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(Guardian)   Authors have mixed feeling when maps are used to help readers understand their books' plots, whether it's sailing home from a war in Troy, spending a day wandering Dublin, trudging through Hell, or walking across a continent to drop off some jewelry   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Fiction, Novel, Literature, only sufficient map, literary text, exhibition curator Karla Nielsen, right map, map  
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1083 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 20 Jan 2022 at 9:21 PM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-20 10:01:52 PM  
I hate it when books do not include maps and diagrams.  Even worse when it is non-fiction.  I don't know what these places look like, a map would help me figure it out!
 
2022-01-20 10:29:24 PM  
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2022-01-20 10:45:08 PM  

Madison_Smiled: [Fark user image 425x344]


Looks like you're bored of the Rings or something.
 
2022-01-20 11:31:22 PM  
I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books
 
2022-01-20 11:42:19 PM  
I'd just like to know what the land of Xanth looks like.
 
2022-01-20 11:51:58 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books


What about this star system?

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2022-01-21 12:13:35 AM  

ippolit: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

What about this star system?

[Fark user image image 425x223]


That not a star system that's just the planet Uranus.

Never got a map of Midland City either.
 
2022-01-21 1:25:54 AM  

ippolit: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

What about this star system?

[Fark user image 425x223]


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2022-01-21 1:28:19 AM  
Back in my fledgling DM days, the map was mostly for me. So I could keep a somewhat consistent setting. If I was to tell a story along the same lines into a book, I sure as fark would slap it in the book.

Unless your writing is terrible, like Star Trek. Where people move at the speed of plot and borders literally don't matter, because every planet does whatever it wants in some nebulous border, zone, nation, empire, etc. If the places don't matter, then a map is a futile attempt to make certain people happy.
 
2022-01-21 2:07:11 AM  
Maps are nice as illustration. They are infuriating if they are necessary to understand what's happening.

"the orc army is in Shishtar and the Dark Men are in Frushtuk. So you know what that means for the city of Salamalek"
The revelation stopped the heart of Arrargomin.


***Me looks at map***
How, so that means that the city in Salamalek is being taken in a pincer movement for the east and the south. Couldn't you just say so ?
 
2022-01-21 2:18:46 AM  
This book came with a map and it made the story much more enjoyable. it's a great book. It has all the swashbuckling shiat you could ask for. Blood, guts, prison escape, fair maiden. The battle parts are really good.

Following the voyage with the map helped the story a lot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Latitudes
 
2022-01-21 2:57:00 AM  
Still one of the best maps ever, and the book is excellent.
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2022-01-21 3:22:01 AM  
Enh, I like maps in books because I like maps.

Plus, not everyone can visualize things. Aphantasia is a thing, freakin' Glen Keane has it among others. Making it easier for people to visualize is not a sin.

I'm in favour of illustrations in books, too.

But you have to get off your ass and do your best to explain things, if you're the writer.
 
2022-01-21 4:30:47 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books


Maps force the author to keep realistic geographical continuity. Most of the authors who dont like them are probably the shiatty ones who use "hero travel time" to warp the MC to the right spot at juuuuuuuuuuuuuust the right time to save the day. Even if it would have taken a week and then some to actually travel that far
 
2022-01-21 4:58:49 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books


tell me you don't read any Warhammer 40k novels without telling me.

They loves themselves some galactic maps.
 
2022-01-21 5:36:51 AM  
I don't mind maps in books, provided they're not particularly intrusive and don't yank me out of the illusions the author's words are creating. The maps in Tolkien's works were all at the beginning or end of the copies I own- handy to check references if necessary, but not in the way of the story.

That said, I think maps are a very good idea for the author- especially for non-Earth-based stories. Having at least a rough idea of where places are in relation to one another helps avoid silly, illusion-shattering errors- especially if the locations are relevant to the plot. For example- you wouldn't want to spend several paragraphs and/or pages describing a character's perilous, week-long journey to get reinforcements for the besieged Fort Zinderneuf, only to have the character return with those reinforcements the next day.

