Tag: maps

Here Be Dragons…


…and here, and here, and here too.

There’s an immutable law which says whenever you read a fantasy novel (of a thick nature is a bonus, but not necessary) you will at one point or another flick to the front few pages looking for a map.  Blame Tolkien if you like, but I’d rather thank Tolkien.  By their nature, fantasy novels take place in other worlds, or at least realities so removed from our own explanation is needed to guide us through it as well as the narrative.

But to me, the maps provide another purpose; they’re a visual accompaniment to further draw us into the world.

There’s a piece on the Guardian at the moment talking about the art of Ian Miller (not the ‘Dry Tost’ kind in my Big Fat Greek Wedding).  Ian has a long history in the SFF genre, and was at least in part responsible for my love of the genre.  His illustrations in Games Workshop’s early Warhammer Fantasy books held me enraptured for hours as I at first drunk in every detail, and then wondered what lay just of the horizon of the drawings.

Erfberg  2011.  Dip pen-ink - watercolour -paper .     This is just the one from a plethora of castle and cityscape images. For some reason I can't stop drawing either. It started with a drawing I did of Gormenghast back in the seventies. Six versions on and several 'After Gormenghasts' I'm still hooked .  M John Harrison's  book Viriconium only enforced this  obsession.

Erfberg, 2011: Ian Miller

And this isn’t an aspect of the genre which is lost to bygone times.  The Goliath series by Scott Westerfeld include a number of just beautiful illustrations throughout each book which delight even the 30 something me.

I don’t think it’s coincidence of the presence of illustrations in both children’s literature and fantasy.  I’ve always held that adults who love fantasy and sci fi are just children who refused to grow up.  We hold onto the delightful, and will use any sense open to us to enjoy what we love.

This has been another disconnected rant from yours truly.



To Clutter or not to Clutter?


I’m a fairly spartan person.  I don’t know if this is natural or not, I mean I ache to buy a toy Warthog (of the HALO variety, not a pig) but I know it will just be something more to dust.

However, I may have been won over by New Crobuzon tube maps!

New Crobuzon tube map from society6.com

The talented people at society6.com have these for sale now, and I’m thinking this just may be a purchase for our new digs.  We’ll see if I can slip it past the missus.

In other news I’ve been a productive little writer.  Four short stories written, edited and submitted in three weeks is not bad, although O realise now it was an attempt by me to avoid working on the novel.  I subconsciously reached a point I knew I had to face I did not have a proper ending for a single book, just a jumper-ending to book 2, which will not help a first time novelist sell an MS.

Rather than be grown up and admit it, however, I of course stuck my head in the sane and wrote some short stories.  Time to get back on that horse, I think.  Wish me luck.