Thursday, 16 December 2021
A cartographic conundrum
Here's a mystery that maybe you can solve. While clearing out (aka moving files of old papers from one shelf to another) I came across these two maps. Both rather nice, I think you'll agree. But what are they?
My best theory is that they were samples sent to us by the editors at Pan Macmillan when the Fabled Lands books were originally in the planning stage. For some reason the editors didn't want Russ to do the world maps, perhaps because they were concerned at his workload as he was doing all the interior illustrations and the colour maps of the regions.
Jamie and I looked at various map artists, all the while arguing that we really wanted Russ for the job. These two must have been our favourites. I can't remember who the editors hired in the end -- neither of these guys, by the looks of it. And then they printed the west and east sides of the world the wrong way round in Over the Blood-Dark Sea. Stab me vitals.
By the time The Court of Hidden Faces came out we finally had Russ drawing the world map as we'd intended all along. But, as Frost said about ice, these other contenders were also great and would have sufficed.
And yet -- what's niggling at me is the stadium at bottom left in the second map. Tékumel gamers like me are bound to look at that and think: Hirilákte. Surely it couldn't be...
Does anybody recognize these or the artists who drew them?