Category: Plot Geography

  • Sorry that you cannot go to Wellington, so here is my impression of it

    CoNZealand has announced that the 2020 Worldcon will be virtual: A very understandable decision. I think this could be an exciting and maybe even a positive step forward. The big challenge will be keeping the essence of the event while making it virtual. I don’t know if that is possible but that’s one of the […]

  • Plot Geography: Labyrinths and Libraries

    This post was meant to follow directly on from this one but I forgot to finish it. I can only think of one library that is literally also a maze and that is the library at the unnamed monastery central to the mystery in Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose (see here for some of […]

  • Bicycles are the fantasy hero’s friend

    One thing that became rapidly obvious looking at a day’s travel time is just how good bicycles are. It ran against my assumptions about horses being an obviously ‘better’ form of transport on the grounds that the horse is doing a lot of work for you. That assumption doesn’t play out for several reasons. Firstly, […]

  • The world building of Us (deep spoilers)

    Jordan Peele’s frankly terrifying film Us really unnerved me. I wanted to see it again before writing more about it but I don’t think I’m going to get an opportunity anytime soon. I really want to talk about how the intentional absurdity of some of the premises in the film work really well i.e. the […]

  • A Tube Map of Earthsea

    The first three books anyway. Tehanu would be better shown with a hiking map of Gont. [ETA: I’d left off brief stops at Hosk and Astowell from the Wizard line and a semi stop at Obehol (they are driven away by spear throwing islanders) from the Farthest line. Typo “Nintey” corrected (thanks to Vicki Rosenzweig).

  • Castle, Fortress, Refuge

    If castles have a single theme then it is false security. A castle implies a seige, an unscalable wall implies a way up, an impenetrable keep implies a way to sneak in. A castle is a challenge and a castle of any significance in a book is like Chekhov’s gun — if it isn’t besieged or […]