I've been encouraging my players to give me some ideas of the types of things they'd like to see on the Lost Continent. This is not for immediate use, mind you, but rather idea seeds that I can plant in far away places so they'll be nice and grown-in when the characters find them. The LC is, after all, supposed to be huge and magical--so lots of variation was already on the table. That's why I didn't bat an eye when Shawn Solo's player asked, "How about an old west town?" We riffed on that for awhile, thinking of how that could be done cohesively. We came up with some neat ideas and I'm looking forward to playing with it some more. He'll be pumped when he finally comes across said town, all filled out and "real" in his character's eyes.
The process of thinking it out was fun, and got me thinking of the different styles of genre mash-up. When introducing another genre, you really have a whole continuum of cohesion levels, from straight-up "the Enterprise just landed next to your castle" to "Elves are really aliens from another planet who passed magically through portals to this world, bringing higher technology." In other words, the elements of the new genre can be dumped in without any eye for cohesion, or they can be "translated", so to speak, into your world's style/feel/mood. Mash-ups on either end could be fun, I'm sure, but I find myself gravitating much more toward the heavily translated end of the continuum. I want my old west town to seem like an old west town, but also not stick out too much from the other locales. How is that done?
In the next few days I'll be working on it a bit. We'll see what comes of it.