Caution: much like wiki-surfing, maps and backgrounds can easily become a rabbit-warren of needless digression. You start sketching rough distance relationships between relevant locations in the story, and it's surprisingly easy to find yourself outlining ephemera such as the dietary habits of the Forest Pixies on an island halfway around the planet from your story- and neither the island or the pixies have any useful connection to the original story.

Maybe it's just me.
 
2022-01-21 5:57:12 AM  
I tended like like the maps of Krynn in the Dragonlance books.

Of course, Dragonlance and Middle Earth are the two places where I bought books of JUST maps.
 
2022-01-21 6:03:28 AM  

Alphax: I tended like like the maps of Krynn in the Dragonlance books.

Of course, Dragonlance and Middle Earth are the two places where I bought books of JUST maps.


*cough* Karen Wynn Fonstad *cough*
 
2022-01-21 6:09:41 AM  

lifeslammer: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

Maps force the author to keep realistic geographical continuity. Most of the authors who dont like them are probably the shiatty ones who use "hero travel time" to warp the MC to the right spot at juuuuuuuuuuuuuust the right time to save the day. Even if it would have taken a week and then some to actually travel that far


I had to create a map of the city in which I based my novel, but it was for my reference. I did even think about including it in the book.
 
2022-01-21 6:47:29 AM  
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2022-01-21 7:13:54 AM  
I like The Witcher's take on maps.

~~~~WATER~~~~|   NORTHER
~~~~"Islands"~~~|       NORTH
~~~~WATER~~~~|"The Continent"
~~~~WATER~~~~|       SOUTH
 
2022-01-21 7:28:58 AM  

PartTimeBuddha: I like The Witcher's take on maps.

~~~~WATER~~~~|   NORTHER
~~~~"Islands"~~~|       NORTH
~~~~WATER~~~~|"The Continent"
~~~~WATER~~~~|       SOUTH


there was a really detailed one bundled with the second game, but every other time there's been one it's been quite simple.
 
2022-01-21 7:55:12 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books


LOLOL.  Plenty of sci fi books include star charts, wormhole maps, etc.
 
2022-01-21 9:27:32 AM  

lifeslammer: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

Maps force the author to keep realistic geographical continuity. Most of the authors who dont like them are probably the shiatty ones who use "hero travel time" to warp the MC to the right spot at juuuuuuuuuuuuuust the right time to save the day. Even if it would have taken a week and then some to actually travel that far


That's hilarious
 
2022-01-21 9:34:25 AM  

FrancoFile: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

LOLOL.  Plenty of sci fi books include star charts, wormhole maps, etc.


I was talking about good ones.
 
2022-01-21 10:18:22 AM  

lifeslammer: Maps force the author to keep realistic geographical continuity. Most of the authors who dont like them are probably the shiatty ones who use "hero travel time" to warp the MC to the right spot at juuuuuuuuuuuuuust the right time to save the day. Even if it would have taken a week and then some to actually travel that far


I like maps. But nothing forces an author to do anything - one of my favorite series growing up treated them like vague suggestions and that was just fine.
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2022-01-21 10:25:28 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: FrancoFile: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

LOLOL.  Plenty of sci fi books include star charts, wormhole maps, etc.

I was talking about good ones.


i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-21 10:35:06 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: I was talking about good ones.


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2022-01-21 11:05:55 AM  

Richelieu: Lumbar Puncture: I was talking about good ones.

[Fark user image 576x312]


That's quite awful.
 
2022-01-21 11:41:50 AM  
"This book does not contain a map. Please feel free to draw your own." - Terry Pratchett
 
2022-01-21 11:43:31 AM  

FrancoFile: Lumbar Puncture: FrancoFile: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

LOLOL.  Plenty of sci fi books include star charts, wormhole maps, etc.

I was talking about good ones.

[i.imgur.com image 850x619]


That's less a map than a napkin with some stains on it that arrows were added to.
 
2022-01-21 11:44:36 AM  

Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books


I was always pretty fond of this one, and I never once needed it to follow the story. It just added to the overall experience.

