Have you ever opened a fantasy book, looked at the map, and wondered what the author was thinking?

Jesper and Autumn pull out their favorite worst fantasy maps and a few map pet-peeves in this humorous episode of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. Oh, plus a ghost story and more!

Join our Fantasy Map Masterclass at https://ultimatefantasywritersguide.com/fantasy-map-masterclass/!

All maps mentioned were chosen in good humor and jest and reflect personal opinions that aren't meant to be mean!

Check out some of the maps we talk:

Jesper's maps—

Wheel of Time: https://casapittura.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-wheel-of-time-map.html

Warbreaker: https://www.brandonsanderson.com/annotation-warbreaker-map/

Warhammer: https://www.reddit.com/r/totalwar/comments/ft00oy/made_the_full_warhammer_map_including_the_east/ 

Eragon: https://www.etsy.com/dk-en/listing/485637759/map-of-alagaesia-eragon-mapchristopher

Kushiel-world map: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/118923246398203552/

Autumn's maps—

Game of Thrones: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/File:WorldofIceandFire.png

Shannara: https://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/blog/2012/05/29/new-shannara-map-of-the-four-lands/

Terry Goodkind: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/sot/images/4/45/New_world_map.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100308012633

Anne Bishop: https://www.annebishop.com/s.tir.alainn.map.html

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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).

Narrator (2s):
You're listening to The Am writing Fantasy Podcast. In today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.

Jesper (30s):
Hello, I'm Jesper.

Autumn (32s):
And I'm, Autumn.

Jesper (34s):
This is episode 145 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. And we are back with one of our top 10 episodes. And this time we'll each share five fantasy maps that are the worst, and we'll see who can well, basically create the best worst list again.

Autumn (53s):
And this was an interesting challenge to be describing Maps well on a podcast. So the YouTube listener, I think everyone just go check the show notes. We're going to have a links to some of the Maps we're talking about, but it'll be, yeah, we'll do our best, but I think we can be descriptive enough of what drove us crazy about the map in question.

Jesper (1m 16s):
Yeah. And we'll, we'll try, we'll try. At least we have 144 episodes behind us. So hopefully we should be able to think about this being an audio medium.

Autumn (1m 26s):
I know. Compared to some podcasts we're like middle-aged or something we're getting into the here.

Jesper (1m 35s):
Yeah. Yeah. That, that, when you said that, that reminded me of the, some of the comments on Facebook, around the episode we did about marketing to different generations. And Jason commented on one of the, on that post about listening to that episode, made him feel really old. And I just had to tell him like me too.

Autumn (1m 59s):
Yeah. When you're aged generation is next to the top, you're like, Ooh, that happened.

Jesper (2m 5s):
Yeah.

Autumn (2m 6s):
That's never fun.

Jesper (2m 8s):
No, no, it's not.

Autumn (2m 11s):
So how are things over in Denmark though?

Jesper (2m 15s):
Well, yeah, so this last week has been one of those where it actually started out quite well, but then it just went downhill from there. Yeah. I mean the good news was that I went to that interview to become a referee instructor that I mentioned a couple of episodes back. And then the national football association actually came back and confirmed that I was selected. That was a good start to the week. That is awesome. Of course, I, I still have an exam to pass and I have like tons of homework I do need to do in preparation as well, learning like the laws of the game by heart and interesting stuff like that.

Jesper (2m 58s):
But it does look like this is going to happen. So I'm pretty excited about that. It's

Autumn (3m 2s):
Very exciting.

Jesper (3m 5s):
Yeah. But then it went downhill from day, as I said, you know, so first the party who was selling the house that we were negotiating for, they decided that they didn't want to sell anyway. Oh my God. So I just said that we're going to pull the house off the market. So it was just like a colossal waste of our time, but also money of course, because we actually paid a building inspector to go out and, and look at the house and go through it with us. Right. So totally waste of time and money. But I really think that this, these people selling the house, I think they were just in it for the money. You know, they tried to see if they could sell the house with a huge profit.

Jesper (3m 47s):
And then when it turned out that they couldn't because when we placed our bit of wee bit far less than what they wanted, and then they decided, well, apparently we can't get this much money for the house. So then we're just not going to sell it. But I, I don't know. I just feel, of course it's, it's there. Right? They, they can do that as they please, but it's really annoying.

Autumn (4m 8s):
Yeah. You know, that's not the way that, you know, test your house market by like, you know, taking unsuspecting people who are sincerely interested in buying a house and you're like toying with them, you know, it's that little rude.

Jesper (4m 23s):
Yeah. I dunno. It, it also rubbed me the wrong way to that way of doing that, but, oh, well, what are you going to do? There's nothing we can do about it, but at least now we know it's not going to be that house. So we'll keep looking and searching and figuring out what to do. But what was worse than that was that our youngest son was also tested positive for Corona. Yeah. We talked a bit about it offline already. Autumm yeah. So, but yeah, he's been in self isolation since the beginning of the week with me sort of attending to him. I'm just a room service guy now.

Autumn (5m 4s):
Yeah.

Jesper (5m 5s):
Yeah. I think that pot actually, he quite like, so he's like, I would like something to eat and then it was just like me coming with a tray with something, food for him and stuff. So that part, I think he's, he likes, but he's doing all right after the circumstances and he's already starting to feel better and he's, what's like 200 million hours of TV, so we'll see how it goes. But at least I've not got any symptoms yet, even though I'm in close proximity with him, but I just fingers crossed that it'll stay like that. Of course.

