Tor.com content by

Isaac Stewart

How to Map a Fantasy World

I was ten years old, holding a golden Nintendo cartridge in my hands. The first time I’d lost myself in fantasy maps was when I discovered Dad’s old Lord of the Rings paperbacks. But everything was about to change for me.

I didn’t play The Legend of Zelda to win. I played it to explore. With colored pencils and an old piece of graph paper, I mapped the 8-bit world of Hyrule. When I ran out of paper, I taped on new segments. I kept it in my back pocket and took it to school with me, unfolding it at every chance to plan my next adventure. I dreamed of filling out those blank spaces and wondered what I would find there.

Oh boy, I had no idea where that little folded up map would lead me. I guess I could’ve found myself mapping Antarctica or outer space or the bottom of the ocean. But I dislike the snow, am extremely claustrophobic, and am terrified of being out to sea. So I explore fantasy novels.

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Check Out the New Look For Brandon Sanderson’s Alcatraz Books

Over a year ago, Brandon’s YA editor at Tor Books, Susan Chang, approached us with doing something really special with the reissues of the Alcatraz books. The concept basically came down to this: Let’s fill it with illustrations. Fueled by memories of illustrated books from our own childhoods, Susan and I sat down at Westercon last year and brainstormed illustration ideas for the Evil Librarians series. Then I took to the internet to find the right person to bring the vision of the interior illustrations to life.

(Mild-but-really-amazing-looking-so-it’s-worth-it spoilers for Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians ahead.)

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How the World Map in Brian Staveley’s Fantasy Series Was Made

Any good fantasy world deserves a map, but how does a world map go from your notebook to an espansive illustration that provides depth and information?

Read on as Isaac Stewart shares his process for making the map for The Emperor’s Blades, the first book in Brian Staveley’s new fantasy series Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. The book is out on January 14th but you can read the first seven chapters for FREE right here. (Did we mention it has ninjas that ride enormous hawks? It has ninjas that ride enormous hawks!)

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How to Make a Fantasy World Map

Any good fantasy world deserves a map, but how does a world map go from your notebook to an espansive illustration that provides depth and information?

Read on as Isaac Stewart shares his process for making the map for The Emperor’s Blades, the first book in Brian Staveley’s new fantasy series Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. The book is out on January 14th but you can read the first seven chapters for FREE right here. (Did we mention it has ninjas that ride enormous hawks? It has ninjas that ride enormous hawks!)

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