Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mapping one's world

This Tor® Books' article is from their constantly updated website (please check it out)!
Books published by Tor are often innovative, exciting, and bear beautiful covers.
The website is an ongoing conversation with authors, short stories published nowhere else, writing reference info, etc.

The above article is by a Tor Books cartographer (mapmaking) and how he gives an authetic feel to an author's world built in the fantastic.

This piece has a special place to me. As an avid spec fic reader, nothing made me more childishly giddy than seeing a map of the world I'm reading about! I was especially excited by Shelly Shapiro's rendering of numerous classical fantasy worlds, especially for Del Rey® and Ballantine® Books. Not only did it help entrench my imagination with the 'Lord of the Rings', 'Xanth', 'The Belgariad', but even Weiss'/Hickman's phenomenal 'Death Gate Cycle'!
One thing that excited me about attending Miami-Dade Community College in the mid-90s was their library: I once found a coffee-table book of maps based on several, various fantasy series, including Oz, Earthsea, and Middle-earth! I was so taken by the thought and care it took in creating worlds only real to the mind, that I decided to use it as a springboard to ideas for my Computer Art course.
I made an early map of my feline fantasy world with color pencils and ink. Later, it was scanned, uploaded and rendered by QuarkXpress, an early desktop publishing software.
I hope I can find those early maps and upload them soon.

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