've had a chance to look it up. (I'd hazard a guess that the name was "Qarlo", but I'm not sure)

Gates, both major and minor, (Elvenborn series).

Porky said...

Thanks for these too. I'm getting behind, but I'll catch up!

??? said...

Oh, Farscape is awesome and full of time/space travel! The Leviathan ships (living ships) open a rift in the fabric of spacetime to travel long distances and also as a means of self-defence. The manoeuvre is called Starburst.

I like the classifications you suggested, I think those will work well. I would add an alphabetical index as well, though, sorted in alphabetical order of the book/movie/where-ever the item comes from. I always appreciate an A-Z index and I think it could be useful here as well, for example for such a series like Star Trek that features many different items on the list.

Terry Pratchett dealt with time travel and its consequences in Johnny and the bomb ... the time machine is a trolley belonging to Mrs Tachion, a homeless lady.

He also features wandering shops that are in fact machines that enable their owner to travel in time and space. Which may be a homage to H.G. Wells

The history monks know how to freeze time, while they themselves are still able to move freely. This allows them to make any given amount of time last much longer. This may not be time travel in a strict sense, but it comes close.

In Night Watch, Commander Vimes travels in time due to a storm that earthed itself around the magical library of Unseen University. Which would count as a natural phenomenon on Discworld, with its high background magic.

And I can't believe I forgot this, but L-Space also allows its user to travel in time and space. The theory is that the accumulation of knowledge in a library bends space. Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass, which warps space. This theme was first explored in Guards! Guards! I've always loved the notion of all libraries being connected. "A library is just a gentle black hole that knows how to read", to paraphrase Pratchett. I hope that one day I'm going to be found worthy of being introduced into the Secret Order of Librarian who know how to navigate L-Space.

Porky said...

More excellent suggestions. I'll say again that I'm way behind, but I should - should - be able to catch up..! I've added the headings so far. I left 'faster than light' as it was, in that it includes 'similar'; this ought to be enough for any slower than light drives in there, for the moment at least.

??? said...

I've just gone on a Doctor Who binge and wow, they have a lot of stuff.
The transmat beam is pretty much the Whovian version of the Trek beamer. First seen in The Seeds of Death

The episodes Boomtown introduced the delightful concept of a pandimensional surfboard or to use its full name, the Tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator.

The Doctor had a Time Ring in Genesis of the Daleks. Such a ring will take you to a pre-programmed destination anywhere in time and space.

The Pyramids of Mars had very psychedelic spacetime tunnels.

Captain Jack Harkness has a Vortex manipulator, a compact device that allows the user to travel the Time Vortex. It's uncomfortable bordering on painful, but it works.

Man, I'm having way too much fun with this list.

Porky said...

That really does look like a Who binge! I could binge on some Who right now too, and but for lack of time I would. I do have a feeling though that as with the wider project this is just the start of what the good Doctor has to offer us...

It really is on my list of tasks to get up to date here, and I plan to start and hopefully finish this weekend.

??? said...

I have only begun watching the old series, so I guess I'll find more as I watch. Research can be so much fun.

The MythAdventure series by Robert Asprin features dimensional travel with the help of magic (pentagramms and all). Demon in this world is just slang for Dimensional Traveller.

The Subtle Knife allows its bearer to create openings into other worlds in Phillip Pullman's seriesHis Dark Materials.

??? said...

And another one: Lemarchand's Box from Clive Barker's novella Hellbound Heart and the Hellraiser series is a dimension portal, although it's not exactly a dimension most of us particularly want to go to.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Mass Relays (Mass Effect)

Jump Gates (Freelancer)

Trade Lanes (Freelancer)

Jump Holes (Freelancer)

Firefly Class Core-Boost (Firefly, Serenity)

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Oh, by the way: What's the trouble with Multi-Dimensional Architecture?

Porky said...

Today's headway gone in a flash, or rather two, but such interesting flashes it's hard to be anything but happy..! Thanks to both of you, for the links and clean arrangement too.

The trouble is not being able to find any info on what exactly the Multi-Dimensional Architecture is. I'm imagining it's some kind of transport network, but knowing even a little about Discworld I could be well out.

??? said...

I would classify the Multi-Dimensional Architecture as Everyday objects providing local access or mobility (short-ranged).
In the books, you can throw your garbage out of your window into the garden of the neighbour three houses down or enter your front door and find yourself in the next house, in the attic probably.
It doesn't have much of a range the way it's described in Thud!, but who knows what would happen if BSJ had been allowed to build more houses all over town or in other cities.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Actually, it's more local. To paraphrase: "...Approach to architecture led to the front door of #15 opening into the closet of #2, smoke from the fireplace of #12 coming out the chimney of #20, and the window of #1 showing a view appropriate to that of #13. But it also meant that it was okay to throw your trash into the garden, as it might not be your garden you were throwing it into."

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

And it seems we posted at the same time...

