Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I work in a bookstore. Here's a book gripe:

To any fantasy authors out there, if you think you are going to write a novel about an imaginary place and NOT include a frickin' map, and expect me to read it, you are sadly mistaken.

I'm sure all of my friends know that I have a serious love of maps. I think maps are cool. And when you are dealing with a fantastic story, set in a place that does not exist in reality, a map of the setting is an important visual tool for the reader to help them imagine the setting.

Also, creating maps for fantasy settings can be quite fun. I just don't understand why any fantasy author wouldn't include one.

4 Comments:

Blogger Michael "VendorX" Heaney said...

You know, Pete, it's odd but a few days ago, I picked up one of David Edding's later works. I managed to push through about twenty pages before I lead the thing out back and had it shot to put it out of my misery, but one thing that I couldn't help but think is how sick I've gotten of all those cheesy freaking maps. I mean, don't get me wrong, an honest structure of the WORLD I might be able to use, but do we really need any more of these pathetic little locality maps, with your goofy flowing script telling you the childish name of the land, all of five towns noted at all, your token 'mountain range' clearly running through the land, maybe a river. These maps serve no purpose but to pander to the Tolkien genre of fiction, and badly at that, if you ask me. No, if they left the map out, all power to them.

I mean, we don't always need a map, do we? I don't need star charts of the galaxy to enjoy the Foundation Trilogy or Ender's Game. Greg Bear's Infinity Concerto had no map, and I got by. The Books of the New Sun could have really freaking used a map, given the number of places traveled, but we don't dismiss the work for that, do we? Naw, a good map is nice, but it's hardly needed, and we rarely get it, regardless.

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