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Page 27

17th Apr 2020, 5:00 PM in Dog Wood
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Author Notes:

Scott D. 17th Apr 2020, 5:00 PM
Scott D.
Earlier this week, we got a lovely feature on TheDuck's Twitter page, which you can read here!

Plants make a great aesthetic for storytelling, don't they? Slithering vines that creak and groan steadily, patiently, across the length, depth and breadth of humankind's domain, silent and unyielding. Speculative films about what might be if we left the planet always emphasise the transformation from urban landscapes of concrete and glass spires and motorways choked with abandoned cars, to ruins blanketed by blossoming greenery, creatures nesting in empty rooms, attics, and on statues. Old houses, long abandoned, find themselves draped in creeping, budding curtains. In visual mediums where the world comes to an end, a single flower blooms in the dark, signalling unbreakable hope and tenacity…but sometimes, that bloom heralds danger to those who trespass and take without respect. It could represent the planet's fierce and single-minded drive to repair the damage by any means possible, or the advancing presence of some dread fae realm, a wood between worlds so ancient it predates our notions of civilisation.

These ideas became especially prominent in the science-fiction climate of the 1960s and 1970s, in which ecological concerns were on the upswing, but could also trace their origins all the way back to the 1950s with pictures such as Christopher Nyby's The Thing From Another World (1951), Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), and Steve Sekley's The Day of the Triffids (1962). Many fantasy tales draw upon the image of a vast, near-omnipresent forest as well, in which tiny tricksters live in harmony with the trees and animals, with both good and ill intentions for lost and lonesome travellers, and the law of the jungle is an irrefutable iron rule in the daily lives of characters such as Mowgli, Tarzan, and Rima, lending majesty and potency to the environment.

Tell me, are there any stories you like (books, films, games, etc.) that somehow involve plants or the natural world as a central motif, and if so, which ones?
—Scott D.

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