Porky said...

What a funky idea, great Pratchett, and described by two apparent experts. Thanks again. The breadth of the collective knowledge here is stunning.

As for the coincidence, we'll just have to get used to this kind of thing - there's a lot of synchronicity in these parts, as Jebediah and I have been learning lately at every turn.

I'll be getting back down to work on this today.

Unknown said...

Whoah! You did this up great! Good work, sir. (I'm still giggling that "Bamf" has a wikipedia entry.)

Cyclops' sister Ilyana probably WAS called Colony, that was a long time ago, and around the time I stopped following that comic. Anyway, I'd classify her as "Abilities allowing teleportation". I think the aboriginal dude also, whatever his name was, although he spun some sort of totem on a rope, I think it was really an ability, not a device.
The 'core boost' has got to be an FTL drive, I think.
Ummm, what about clairvoyance? -- Yikes that's a big subcategory all by itself, right? Maybe it would be OK to arbitrarily not include that?
Mark Twain's short novel: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court . . . category miscellaneous? And the same perhaps for Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five?
TV's Sliders uses a device.
The Japanese guy in Heroes uses an ability to control time and space - Hiro Nakamura.
Speaking of King Arthur . . . Merlin was supposed to experience time backwards from the rest of us, according to at least one novel: I think it was the Sword in the Stone?
And what about the Grail, and the sword, in the movie Excaliber? They seem to come from, and return to another realm. The sword is carried between realms by the Lady of the Lake, I guess.
That's like a religious analogy.
Hey, many religions deal with instant travel between worlds. The Christian Bible is full of that kind of stuff. Also Islam. Hindu. Greek mythology. Norse. And there's crossover between religion, fantasy, and fiction in many, many places. Thor is a Marvel Comics character, Tolkien mythology is based on christian mythology. So is C.S. Lewis's work. Perhaps a new category called something like, Magic and the Supernatural? I don't know, "any sufficiently advanced technology" would fall into that category, wouldn't it?
Once again, great job. You clearly have a talent for organizing and presenting a complex array of information in a concise and useful format!
I can't wait to see the next incarnation of this list!!!

Porky said...

There's that floodgate! Thanks for the praise, but it's only really a small part me, and a large part you and the others here. I'll add those suggestions when I can and ponder the wider questions you've raised. I remember now too Jedediah suggested an alphabetical index of sources...

Dave Garbe said...

It should be noted that Freelancer was just a remake of Wing Commander Privateer ( - Basically, Microsoft hired one of the originial designers and asked him to make it with today's technology. The gates in it were based on "jump points" (blue spheres around a jump generator at navs within a system)

I also think "our imagination" should be on that list.

Digitizing Laser from Tron ( )

Closet doors from Monster's Inc (,_Inc. )

Portal to monster world under every bed from Little Monsters ( )

Passenger seat black hole from Wristcutters: A Love Story ( )
(Everything about this movie rocks, right down to the Gypsy rock band they got to do the music, Gogol Bordello)

Death / Leaving your old home / chalk drawn door from Beetlejuice ( )

Tornado, Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz

Portal Gun from Portal ( )

Rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland

Blood stained wall from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, lesser known creation from the guy who brought us Invader Zim ( )

??? said...

I knew Doctor Who would turn up more:
Charged Vacuum Emboitment - a phenomenon that transported the Tardis into E-Space, an alternative dimension, in the episode Full Circle

and another Pratchett:
Roundworld was created by Hex and the wizards of UU can use Hex to transport themselves into that alternate universe.

The human voice can bring people and things from books into the real world and vice versa in Cornelia Funke's Inkworld Trilogy

A mirror brings people into another world (where fairytales are true in a disturbing way) in Funke's latest novel Reckless

The House of Foryx from the novel Queste can be used for time travel under the right circumstances. Queste is the third book of the awesome Septimus Heap series.
I totally second "our imagination" to be featured in the list!

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

@Jeff Hawkins:

I'm not sure about just folding in the Core Boost as "FTL Drive (Firefly, Serenity)". It seems to be something specific to that class of ship.

Anyway, here's a few more portals:

Ghalamander/Zidrii Warp Drive (Zidrii are this guy's invention, the hybrids are something I was working on a while ago, which he found pretty cool, though they were in Sketchup.)

Gorgonmilk's Portal (See the recent fiction series on there)

And I third the imagination!

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

My sister and my mom reminded me of these:

The Tesseract (Wrinkle in Time)

Unicorns (A Swiftly Tilting Planet)

Odd Computer (Many Waters)

Some of the Wonderbuss shells.

Unknown said...

can you remember which episode talks about that? I don't remember it, is it when we meet Kaylee?

Imagination sounds like a good category. Seems like many stories keep you guessing about whether or not it's just someone's imagination, until at the end when some plot detail makes it seem like it can't be just that . . . or is it?

Porky said...

