The new Foreigner book which I am finishing is going to need maps—because we refer to places and we move. There’s a lot of old history raked up. And more recent troubles.

So I am trying to work with the maps. One of the problems is scale. The maps have to be to be visible/legible on the scale of a hardbound, and a paperbound book. We are dealing with a monocontinent. Gondwana. Pangaea. It’s big, it’s wide, and I have to compress the map visually or just show areas, and putting names on the map that can be read in a 5″x7″ space means printing it sort of like putting Moscow in legible size on a map of Eurasia that can fit in a 5″x7″ window. If you can read it, it’s wiped out a thousand miles of surface features, rivers, etc.

But, that’s the job I’ve got. And worse, one of the maps, the one showing part of Mospheira and Dur in our Map Room on this site, the one that has the Marid due south of Ashidama Bay, when it’s about 1500 miles to the east—is the one that gives me headaches. I sketched it, they had a professional artist re-do it, [the map above] and, well, he put in names at the expense of accuracy and moved the whole Marid to the West Coast—1500 miles. It’s actually about 500 miles east and a mountainous 700 miles south of Shejidan. At best a 5×7 map gives you kind of a childlike perspective on the continent, which I assure you, is wider than that. And we haven’t even gotten to the continental divide and the clans west of Malguri’s eastern domains.

I am going to try again. I am asking Jane to take the time to try to render these, because my skills aren’t up to it, but heaven help us if we have somebody else take her map and start compressing things. Section it up and make two maps, maybe—this book is going to need at least 2, anyway. But graphics in any modern book are a pita. Shouldn’t be, but are.

Wish us luck.