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2022-01-21 11:47:35 AM  
I LOVE a good map, and I love a book that contains one, especially fantasy novels. I look at our own real world in terms of geography, and have it in mind when reading about history, politics, and all sorts of things, so it stands to reason the same would transfer to fantasy worlds.

Sometimes I'll see a map and if it's good enough, the MAP makes me want to learn more about the world. I want to know more about the places I see and what life is like there. It's an invitation to go explore that world.
 
2022-01-21 11:50:22 AM  

wiredroach: Lumbar Puncture: I think maps are pointless and unneeded in a fantasy book, I thought that was what my imagination was for.

Thankfully they don't include galactic charts in sci fi books

I was always pretty fond of this one, and I never once needed it to follow the story. It just added to the overall experience.

[Fark user image 850x642]


Yes, this is a great one. It instantly conjures images of my childhood stomping grounds. I lived adjacent to a huge swath of undeveloped land, mostly wooded, and you knew it by various landmarks in the woods. All us local kids had our names for random clearings, barely-there trails, and that sort of thing.

I haven't lived there for 30+ years and could still draw a map of every detail.
 
2022-01-21 11:52:03 AM  

Mr_Vimes: Richelieu: Lumbar Puncture: I was talking about good ones.

[Fark user image 576x312]

That's quite awful.


It's true. Although I like maps at scales anywhere from continent to single building where relevant, I've never seen a really useful one for star systems.
 
2022-01-21 12:01:26 PM  

Richelieu: It's true. Although I like maps at scales anywhere from continent to single building where relevant, I've never seen a really useful one for star systems.


The old tabletop RPG Star Frontiers has a so/so star system map, though it was useful because of the way their world was constructed. You could only safely travel from system to system by specific routes. The map showed you the way all the systems connected.

In theory Mass Effect could have a map like that showing how all the relays connect, since in the game lore you sometimes have to jump between relays to get to a system, but they streamlined that right out of the game, so the map is really just a graphical menu.
 
2022-01-21 12:30:19 PM  
The maps in Harry Turtledove's fantasy books were very helpful.
 
2022-01-21 1:10:35 PM  

Glorious Golden Ass: I'd just like to know what the land of Xanth looks like.


It looks like Florida. Not joking, Google it.
 
2022-01-21 1:14:17 PM  
I've always liked maps in novels, thoigh i prefer it when the map is not necessary to understand the story. Two series that come to mind are the Death Gate Cycle and Wheel of Time series. Both series describe the world well enough for you to figure out where most everything is, the maps just add to it.

This was one of my favourite book maps when I was younger, and I still find it fascinating.
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2022-01-21 1:36:38 PM  
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These are also good.
 
2022-01-21 2:04:36 PM  

amindtat: Glorious Golden Ass: I'd just like to know what the land of Xanth looks like.

It looks like Florida. Not joking, Google it.


Which is honestly so fitting
 
2022-01-21 2:46:28 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: amindtat: Glorious Golden Ass: I'd just like to know what the land of Xanth looks like.

It looks like Florida. Not joking, Google it.

Which is honestly so fitting


There are dozens and dozens of references to Florida in the books.  And the author's notes after a couple of volumes go into further detail.
 
2022-01-21 2:49:09 PM  

FrancoFile: Lumbar Puncture: amindtat: Glorious Golden Ass: I'd just like to know what the land of Xanth looks like.

It looks like Florida. Not joking, Google it.

Which is honestly so fitting

There are dozens and dozens of references to Florida in the books.  And the author's notes after a couple of volumes go into further detail.


Oh I know, I just mean the books don't have a shortage of uh, questionable character choices, and I'm just saying that is very fitting for the setting.
 
2022-01-21 4:29:18 PM  

PartTimeBuddha: I like The Witcher's take on maps.

~~~~WATER~~~~|   NORTHER
~~~~"Islands"~~~|       NORTH
~~~~WATER~~~~|"The Continent"
~~~~WATER~~~~|       SOUTH


I just started the book series about a month ago and was really disappointed there wasn't a map at the beginning a la LOTR or similar, especially considering how often Sapkowski references geographic locations. Even the ones in the games leave something to be desired.

Some of the fan made ones are cool though.
 
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