I'm following all of this, with a little apprehension I'll admit! I'll make progress on adding the new ideas in as and when I can.

I have a concern only about including the imagination. If you mean including the imagination in the sense of the mind's eye as a portal all of us have, no problem. If you mean instances of imagination creating the portal within the fiction, there is potentially a big issue of determination. In which cases can it be said for certain that one or more of the characters is imagining events? If this is what is meant, and determination is possible, perhaps an asterisk could be used to mark those cases?

Dave Garbe said...

There's a perfect example coming soon to movies.. Technically, their physical beings aren't being transported anywhere, however the mind and their perception of reality is:

It's a stretch. Technically, not a true portal in the common use of the word. If the list is just meant for physical transportation, then "Imagination" probably doesn't work as I can't think of an instance when it was actually used to traverse distance.

Heh, phone booth from Bill and Ted.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

@Jeff Hawkins:

I don't believe that it was ever discussed specifically. I do know that the cruisers and gunships couldn't keep up. Of course, there's also the problem that we really never get a good look at any of this stuff. If I had some blueprints, maybe a scale model of the engines, and an owner's manual,it would be a lot simpler. Perhaps putting a * after it and saying that the exact nature of this technology is unknown and further insights would be welcome?

??? said...

"If you mean including the imagination in the sense of the mind's eye as a portal all of us have, no problem. "
Yup, that's what I meant at least.

But the other interpretation works just as well for me and I even have two examples. The first is not exactly fiction, but here goes:
Carl Sagan's Spaceship of the Imagination in Cosmos Which I was recently reminded of by this hilarious comic

A tree, a labyrinth and a door drawn with chalk are portals into another world in El laberinto del Fauno It may all be imagination (although del Toro does say in the audio commentary that he thinks it's real).

Marking the cases in which it is doubtful whether it's "just" imagination or maybe real after all is a useful idea, I think.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Gates, Major and Minor: Major gates allow travel between "worlds" though whether this is dimensional or interplanetary is never discussed. There is only one Major gate (Which, thinking about it, is actually a Great Gate, if I remember correctly). Minor gates allow travel between extremely distances of 1000-2000 miles, but probably not more than that. Also, there's a teleportation spell, but one kills anything transported by it. No know limits on distance.

Openers, Neverwhere.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

*one version that is. There's another that doesn't

??? said...

Some more Doctor Who:
Cracks in the universe allow for travels in space and time in Season 5 (and 6 apparently) of the new series, first introduced in The Eleventh Hour

??? said...

The hilarious Van Helsing features a portal in the form of a mirror made from ice that connects the Valerious mansion to Castle Dracula. The location for Castle Dracula is not given, but Dracula was not supposed to be able to leave.

A mirror is also used in the classic Doctor Who episode The Warrior's Gate which works as a gateway to different times.

Porky said...

You'll be pleased to know I've made some progress on this recently... some. I'd get there one day too I'm sure - if not for you meddling kids!

Jennie said...

The Mythadventures books had dimension travel through the use of technology of a sort, the D-hopper, as well as through the wizards-drawing-magic-pentagrams means.

Harry Potter was filled with portals, including fireplaces (just add floo powder), the Portkeys, The Knight Bus, the doorway into Diagon Alley, Platform 9&3/4...

Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber had the Pattern and the Trumps, as well as certain characters having the power to walk through Shadow (alternate dimensions, including our own, which were imperfect reflections of Amber).

In the Witch World books, there was a stone seat that opened a doorway into an other world, the specific nature of which was determined by the nature of the person sitting in the seat.

Porky said...

Thanks again - they're all now in.

A little musing re the slow evolution of the page: I'm wondering whether the list of portals to other worlds could be divided into 'objects' and pure 'portals', in the same way there's a separate list of objects providing local access or mobility.

netherwerks said...

The Silver Key ala Through the Gate of the Silver Key by HP Lovecraft, as well as the Plutonian Drug by Clark Ashton Smith, and 'Puissant Draming' such as Randolph Carter uses in The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath.

Clive Barker's puzzle boxes from the Hellraiser franchise might also be worth considering.

The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris.

Rip van Winkle also provides a different take on time travel.

The original Buck Rogers fell asleep in a mine after being exposed to some gas and that preserved him into the 25th century.

See our post on The Time Travelers and The Time Tunnel.

There is also a List of Time Travel in Fiction at Wikipedia that might be worth taking a look at.

Then there is Riskail...

Porky said...

Done - all the new ones are in.

I didn't think of Riskail, but it's a prime candidate. I've added the River Gates as portals between locations in another world, with a link to this post. If you'd recommend a different post, or think the category should change, just let me know.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

The computer in the early Wellworld books. Especially appropriate with all that about hexagons, if I remember correctly...

Then of course there's all sorts of things on the Wellworld itself.

(Yes, we are evil, and post in wave. What of it?)

Porky said...

It's in. I should be grateful it's just the one...

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