SFSignal.com melds the minds of science fiction and fantasy writers every Wednesday, inviting authors to answer a new question each week. This week, my brain was invited to the stew. Ewww!

The question was:

Q: What is the role and place of maps in Fantasy novels? Which are your favorites? Why?

In my comments, I talked about my own experience with commissioning a map for The Black God’s War and gave links to some of my favorite maps, including maps from:

Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, Book 6.
Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold
David Anthony Durham’s Acacia
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn
Kevin J Anderson’s Terra Incognita series
Selina Fenech’s Memory’s Wake
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
And, of course, my own.

I could link to those maps from here, but then you might not see all of the cool things over there. So check it out!

You might’ve seen my map for The Black God’s War:

Map by Jared Blando, TheRedEpic.com

But I haven’t shown the original map that I drew for Jared Blando at TheRedEpic.com (he’s the artist of the above map):


Good thing there are real artists in the world, eh?


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 4:21 pm and is filed under Art, Interviews, My Guest Posts, My Work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

20 comments so far


New Rule: All Epic Fantasy books should be required to show the hand-drawn map of the author, and SF books should be required to show to author’s sketches of the aliens/robots.

This will cause joy and inspire righteous frivolity withal.

(Thanks for sharing!)
David Barron recently posted..The spell of it

August 24th, 2011 at 7:49 pm

This map is totally cool man!
Michael recently posted..How to become an animator

August 25th, 2011 at 4:56 am
Moses Siregar III

David, haha. I’m down with that. Especially for the aliens and robots!

Michael, thank you!

August 25th, 2011 at 5:54 am

i love books with maps and cool gadgets like that ohhhhhh
ella recently posted..Office Party Games

August 27th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

My favorite map was actually in a science fiction novel. Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell has what looks like a subway map that illustrates the various wormholes that connect his universe. I posted about that here along with some genre musings that remain relevant.

August 28th, 2011 at 9:20 am
Cathryn Leigh

Wow… okay I must go overboard with my maps… Where do you find such a map maker and at what point did you do so?

I’m probably a little obsesive with my details, as I try to make my maps in scale so I know how long it takes to get places… Yeah *grin* that’s just me.

Other than that I agree with David Barron’s post up there…

:} Cathryn Leigh

September 6th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Moses Siregar III

Steven, that’s funny. Very subway map. LOL

Cathryn, I found Jared through a friend’s recommendation. It’s good to be obsessive about these things! 😉

September 7th, 2011 at 10:47 am
Cathryn Leigh

Well good to know I’m obsessing about the right things. For example, here’s my draft map for my current project: Map of Vervell and Azure
It’ll probably go through another revision when I revise the books to make them a cohesive whole. *grin*
Also for my curiosity: Did Jared read your book before doing the map or go solely off what you told him?

September 7th, 2011 at 11:34 am

I love it, Moses. Fantastic.

I did include a map for This Brilliant Darkness, but it’s an urban fantasy, so it’s got a Google Map to go with. Tried to do something “different,” anyway.

Maps like yours make me wish I could get into writing high fantasy. I love to READ it, it’s just not my thing to write.

Such beautiful cover, website, etc. Terrific packaging. You have beautiful taste.

September 16th, 2011 at 6:42 am

PS, the first time I tried to comment on your post, I got a WordPress error screen, asking me if I wanted to install WordPress, yes or no. Just a head’s up.
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September 16th, 2011 at 6:43 am
Jade Tiu

i love reading some medieval fantasy books and some illustrated maps help me imagine where each character went. Thus its important for me to have something like a map just for me to locate where things took place.
the map that you draw isn’t that bad after all. It looks like a great strategist map.
Jade Tiu recently posted..Best way to win the lottery

October 1st, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I would love it if I saw your map in your book. It looks exactly like something I would draw.

Seriously though, the professional one looks great and maps are always helpful in fantasy.
Olene Quinn recently posted..Could John Wayne be Famous Today?

October 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 am

I just remember all those old fairytale book my grandpapa used to tell us and even site all those maps where the treasure lays and all our little bright eyes just enlarged twice the size of it. Just looking at those maps makes us all a part of the story, just looking at it makes all part of the journey looking for the treasure and all the consequences the lead role has to go through is just making us feel we are going through it too.
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October 6th, 2011 at 2:08 am

As a writer and one of the “real artists” your map filled me with so much glee! It reminds me of all the times I’ve translated my husband’s doodles into a piece of artwork. I applaud your bravery for showing your sketches. I rarely do that!
Sarah M. recently posted..Bookshelf: Fall Picks

October 14th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell has what looks like a subway map that illustrates the various wormholes that connect his universe. My favorite map was actually in a science fiction novel.
Jack recently posted..Forex

October 15th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I’m probably a little obsessive with my details, as I try to make my maps in scale so I know how long it takes to get places… Yeah *grin* that’s just me. | 😛
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October 26th, 2011 at 9:01 am

Was searching for a map-maker on google, and this map came up. It’s a great one, to be sure.

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