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View Full Version : Joe Abercrombie, The First law, and maps in books



RobA
04-22-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm currently reading "The Firsr Law" trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. I am thoroughly enjoying it! It was recommended to my son by his English teacher in high school as a good read for students that aren't that challenged by "grade level appropriate" material. (She contacted my by phone first and asked for permission, indicating the language is strong, the F-bomb is often used, along with other "common" language...)

...But no map...

I googled and found this one made by a fan:
http://fc13.deviantart.com/fs40/f/2009/035/4/0/Map_First_Law_v2_by_Scubamarco.jpg

and then found a link in a forum to a post "Maps. Craps?" in Joe Abercrombie's blog (http://www.joeabercrombie.com/2007/10/02/maps-craps-2/) on why he doesn't like maps in some types of fantasy. There are 44 pro- and anti-map comments posted there already.

-Rob A>

Ramah
04-22-2010, 04:31 PM
I read those books. They were quite a slog for me to get through actually, I didn't enjoy them half as much as I wanted to. Hardly a sympathetic character among them and nothing much at all happened in the first book. The third book was certainly the best but still a bit, meh.

But yeah, they could seriously do with a map in them. Hard to visualise where everything is in the books and the guy who drew that must have taken a lot of licence when drawing it.

TBF
04-25-2010, 10:53 AM
The first law trilogy(wich actually consists of four books) is a great collection of books, but, in my eyes, that books are no challenge to The Song of Ice and Fire or to Malazan Book of the Fallen.

tilt
05-04-2010, 06:01 AM
Loved the books - and HATED that there wasn't a map, not even a bad one... and yep, read his view on maps too. The worst sin however is that he actually have had a map made for the separate story "Served Cold", which does continue with a few characters from the trilogy, but only used it in bit and pieces to start each chapter and as background for the cover - and it was a beautiful map too... tsk tsk...

oh - and a fifth book "The Heroes" should be released first quater 2011 :)

Gidde
05-04-2010, 06:21 PM
After skimming those comments, I'm baffled. How can anyone read fantasy and never look at the map???? I get downright angry (to the point of disinterest in the books) when I can't figure out where everything is taking place.

Diamond
05-04-2010, 09:11 PM
After skimming those comments, I'm baffled. How can anyone read fantasy and never look at the map???? I get downright angry (to the point of disinterest in the books) when I can't figure out where everything is taking place.

Yep, ditto. There's no greater sin than a lack of a map in a fantasy novel. ...Although sometimes I swear, if I see another Shelly Shapiro map I'm gonna scream. :D

rdanhenry
05-04-2010, 10:19 PM
The worst sin is not the lack of a map in the published novel; it is when the author clearly did not bother to have a map for himself.

Gidde
05-04-2010, 10:24 PM
Haha well said, rdanhenry; it was that sin that led me to the guild in the first place! You should (well, shouldn't, actually) see the horrid discontinuity in travel times etc. in my half-finished book.

ravells
05-05-2010, 03:39 AM
I read Joe Abercrombie's blog...I think he must have seen the light. I was in a bookshop the other day and found a fantasy book with a beautiful map on the cover. It worked - It made me pick the book off the shelf and browse through it and then buy it. It was 'Best Served Cold' by Joe Abercrombie. In the blog he mentions talking to a publisher, Simon Spanton who was also not a map fan, but this is the same publisher who ran 'The Steel Remains' (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4741-The-Steel-Remains&highlight=steel+remains) map competition. So I think they've both been converted now!

a2area
05-05-2010, 03:50 AM
Yeesh.. a fantasy novel with no map?! I don't think I have ever purchased a fantasy novel that didn't have a map.. and I REALLY prefer any history book I buy to at least have one map!

tilt
05-05-2010, 03:52 AM
Ravells, if you haven't started on it yet, please read the other three first :) ... it is a stand alone book, but it gets a little better by having read the others since a couple of characters show up again... and there is a plot spoiler or two..
That being said - yes, beautiful map indeed - but he only uses it on the cover - why not use it on a spread in the book also so we can enjoy it without swords and coins and blood :)

ravells
05-05-2010, 03:58 AM
Too late, I'm 3/4 of the way through. In the version of the book I have there is a zoomed in part of the map at the start of each chapter showing the city the characters are in at the time and the surrounds, but there is no 'full map' in the book.

tilt
05-05-2010, 04:02 AM
yep, the same one I got - the hardcover ... well, forget everything I said about spoilers.. no spoilers at all... ;)
And if you like it, you'll definitly like the trilogy (and some things will make much more sense too) - it has just as much violence, but no sex ;)

Diamond
05-05-2010, 06:27 PM
Yep, Joe Abercrombie is right up there on my 'favorite new authors' list. As far as the map, what I did was go to his blog and print out that full-size version of the map he's got posted there, and pasted it on the inside cover of the book. :D

Jaxilon
05-06-2010, 12:13 AM
Never read any of it but might check it out now. And while I don't care if there is a map or not it is NEVER a bad idea to have one. I imagine any author trying to pawn a story that was written without a map will say maps are unnecessary most likely because of the extra work it would take for them to make the story work since they didn't use a map in the first place.

tilt
05-06-2010, 02:19 AM
As far as the map, what I did was go to his blog and print out that full-size version of the map he's got posted there, and pasted it on the inside cover of the book. :D

That's good thinking :)

Eilathen
08-29-2012, 06:39 PM
So i know this is a kind of thread necromancy :D but as i have taken up his books again, i was wondering if some of you couldn't be convinced to take on a "who makes the best First Law map" challenge. What do you say, fellow Abercrombie readers?

Eilathen
09-06-2012, 08:02 AM
No takers? Too bad :(

Maybe we could even contact Joe after the winner is chosen and maybe he would take up the map for his upcoming books (or work with the cartographer to realize his vision of the map). I mean Ravells has a map in one of Richard Morgan's books...so why not another guilder's map in Joe's books?!

ravells
09-06-2012, 09:16 AM
Hi Eilathen, there is an official map for Abercrombie's 'best served cold' world; it's on the cover of the hardback: see post 9 above.

I'm sure there must be other books that might need one.

best

Ravi.

Eilathen
09-06-2012, 02:57 PM
That is only the island (continent?) of Stygia, not of the world. So all the places of the first trilogy are not on this map. I still think this world needs a map... badly (because it is so good, of course).