Transport for Fantasy Fiction

When world building, think about the transport available to citizens. There are many choices, but you can invent your own.

The main consideration is how people manoeuvre themselves long-distance. It depends on their biology and technology. You don’t want readers thinking characters have ability to travel 1,000 mph when they don’t.

Animal - Horse, Dog, Camel
Road - Cars, Motorbikes, Buses, Vans, Lorries, Taxis
Rail - Trains, Trams, Monorails
Sea - Boats, Ships, Ferries, Hovercraft
Air - Balloon, Helicopter, Aeroplane
Space - Shuttle, Spaceship
Misc. - Teleport, Magic

This speed applies to humans, horses, camels and cows. They can all walk for nine to twelve hours a day, but will accomplish the same distance if jogging or sprinting, as they tire quicker. They can work in shorter relay systems, getting messages across your realm faster.

·         Walking - 3 mph or 5 km/h
Whilst walking, humans can carry 28 kg. This can be 14 kg of gear, and 14 kg of food, to last a fortnight. That is 1 kg of food per day.

600 km in two weeks is a good target, before having to stop and refuel. This is a long time. It could feature as part of, or the focus for your story, as a travelogue. This would also be a maximum distance between major towns.

·         Jogging - 9 mph or 15 km/h
If jogging with relay systems, you may cover 180 km per day. Animals tire at this speed faster than humans do, so over long distances, it balances out.

·         Sprinting - 27 mph or 45 km/h
This kind of speed is unsustainable as a means of long distance travel, but is a good measure of world record speed. You could even incorporate short relay points, but they would have to be very short.

Alien cultures could be faster, or slower, than this. It will depend on their size, mass and muscles. 

Happy Creations!

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Jim M