by Friday at 2:29 pm•
Yeah, yeah—Earth has a ton of substances that can numb and distract us from the excruciating pain of existence. They’re fine. But you know what would be better? If we could take drugs from the magical worlds of fantasy and science fiction! Please, join me in my TARDIS for an exceedingly questionable survey of the ways people get fucked up in fantasy novels, sci-fi movies, and that part of Universal Studios that looks like Hogsmeade.
The Lord of the Rings
There are an infinite number of annoying things about Tolkien nerds (stop speaking Sindarin, unless you are actually as elegant and erudite as the High Elves of the Undying Lands, which you are not), but number one with a bullet are their jokes about pipe-weed. Also known as “Halflings’ Leaf,” and with a particular strain known as “Old Toby,” pipe-weed was enjoyed by Hobbits all over the Shire because they were dull-witted deadbeats who, aside from literally only five of them, accomplished nothing of worth in their entire useless existence.
That’s all canon (pretty much), but what isn’t canon is people snickering whenever a Hobbit sparks up a pipe or zones out staring at Gandalf’s smoke rings. “Get it?” nerds giggle, except in Sindarin. “Pipe-weed is like weed!” Yes, we get it, and no, Tolkien didn’t mean for it to be weed. Tolkien was square as hell. But if partaking in Old Toby will get you to shut up about second breakfast, by all means, please.
The Stormlight Archive
Drugs aren’t a huge part of Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy series (Start with The Way of Kings! See you in three years!), but wine plays a role in the narrative—yellow wine has practically no alcohol in it, and thus no reason to exist, while violet wine will seriously fuck you up. Since reading about wine in any context is incredibly boring, Sanderson also includes a few other intoxicants, like firemoss, which smokes when you rub it between your fingers, and the Thrill—a bloodlust that turns warriors’ vision red, filling them with fury and an unquenchable thirst for slaughter. Uh, I’ll stick with firemoss, thanks.Read article »