Autumn (5m 39s):
Yeah. So near fully vaccinated. So that's, if you get it, the reason you are vaccinated, that is that it should be, hopefully be mild. So knock on wood that you'll be, everyone will stay healthy and he'll get better. Very soon. I have to admit when I was a teenager, tens, a little young, but when I was a teenager, I think I would have adored being locked in my room with a whole bunch of books and some music kid comic books and been like, yes, just bring me food and T I'll be fine. Just leave me in here for a month. Yeah.

Jesper (6m 9s):
I think like a 16, 17, 18 year old, you know, they would love that kind of thing I would to have at that age. But Tim, no.

Autumn (6m 19s):
Yeah, yeah. I was always a drawl or so was all my Crans were with me and some markers. I probably might be fine in there for awhile.

Jesper (6m 27s):
Yeah. Yeah. True. But yeah, I mean, due to all of these things, I haven't really written much this last week, so I'm not too happy about that, but what can you do that?

Autumn (6m 36s):
Yeah. We'll get back on track. It's fine. Life happens.

Jesper (6m 41s):
And how about you?

Autumn (6m 42s):
Oh, I already hinted. I had a bit of a story. So this is one that there's a lot going on in my life right now. Like everything from a sick dog that has kept me up and I'm hoping I can stay coherent for the entire podcast because I'm unlike, it's like, you know, having a baby every hour and a half the dogs go out. So I'm so tired. This was day four in a row. Parents. I don't know how you do it. I really don't know how you're doing, but I can handle a dog for about a week. And then I'm like, oh, please just get better. But I had an interesting thing that I had to share with you in the listeners that happened as you know, it was just down at my parents' house and that was, oh, it was so much fun. It was great being a kid again and getting to be spoiled with my parents taking me out.

Autumn (7m 27s):
But the day I went to leave was actually my brother's birthday. And as you know, my brother passed away in 2000. So 21 years ago, he actually would have been 51. And my parents and I were sitting around there's a little island in the kitchen and I'm like, yeah, you know, today was, would have been his birthday. Right. And they're like, yeah, yeah. And my mom said, well, you know, it's funny. It's, you know, it's like, he's there because I'm his youngest son and my one cousin or the spitting image of my brother and all the way down to his voice. And just as my mom was saying that, and my dad was agreeing the two drop-down lights above our head pop like really loud and blue, but they didn't just blow.

Autumn (8m 9s):
They blew the entire circuit in the kitchen and this is a newish house, you know, it's less than a 10 years old. They've just built it. And so like, we're like, oh gosh, that was, that's quite the timing. When, after my brother passed away, they actually had a whole bunch of electronical issues that happened in our old, old house. So we're like, oh, that was really funny. Ha ha. It's your brother. And so my dad's like, okay, he went on, he went fix the circuit, not a big deal. As we're sitting back down, finishing up breakfast, I, you know, I've got an eight hour drive ahead of me. So I'm trying to get ready to go. Mom's like, oh, I thought it was that light, that blue. I was like, no, it's that light. So they turned back on the lights. They both worked. They didn't blow either light. They're both halogens.

Autumn (8m 49s):
So when they blow, they're like this pan, the butter Che to change. But yeah, it was a, they turned back on lights and they were fine. We didn't blow either a light bulb. And so we all just, we just kind of sat there a few minutes. Like that's really weird. That's never happened before kind of, you know, acknowledged, Hey, you know, happy birthday bro. And had a few minutes of silence and then we're okay. We gotta get busy today. So I thought that was just so weird. Amazing,

Jesper (9m 22s):
Which went all out and then you could just turn them on again, as if nothing happened or whatever

Autumn (9m 26s):
We had to switch the circuit breaker. But for there's no reason. I mean, it's not just that the circuit blue, the lights pop, they won't even do it on the radio. It pops, the loud goes right over my head that I jumped off the stool. It was so amazingly loud, it blew the entire circuit in the kitchen, credible. And then when they turned back, the lights on everything worked fine, no smell of smoke, nothing. The house didn't burn down since then. It was just so strange.

Jesper (9m 53s):
It was just a sound from beyond.

Autumn (9m 56s):
Yes. And even my husband's not quite into souls and spiritual beliefs at the moment. And he was like, well, we are all, you know, every S every emotion in your body is done through electrical impulses from your brain. It's like, so yeah. Your brother would screw with the electronics early, like tricks. And yeah. So it was really, it really felt like he was there with us for a moment being his normal troublesome self.

Jesper (10m 27s):
Ah, that's, that's, that's actually a good story. I like, I like stuff like that. I thought you were like, I really don't know what I think about, you know, the whole souls and spirits and so on, but I'm also not in the place where I could, you know, say that I don't believe in it. I can't say that either, but I'm also not sure if I do believe in it, you know, it's, it's, I think it's very difficult.

Autumn (10m 51s):
I think it does take time, but there's enough NEF things that have happened in my life. I do believe that there is consciousness beyond our physical bodies. And that's how I put it. Whether you want to call it a soul or what, I don't like the religious context, you know, that, but I do think there's a consciousness that is greater than the sum of our parts and that exists beyond our physical bodies. So yeah, I would be surprised that my brother would hang around for 21 years to drop by on his birthday. But as you know, he had a tragic death, so anyone would have, you know, maybe he would, and it was really interesting though, is just when we mentioned how much my cousin and his youngest son are so much like him at least look like a magnitude totally different.

Jesper (11m 38s):
And if you should drop by at any day that it would be that day. Right. So

Autumn (11m 43s):
It would either be the day he died, which it wasn't, it was on his birthday, which yeah, that would be, especially him. And my mom were like, they're two peas in a pod. Their personalities were so similar. They'd each other like five, six times a day. So yeah. I could see him stopping by, on his birthday to say hi to my mom.

Jesper (12m 1s):
Nice. I like that story. Good story. Thank you.

Narrator (12m 6s):
A week on the Internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast.

Jesper (12m 12s):
So we got our monthly critical reading started didn't we Autumm

Autumn (12m 16s):
Yes, we did. It's very exciting to get, see people voting on the books and getting into the one we've chosen.

Jesper (12m 25s):
Yeah, because in the next few weeks, we will do the episode where we will analyze last month book pick, which was the fifth season by NKG Emerson. However, it is now time to pick the book for October. That doesn't seem, Yeah, it's crazy, but that's the way it goes, you know, time flies when you're having fun, as they say, but as a reminder, the way this works is that we've created a poll in the Am, Writing Fantasy Facebook group. And here you can vote on which of three books you want us to read and analyze next month. Of course, we would love for you to read along.

Jesper (13m 8s):
And if you're a patron supporter, you will even be able to provide us with your views on the book. And we might just share that on air as well. So do you want me to share the books that we have the warming up for Autumm

Autumn (13m 21s):
Yes. Unless you want to pay some in a chat because I did not grab them before we started recording. Again, I here today, I'm not as busy as my dog, so I did not prepare for that. I prepared for the rest of the episode though. I did do that.

Jesper (13m 35s):
Oh, well, that's already progressed, so, okay. I'll not hold it against you then. Okay. The books that we pick this month, they is the winner of the world Fantasy or what it is called, which mark by cl Polk or another winner of the world Fantasy award, which is the sudden appearance of hope by clear north, or finally a third winner of the world FANTASY award, yet this kind of, kind of a T theme going on here. But the final one that you can vote for is Jade city by fondly.

Jesper (14m 15s):
So the voting has already started in the Am, Writing Facebook group. So either go there and place your vote, or if you want to become a more integral part of the process, you then go and join on Patrion. There's a link in the show notes for that as well.

Autumn (14m 34s):
Sounds good. I think we should give the Patrion votes, like double points because you know, they're special, important. They're more important. And I think if you are, I vote, cause you know, I have a vote on this one that we should get like 10 points, but you know, that's my opinion.

Jesper (14m 49s):
Well, we are not allowed to vote. This is the, the people voting. It's not us voting,

Autumn (14m 54s):
But we're readers too.

Jesper (14m 56s):
Yeah. But they, they force us to read Autumm and then we just read what the people want us to read. That's the way

Autumn (15m 2s):
It works. Well, it could be a worst job,

Jesper (15m 7s):
But the speaking of patron, by the way, we also want to give Nancy Hurst a huge shout out. Thank you so much for becoming a patron support, Nancy. It really makes a difference. And well, without people like you, we would probably not keep the podcast going for very long. So

Autumn (15m 24s):
Very true. Thank you, Nancy. And welcome to Patreon. We appreciate your support.

Jesper (15m 34s):
So before we get into this, we should probably say that where we share maps that were actually created for books or games or movies or something like that, the intention here today isn't to hate on those maps. So everything we say in this episode is meant as like humoristic views on Maps. So there are probably those of you out there listening who might like some of the maps that we are going to mention and you know what that is perfectly fine, nothing wrong with it. So basically just take everything we say from this point, onward as entertainment, rather than critical assessment of the Maps.

Jesper (16m 14s):
Does that sound fair?

Autumn (16m 15s):
That sounds very fair. You know, this is definitely, it was a pet peeve or something we point out it's a personal opinion. Other people may totally disagree and that's fine. We're just looking at it from our own perspectives and to have a little bit of fun and poke some fun at Maps because you know, if you want to pull up one of mine to poke fun, please have at it. I'm fine with that.

Jesper (16m 37s):
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. I mean, as I said, this is just entertainment guy, so it's a, it's a, one of our worst, top 10 lists. So we wanted to talk about Maps. So yeah, essentially we have to find some maps that we don't quite like. So be it

Autumn (16m 51s):
That'd be it. I think we manage. Yeah.

Jesper (16m 53s):
Yeah. So we should alternate, like we normally do Autumm and,

Autumn (16m 59s):
But I remember, yeah, I remember last time probably because I did the post-production recording and stuff that I went first, last time. So I think it's your turn to go first.

Jesper (17m 13s):
Okay. Okay. Yeah. One day I'll make up my mind if I prefer to go first and last, but I still don't know. So maybe it's actually good thing just to get the decision made for me. There you go.

Autumn (17m 25s):
Well, I was happy to do that because as we've said, this is a partnership, so it's good if we both make decisions occasionally.

Jesper (17m 33s):
Yeah. I think this is the fourth time you pointed that out today. So I don't know what's going on. Something is going on.

Autumn (17m 42s):
I'm picking idea today. It's fun.

Jesper (17m 45s):
Yeah. Yeah. You think it's fun? I do. I like when I pick on you Autumm but the other way around, it's not so fun,

Autumn (17m 53s):
But these lists are all about, you know, giving, giving back as good as you get. So here we go.

Jesper (18m 1s):
Okay. We'll I can start with my number five, but I must also say that it felt a bit different making this top 10 list compared to some of the other ones that we've made in the past, because it's, it's a bit more like, for example, the last one we, we made with like the worst superpowers, you know, some of it was really wacky and stupid and fun. Yeah. Whereas this is a, this is slightly more serious in the way that it's, it's a bit like, that's true. A little opinion, like you said before, it's not like fun like that in that con in that sense that it's just silly and stupid. Right. So, yeah, but let, let me get going here.

Jesper (18m 40s):
And number five is not the worst map that I've seen, which is also of course, why it's number five rather than number one. But I decided to include a map, which some people might disagree with me about, but that's okay. I can take it. Excellent. But it's the, it's the map for Wheel of Time. Okay.

Autumn (19m 9s):
Well that's the famous one.

Jesper (19m 12s):
It's very famous. Yes. But I've always found this map quite boring. No, it's just like, it's one huge large chunk of land. And then there was one of my pet peeves and as well, you have the 90 degree angled mountain range. Again, I freaking hate those. What I do. Why do they keep popping up on maps all over the place? I don't understand. Mountains will never, ever form like that. So when I see it, I instantly, I mean, seeing, like pulling my head hair out, like why do you do that? Please stop.

Autumn (19m 50s):
Yeah. It's sort of magic. That would not, I can't imagine how that would happen in nature. So I do agree with you in fact that I might be mentioning something about Maps that do that later. Not quite on the

Jesper (20m 2s):
Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah, because I mean, I could also have used the map for the Lord of the rings, but we have sort of pre-agreed ahead of time that we were not going to put that on the list because if we did, we would probably both have it on the list. Not because Lord of the rings is a Batman in general. I actually quite like it, but it's just the mountains around more, or that it's the same issue again here. And I don't like, I mean, Tolkien did have a reason for it. We won't get into all of that now. Why, why, what Tolkien had a reason for it and so on, but it's just like, come on. I mean, I don't know if it's because Tolkien did it and then everybody started copying or something. I don't know, but it's, it drives me insane.

Jesper (20m 44s):
And then there was also one this, a Wheel of Time map, like in the bottom left corner of the map, there was some cold something called the wind bites, his finger. And it's sort of like, it almost looks like a small islands that forms a finger or something, but it just looks really weird. So we'll put a link to it in the show notes. So have a look yourself, but I don't know. I just don't, I don't like it. It's not my favorite map. It's not the worst I've ever seen, but it's certainly not my favorite.

Autumn (21m 16s):
Yeah. I, And I, I picturing it. It's been a while since I've seen that one, but I do. I do know you mean it's never stood out to me as a great X for such, for a book that has become sort of like a hallmark of a fantasy series. It's kind of a map. I will agree with you. They really studied. I never read the, I haven't read the books. I will admit it. I've never read the Wheel of Time. It's too long for me to even contemplate until I like, until I'm locked into a room because I have COVID and someone's serving me to you and then, or I'm locked onto a desert island, then I'll read the wheel of time until then. I'm a little busy.

Autumn (21m 56s):
There's a lot of books.

Jesper (21m 58s):
Yeah. I, I got to, I got to book six. I think it was in the night gave up. Indeed. It's just, I mean, I understand the people who like it, but just for my taste, it is way too slow paced. It's just like, nothing happens. And Sunday on book, after book, after book where it's just like, yeah, I think I've mentioned it on the podcast before, but I specifically remember some, some places where you spend an entire chapter where nothing other happens that they need to exit attempt and it takes them all chapter to exit the tent and it's like, come on, move people. It drives me crazy.

Autumn (22m 34s):
Okay. I'd have to be really, it'd be at the bottom of my book pile and I was desperate for me to get through all of them. Then that's really tough. Yeah.

Jesper (22m 43s):
I gave up. But yeah, maybe a you're hinting at somebody who needs to serve your tea all the time. And I don't know what you were hinting at there, but maybe you read it one day when that happens.

Autumn (22m 55s):
I will hope so. Considering my husband is still currently I'm away in may and I'm, he's not kidding this hint. So let's just be in the dog. Are you ready for my number five? Okay.

Jesper (23m 9s):
Yeah, let's

Autumn (23m 10s):
Go. This one, there is an example later in my list, so I'm not going to share it now, but this is more of a generic, one of my pet peeves. And it's pretty easy to explain, but names of places that are in a font that is nearly illegible, even when it's at full scale, you know, those big, fancy Fantasy fonts. And then you take that and you shrink it to fit it into like a Kindle. Why, why, why, why do you even bother naming places when you cannot read it? Unless it is full poster size and then you maybe have a magnifying glass. It's just, I don't know. That gets my, just gets me every time.

Autumn (23m 50s):
I'm just like, why don't you do that? The terrain is already so difficult and you have trees and you have this, and then you have this loopy Fullan that you're like, I don't even know what that says. And it's an Elvish. Y

Jesper (24m 5s):
Yeah. I know why I know what you mean. I, I like to enjoy Maps, you know, I, I, I'm such a FANTASY map and she asked that I love looking at the maps and I can actually spend quite a lot of time just sitting there looking at all the details. And then if there's something I can't read or I can't see what it is, it's quite annoying to be honest.

Autumn (24m 23s):
Yeah. And especially, I think a lot of authors, you know, if they get a nice, sweet, done Fantasy map, or if they do it themselves and they use these fonts, they forget that when it's on your Kindle it's or even when a paperback book, I mean, we're talking about a very small image, three inches by four inches. Maybe it's tiny. It should be very clean. And yeah, I've seen some maps that you just kind of look at and you're like, wow, I don't even know what this is trying to tell me. Why did you put it in there? And I think that's just such a frustration and that's sort of why it's a pet peeve. It's just like this, isn't it. You don't want to open it up and be like, oh, I love maps. Maps are awesome. I cannot read this one.

Jesper (25m 5s):
I did indeed. Exactly. I'm with you there.

Autumn (25m 10s):
Okay. Well, oh, we're agreeing. So I'm winning. Awesome.

Jesper (25m 15s):
Oh, well, I don't know. Well, you agreed to the Wheel of Time as well. So we even at least now

Autumn (25m 21s):
Good memory. I was trying to trick you there.

Jesper (25m 27s):
Okay. Well, my number four, I might even get even more people on my back for this one on one another.

Autumn (25m 33s):
It was exciting. Everyone pick on Yesper with me. No.

Jesper (25m 36s):
Yeah. I already mentioned Wheel of Time with some people probably love, so that's a problem, but now I'm going to go all in and get even more people upset with me because now I'm going to mention one of Brandon Sanderson's maps. Oh, you're

Autumn (25m 50s):
Just asking to get yelled at.

Jesper (25m 54s):
I'm asking for trouble.

Autumn (25m 57s):
Oh geez. So what is wrong with one of Brandon Sanderson's Maps?

Jesper (26m 2s):
Well, this is a, this is the one for war breaker and it's basically it's in the city. So it's a, it's a map of a city. And, And in my personal opinion, as I said before, I love looking at maps, so they should be visually appealing and they should look good in my view. And it should be something that readers want to spend time enjoying. And this one is not, I mean, it's black and white. There's not necessarily anything bad about black and white maps. That that might be okay. In my opinion, again, I do like colors because I think it adds a lot more to the map, windows colors on it, but it's just like the way that the city has been drawn.

Jesper (26m 44s):
It is it's hand drawn, but it's extremely busy. It's just like houses all over the map, everywhere there's houses. And I get that this probably reassembling what a medieval city would look like, but it's just way too busy. And I mean, have a look at it. I'll, I'll play, there'll be a link to that one in the show notes as well. But I have a look because I just, yeah, I, I think, you know what I mean when you see it. Yeah.

Autumn (27m 17s):
I have seen this one. I think it's, it's drawn 3d, but not from the top. More like, kind of a sign. And so you don't really see the streets. I mean, it doesn't make,

Jesper (27m 29s):
I was just everywhere.

Autumn (27m 30s):
It doesn't help you. It doesn't work well as a map, it works better as like I drew a picture of a city. It's not really a map.

Jesper (27m 40s):
No, I know. Well, you're going to have a map of a city, but then at least try to reduce the amount of houses in there and make it a bit like something that is, you have some other things than houses to look at something that sort of makes you want to investigate all the parts of the map and look, oh, look over there. There's a small fountain. Or, you know, just make it a bit more appealing and interesting instead of just 200 million houses stacked on top of each other. Yeah. I don't, I don't like it now, but yeah. So now, now I both assaulted. We love time and wall breakers go from here.

Autumn (28m 18s):
And you're only at number four. I can't imagine what we're going to go from here. You know, if you touch dragon lands, people are going to like Flay you and bonfire you or something today.

Jesper (28m 29s):
I can promise I'm not going to go there. Okay,

Autumn (28m 31s):
Good. I just want to keep him safe. Right? Well, my number four is sort of what you've already hinted at. You had mentioned perpendicular mountains, but for me, I put number four as impossible terrain, as in not magical, but terrain like floating islands, that's fine. It's magical. But I mean, illogical cannot happen like rivers flowing through or mountains, which I have seen or around legs, which would not happen mountains. Like you mentioned, that are perpendicular or just randomly place. Like someone dropped a bag of mountains right. Onto their map. And it's scattered all over our, this is a fun one, which I don't know how many people have noticed continents that are perpendicular to each other.

Autumn (29m 13s):
And my example for this is game of Thrones. Have you ever noticed that was stereos? And now I can't even remember where the three McKee are. They're like completely right angles to each other.

Jesper (29m 24s):
They are. Yeah. The other thing is with the game of Thrones Maps, the other thing is that it doesn't even look very good. It looked just looks weird. It does look weird.

Autumn (29m 33s):
I

Jesper (29m 34s):
Mean, if you cut out all the, basically, if you think about the game of Thrones intro thing, you know, when the camera goes around the map and all that. Yeah. That looks cool. That looks extremely cool. So as long as you're focusing on the upside down map of England, which is basically a game of Thrones, if you will, if you focus only on Westeros there, then that looks good. Actually in my mind, I think that looks perfectly fine. But then when you take all the, I also don't remember the name of it, but all the lands with the Dothraki and all that up there, when you put that onto the map as well, it just looks weird.

Autumn (30m 11s):
It does. It does not. It's too. It's like someone put England made it the same size as all of Europe and just put it at the end outside of Portugal. And it's just like, that wouldn't happen. How would that happen? I don't get it. But, and even that, I actually have another example. So I didn't think about this cities. They don't bother me so much when they kind of seem to be somewhere where maybe a city wouldn't exist, because that gets to be curious. I always think, well, the author had a reason for putting a city there. So maybe, maybe not. I always give them the benefit of the doubt. So I think maybe there's a story I'm willing to at least hold my criticism of cities just appearing in the middle of nowhere.

Autumn (30m 55s):
Maybe it's an ancient ruin. And I just don't know that by looking at the map, but have you ever seen Terry Brooks' Shannara map where there are rivers that literally go nowhere? I mean, they flow and you can see them come together, these tributaries and they flow off and they'd go into other tributaries. It's like an Esher sketch of a Map. IBD stylistically. It's like, it makes me want to, like, I want to make an extra sketch of a, a fantasy world. It makes no sense. So I will link to that one in the show notes, but I looked at that and I think this is my example, too, for like a font that you're like, why did you use that font? But then you start looking at the rivers and they're like, going up, mountains are going, they're just lakes.

Autumn (31m 40s):
They flow into lakes and the number out of them, which can happen, but not like six times on the same map. It's just, just, it's one of those ones that is a hydrologist. You know, I studied environmental science and I'm looking at this going, no rivers don't go together and then flow apart and just branch off and disappear into the wild. It just doesn't make sense.

Jesper (32m 7s):
No Am yeah. Well what you're saying, not with rivers, but this stuff that doesn't make sense us. So actually my number three pig as well.

Autumn (32m 17s):
Oh, go figure we, again, we met, if, if the listeners do not know this, we kind of met because of Fantasy maps. So I would have kind of not be surprised that we have some of the same things on our list of pet peeves.

Jesper (32m 31s):
Yeah. It's also a pet peeve, but I have a concrete one here though for my number three, but basically again with things that doesn't make any sense. Right. But here we're back to mountain ranges again. So my third pick and w I dunno, tell me why do we keep seeing this problem with mountain constantly? I don't get it, but this third one on my list is the world of Warhammer.

Autumn (32m 56s):
I

Jesper (32m 56s):
Don't think I've seen this. So this is a, like a miniature war gaming setting in the middle of the ocean. In this map, you have a very large circular island and yes, you guessed it. There's mountains formed in a freaking circle.

Autumn (33m 14s):
Volcanic. It could be a massive caldera.

Jesper (33m 18s):
Yeah. This is where the Elsa lives in the setting. And it's been a long, long while since I read the law for the setting. But if I remember there is a reason for it, but honestly, I can't quite remember. And also I don't really care because it really rubs me the wrong way to see mountain shaped in a circle. It's just like, what the heck is this?

Autumn (33m 41s):
Yeah. Short, if I had massive caldera, like, you know, center Rini, volcanic kind of area. Yeah. Otherwise it doesn't make much sense. Ambassador asteroid impact that kind of thrust up the land on both sides, but in general, no mountains don't form right angles. And they don't form circles. You have a very weird planet if they do.

Jesper (34m 3s):
Yeah. And what even makes this map even worse than whites. Number three, I suppose, to number five, it's also had weird mountains is that it's like, take a look at the Warhammer Map. We'll link to it and shown it as well, but take a look at it and then tell me that it doesn't look exactly like a copy of, you know, you have north and south America, there's Russian as Africa. You even have Asia and Australia. The difference is that in the middle of the ocean, there is this circular Elvin kingdom with circular mountains. But otherwise everything else is exactly like earth. I mean,

Autumn (34m 39s):
Took the Atlanta. Smith's stuck it in the middle of the Atlantic called it where the Elvis came from and called it a new world.

Jesper (34m 47s):
But he couldn't come up with something just a bit more original than that. I just have a look at it. It's insane how much it's just a copy of earth.

Autumn (34m 57s):
That is funny. And that's actually a nice segue into my number three, which is different for this one. I know we

Jesper (35m 4s):
Had coordinated this. Sometimes

Autumn (35m 6s):
It all works out. No, it's always surprising when we're on the same stream of things, but yeah, it happens occasionally. So this one,

Jesper (35m 18s):
Occasionally I like the passive aggressive, common. It happens. Okay. Finally,

Autumn (35m 27s):
I'm being sarcastic. I think what happens every time we talk, we're like, oh yeah, I was already thinking of that easiest part. However, I will tell people that I let them think that we're constantly combating. Like we are on our top 10 lists. So my number three is, have you ever, it's a Terry Good kind Map and not to pick on him because it's a good, he's a good author. But this example is just a good, good example of one that I find so frustrating. And it's sort of what you just said. It's so generic that it can be anywhere or any continent, which makes me wonder, you know, how good is the story?

Autumn (36m 7s):
How original is any of this? When you look at it and you go like, oh, that's earth or, oh, that's a continent with an ocean. And it's like the Westmoreland's the north valley. Oh my gosh. Please make it interesting. Make it original. Don't just make it. It looks like you took a piece of the Gulf of Mexico and a little bit of Texas and gave it a different name and put it on a river and called it somewhere. You Know, it's horrible.

Jesper (36m 40s):
All right. I don't think I've seen that one too.

Autumn (36m 45s):
It's just it's so it's not in color. It's just, I'm like a antique paper in black. So black and white basically. And it's just line drawings and it literally just looks like anywhere. I, this is one of those ones where I think you've seen the world, the map, they call it a cliche Ville or cliche land. That's actually one of my favorite Maps because it is so well done. And it is funny, hilarious. Yes. The dragon tail islands, you know, it's, again, the setting that every Fantasy map has these exact same settings. And it's hilarious to look at, well, this one is sort of the same way, but not done to the gorgeous color quality of that one. And it's just black and white and you look at it and you're like, it could be Mexico.

Autumn (37m 29s):
It could be a bay in Alaska. You know, there's so many places that you're like, it's like, you know, James bay upside down it's yeah. It could be anywhere. And it doesn't inspire any excitement. And you look at it, you're like, I don't know where I am. Why did you make a map of like my backyard? I don't care.

Jesper (37m 50s):
No one of course the major difference is also that the, whether it's supposed to be a serious map versus one like cliche, it's just the cliche map world. That's meant to be just fun and goofy. Right. And there's a big difference in that. It is.

Autumn (38m 6s):
Yeah. And yeah, the cliche one is definitely it's done so well that I would actually buy it as a post or it is just, it is beautiful. And it is funny. It is so funny. So I should find that and I'll try to link to that in the show notes as well.

Jesper (38m 20s):
Okay. Good. All right. Well, moving on to my number two, so it's starting to get more and more nasty now, but my, yeah, my number one is even worse, but this one is, it's not far off what you were just talking about in the sense that following the same, like, well, yeah, well this is like somebody sat down and then they sort of brainstormed like, oh no, I can't do what I normally find on a Fantasy map. And then they made a list, like a checklist of that. And then they started just checking them off one by one. I put this on the map, put that onto Map, everything that, you know, just one of each.

Jesper (39m 0s):
So this is, this one is the fictional world of Aragon. And this is the map that they used for the inheritance cycle novels. And basically it's like, you find a volcano check, you find a grant lake check, then the awesome islands off the coast, check again, a single forest. Good. And then next to that, there was next to the forest is a single desert Check. So I might be, I don't know, it might be a bit harsher, but I really don't like the map. And also because they've placed the desert right. Smack in the middle of the entire map and it just looks really weird, but I don't know, sorry if somebody likes this map, but I'm just not a fan of, it just feels like a checklist map and then just smashed together.

Jesper (39m 51s):
There you go. Here's a Fantasy map and yeah. I'm not a fan.

Autumn (39m 56s):
No, no. That sounds like my impossible terrain. Why is there a desert next to a forest? I mean there's

Jesper (40m 3s):
Yeah, those, this doesn't D this one is such, well, there's a huge forest and then a desert right next to it.

Autumn (40m 8s):
That's just strange. I mean it, yeah. Where you would find that in nature without grasslands or a mountain, a rain shadow or a high plateau to cause lack of rain. I don't know. That would drive me crazy. I'd be looking at it, going through any classes. So I'd do all of the, I think it would drive me insane. Yeah. That doesn't sound good. One. I'll have to check that one out. I don't think I've actually seen the map. So that one will be interesting to take a peek at.

Jesper (40m 38s):
Yeah, yeah. Have a look at the link in the show notes.

Autumn (40m 42s):
Well, my number two is one that I, there are some examples out there, but I couldn't find a good one that I wanted to link to. So I'm just going to describe it. And that is Maps with place names that are named descriptively based on like, if you were holding the map and looking down at it and the people on the ground would never be able to see that pattern or the places where it is a fast continent with areas separated by large obstacles. You have the names all sound the same. So there's kind of two different maps there. So it's like, you know, this massive continent, the size of Asia and something at the far east and the far west sounds like they're from the exact same culture that always kind of like, you know, they should be different.

Autumn (41m 24s):
I want to see, I want to see some representation of different cultures and different types of people in climate, on your map. Because that makes me curious to know what's where I love traveling. That's why I look at these maps. I want to know what's going on, but yeah. But then you have those other maps and one of the examples, and I couldn't find an actual link to, it was a map that, you know, kind of looked like a body. And so there was like, the Heartland was literally where the heart was and the Headlands on the

Jesper (41m 51s):
Right. Yeah.

Autumn (41m 52s):
No, no, I don't care if it looks like that, unless they have hot air balloons or were named by a God or goddess, they don't know. It looks like that. That's just silly. So it was sort of like your one, your number of five, you mentioned something about the finger islands or something. It's just, no. So sometimes if there's a mountain and you can stand there and look off and say, oh, they're like fingers and you name it that way fine. But in general you don't go, oh my goodness, this looks like a Lotus flower. I'm going to name this Lotus island. Well, you don't do that.

Jesper (42m 30s):
No, no, it doesn't. It definitely requires that you get fire away from, from the, If I above the land and new, you can see it from distance. Otherwise you would never recognize patents like that. No,

Autumn (42m 42s):
Just drives me when I look at it. And I'm like cute though. It's like the Nazca lines, you know, we're going to, we have been debating how the Nazca lines were made and who they were made for, for centuries now. And it's just like, you know, don't do that to your readers. We don't want to, you don't want them to be confused over the map and why you named it? The elbow when no one knows it looks like an elbow.

Jesper (43m 6s):
Fair enough. Yeah. All right. Okay. Ready for the worst of my list here.

Autumn (43m 11s):
Yeah. This is going to be exciting. I want to hear what is the worst map you have found out?

Jesper (43m 16s):
Oh my God. So the number one on my list made it here because it's just too lazy for my taste and I'll start explaining why, and then it's going to sound pretty much like something I already said, but then there was a kicker at the end. Okay. So I mentioned before how Y hammer, the Warhammer map is just a copy of earth. Well, this one is basically the same, but it's just for Europe. So this is the, I think you pronounce it, crucial world map or something like that. We'll, we'll link to it in the show notes as well, but there are three trilogies written in this setting.

Jesper (43m 58s):
And while I do understand that they are supposed to be a fictional version of medieval, medieval, Western Europe. So I do understand that, but honestly, it just doesn't cut it for me. When you practically just take a map of Europe, slap some new country names on it and call it a day. That's not a fictional Map. No, I mean it, and this is where, I mean, like, that sounds very much like what I just said about Warhammer, because it's basically the same thing. But if you are naming the country on your map, that everybody can see when you know Europe, you can see to this Denmark and I'm from Denmark.

Jesper (44m 41s):
And instead of writing Denmark, you call it Joplin. And as a Dane, I can tell you that a part of our country, the part of our country that connects to Germany just south of us is called Joplin in real life. That's what it's called. So for a fictional setting, which I'm supposed to immerse, be me, it Mustin, don't freaking put names in there that is called in my national language. That's the name of the place that is already fucking sake. It's horrible.

Autumn (45m 12s):
That's that is, that'd be like me. I just wrote the tainted face series and it takes place in this world in this time. But you know, a different version where there's Faye and magic. And if I had included a world pap and why bother, so, yeah, and then two per se, it's fantasy and use real place names. But

Jesper (45m 33s):
I can imagine, I don't, honestly, I have to admit that I don't know what nationality, the author of the crucial series, what nationality it is, but I can imagine, and I might be a mistaking. And if I'm mistaking, then I'm apologizing in advance. But I have a feeling that it might be somebody who doesn't know the geography, maybe that well of Europe. And then they'd just think like, Jutland, that sounds like some FANTASY kind of a war. Well maybe, but it's, it's a real name of a real place. So at least do some Googling first and figure out if it's a real name before you put it on the map,

Autumn (46m 10s):
Or at least if you're going to, you know, if you're going to call it Fantasy, don't stay away from real-world words. If you found it. And you're like, oh, no one uses that anymore. That was the historic name. Just, just stay away from it. It's not worth it. Yeah.

Jesper (46m 24s):
And if you then telling me that the author actually didn't know that this is the real name and then put it on the map. Well, then I'm going to tell you, then it only makes it even worse because then, then you knew about it. And then what the heck are you then doing? Are you, it makes no sense to me.

Autumn (46m 41s):
Yeah. That's again, to me almost like lazy world building. If you're going to create a new world and you're going to call it a new Fantasy setting, make a new map. And if you have a hard time coming up with Fantasy images or a Fantasy landscape, like you just want to write a story and you want someone to hand you a map. There are programs and people who can do that for you. That is not a problem. Okay. I just found out how to randomly make a FANTASY map in like 15 minutes, I was like, oh, this is too much fun. It has, it just creates random things. I mean, it's, it's 3d and it looks pretty and you can start creating a story based on just something, something on someone hands you it's better. The world-building and mapping being is not your forte.

Autumn (47m 21s):
Get someone to do it for you and give you a hand. All right. Yes, please. You ready for my number one? This is a good, a good lead in to what my number one is because it kind of shows that I am a graphic designer. I have to admit. Okay. So my number one is Maps that looked like you sketched it while you were potentially drunk or you had a migraine and you just wanted to call it done. It's good enough. And just hate that. So there are software out there. There are cartography programs. There are graphic designers. There are people who can make you even a simple map that is quite lovely.

Autumn (48m 3s):
It can be black and white. It can be color, but don't just do these like little lines sketches. And I actually have an example for you. Have you ever seen an Bishop? She writes dark Fantasy and she has some of the worst Maps I've ever seen. I mean,

Jesper (48m 22s):
If there's any inhibition there that just got to come and murder, you

Autumn (48m 26s):
Let me know. Or they might agree. I mean, they're just, they're line drawings. They're just black and white, but there's just, there's no passion to them. There's no interest to them. They're so simple. There's simplistic. There's so they're painful. They're really painful. It's just, you look at it. And you're like, what is the point? Yeah, I will, you will. I will link to it in the show notes, but you look at it and you're like, what was the point of including this? It's just, you know, some trees and land it's, it's so boring that I would look at it. And I would probably not even pick up the book. I'd open up to the map and go, if this is all the time and effort you put into making a map and it is literally, it looks like you sketched it.

Autumn (49m 6s):
It was some thick lines over it and you call it good and published it. I just, if that's, what's your editing gonna look like, I just, I am making an immediate judgment call, which isn't probably right. But that is what we do. We judge books by their cover. We're going to judge it by their formatting. And we're definitely going to judge it by what that map looks like. And it's going to greet us pretty early in the novel before we even start reading. And if I see a horrible Map, I'll be like, oh, well, there's your book, what quality you're going to have in there. So, yeah. And Bishop one was just one that I was like, oh, this is so painful. I can't believe this. Isn't like a published novel.

Autumn (49m 48s):
This is really bad.

Jesper (49m 51s):
Oh my God. I'm, I'm curious to see how much hate we are going to get on the back of this episode, you know, because essentially it's going to be like, here are the world's worst Maps. And then in the show notes, there's just going to be a list of names of settings and all kinds of things that all the bots on the internet can pick up. And then, oh my God, I could just see how much hate we are going to get on the back of all this. But as I said in the beginning, it's Mendez entertainment. So take it for what it is.

Autumn (50m 15s):
That's a personal opinion, but, and if you need a better map maker, come talk to me. Cause lady I, your books, people say you write gorgeous, wonderful books, but you're a Maps, blah. They're just horrible.

Jesper (50m 32s):
So I don't really know how do we declare a winner of these two top five list here? Autumm because it's, I think it's a bit difficult.

Autumn (50m 43s):
I think I'm short of you just admitting I won, which is fine. I think that we, I think we might have to leave this one to the listeners if they don't, you know, come at us with pitchforks and torches for having pointed out Maps that they absolutely adore. So we'll have to see how that goes.

Jesper (51m 6s):
Well, at least as far as a controversy goes, and I guess we stepped off foot in the hornet's nest of whatever you say in English, but that's about right. But okay. Maybe we'll, we'll leave it for listeners to declare winner here because honestly I can't quite make up my mind because yeah. And not that I have seen all of the maps that you mentioned, but at least the point you made. Yeah. I agree with, and I also felt you agreed with the points that I was making. So I don't know.

Autumn (51m 31s):
Yeah. I think we can say the winner is the readers who do not have to see these horrible Maps when they pick up a book. So,

Jesper (51m 42s):
All right. Well, we talked a lot about Maps today and of course our lists here were intended as pure entertainment, as I said, but if you are interested in more like let's call it proper advice on Fantasy map-making and it's not just a lot of goofy, funny stuff that we are sitting here and blowing out then, or perhaps you just love fantasy match and you like to geek out about it then Autumm and I will actually be hosting an online virtual Masterclass about Fantasy mapmaking in a few weeks from now. So if you want interested in that and go check out the details, why the link in the show notes, that'll take you to the registration page.

Jesper (52m 22s):
And I can tell you, we are looking so much forward to host this map-making Masterclass for the very first time. In fact, yes,

Autumn (52m 30s):
It will be so exciting and we get to geek out about Maps, which again, it's what brought us together. So yay. It'll be awesome.

Jesper (52m 38s):
So next Monday, we are going to discuss learning through all the master classes and masterminds. How can such forums be helpful for your author career?

Narrator (52m 50s):
If you like, what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to SUPPORT THE AM WRITING FANTASY PODCAST. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn and Jesper on patreon.com/AmWritingFantasy. For as little as a dollar a month, you'll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast, going. Stay safe out there and see you next Monday.

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