Russell Kirkpatrick on Fantasy Maps

You don’t have to draw a pointy-witch’s-hat faux-medieval map. You can draw an oblique perspective. You can fill your map with misdirection. You can scrawl annotations over it and make it an actual artifact of your story. You can make geological maps, three-dimensional cutaways, cartoons, whatever suits your story. In fact, I await the day when authors realise they can be as creative—and subversive—with their maps as they are with their text.

That’s Russell Kirkpatrick, a geographer and fantasy novelist from New Zealand, in a blog post discussing the use and usefulness of fantasy maps. Should fantasy maps have maps? “No, for three reasons.” Should authors draw maps? Yes, even if it doesn’t end up in print. Lots of interesting things said here. [Paul Weimer]

Author: Jonathan Crowe

I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis.