Jonathan Crowe

I’m a blogger and writer from Shawville, Quebec. I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis. More about me.

Fantasy Maps

Fiction About Maps

These are short stories and novels that use maps in the course of the story (for example, Thr�r’s map in The Hobbit) or that are stories about maps and cartography. For examples of what I mean by that, you could begin by reading two short stories available for free online: “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica” by Catherynne M. Valente and “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu.

My Blog Entries

Reading List


Berg, Carol. Flesh and Spirit. New York: Roc, 2007.

———. Breath and Bone. New York: Roc, 2008.

Boyczuk, Robert. The Book of Thomas, Volume One: Heaven. Toronto: ChiZine, 2012. [My review]

Cockayne, Steve. Wanderers and Islanders. London: Orbit, 2002.

———. The Iron Chain. London: Orbit, 2003.

———. The Seagull Drovers. London: Orbit, 2004.

Domingue, Ronlyn. The Mapmaker’s War. New York: Atria, 2013. [My review]

Dung Kai-cheung. Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City. Trans. by Dung Kai-cheung, Anders Hansson, and Bonnie S. McDougall. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.

Goldstein, Lisa. Tourists. Rev. ed. New York: Tor Books, 1994.

Kirstein, Rosemary. The Steerswoman. New York: Ballantine Del Rey, 1989.

———. The Outskirter’s Secret. New York: Ballantine Del Rey, 1992.

———. The Lost Steersman. New York: Ballantine Del Rey, 2003.

———. The Language of Power. New York: Ballantine Del Rey, 2004.

Larsen, Reif. The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet. New York: Penguin, 2009.

Owen, James A. Here, There Be Dragons. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. [My review]

———. The Search for the Red Dragon. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. [My review]

———. The Indigo King. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

———. The Shadow Dragons. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

———. The Dragon’s Apprentice. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

———. The Dragons of Winter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

Polanco Masa, Alejandro. El viaje de Argos Barcelona: Scyla, 2012. [My post]

Priest, Christopher. The Islanders. London: Gollancz, 2011.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. London: Cassell, 1883.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit. London: Allen & Unwin, 1937.

Walton, Jo. Among Others. New York: Tor Books, 2011.

Valente, Catherynne M. Palimpsest. New York: Bantam, 2009.

———. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2011.

Zelazny, Roger. Here There Be Dragons. (Hampton Falls NH: Donald M. Grant, 1992). [My post]

Short Fiction

Ashley, Charlotte. “Eleusinian Mysteries.” Luna Station Quarterly 23 (September 2015). [My post]

Borges, Jorge Luis. “On Exactitude in Science.” (“Del rigor en la ciencia,” 1946.)

Cato, Beth. “Cartographer’s Ink.” Daily Science Fiction, August 24, 2012. [My post]

———. “Maps.” Daily Science Fiction, February 14, 2013. [My post]

Cheney, Matthew. “A Map of the Everywhere.” Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing, Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss, eds. (Easthampton MA: Small Beer Press, 2007), pp. 207-221. [My post]

Cuinn, Carrie. “How to Recover a Relative Lost During Transmatter Shipping, In Five Easy Steps.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Duncan, Andy. The Night Cache. Hornsea, UK: PS Publishing, 2009.

Eikamp, Rhonda. “The Occluded.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Howard, Kat. “All of Our Past Places.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Klages, Ellen. “Caligo Lane.” Subterranean, Winter 2014. [My post]

King, Stephen. “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.” 1984. Reprinted in Skeleton Crew (New York: Putnam, 1985), pp. 181-202.

Lipkin, Shira. “The Cartographer’s Requiem.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Loenen-Ruiz, Rochita. “Song of the Body Cartographer.” Philippine Genre Stories, June 15, 2012.

Lopez, Barry. “The Mappist.” Light Action in the Caribbean (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), pp. 146-162. [My post]

Parker, K. J. “Let Maps to Others.” Subterranean, Summer 2012. [My post]

Pinsker, Sarah. “How a Map Works.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Rowe, Christopher. “Another Word for Map is Faith.” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 111, no. 2 (August 2006). [My post]

Swanwick, Michael. “The Dala Horse.”, July 2011. [My post]

Valente, Catherynne M. “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica.” Clarkesworld 20 (May 2008). [My post]

Van Pelt, James. “This Gray Rock, Standing Tall.” Journal of Unlikely Cartography, June 2014.

Wilson, Alex. “A Wizard of MapQuest.” Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 23 (November 2008).

Wilson, Robert Charles. “The Inner Inner City.” 1997. Reprinted in The Perseids and Other Stories (New York: Tor Books, 2000), pp. 69-92. [My post]

Wolfe, Gene. “The Map.” 1984. Reprinted in Endangered Species (New York: Tor Books, 1989), pp. 20-36. [My post]

Yu, E. Lily. “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees.” Clarkesworld 55 (April 2011). [My post]


Jasper, Michael and Niki Smith. In Maps and Legends. Online comic, 2011. [My post]

Schuiten, Fran�ois and Benoit Peeters. The Invisible Frontier. 2 vols. 2002-2004. [My post]


Hasler, Emily. “Cartography for Beginners.” The Rialto 76 (Autumn 2012). Reprinted at The Guardian, November 4, 2013.

Slessor, Kenneth. “The Atlas.” Cuckooz Contrey (1932).

To investigate

I haven’t seen these yet: many are on this list mostly because the word “map” is in the title (yes, it was a sophisticated search) and may not actually have anything to do with this subject; others were suggested by people who know the field better than I do. I’ll track them down and see.

Ashley, Allen. “A Life in Maps.” The Third Alternative 13 (1997); Urban Fantastic (Crowswing Books, 2006).

Burchill, Julie. “A Map of the Heart.” The Time Out Book of London Short Stories.

Flynn, Michael. The January Dancer. New York: Tor Books, 2008.

Gentle, Mary. Rats and Gargoyles. New York: Bantam Spectra, 1990.

Gilman, Felix. Thunderer. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2007.

———. Gears of the City. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2008.

Kelleghan, Fiona. “The Secret in the Chest: With Tests, Maps, Mysteries, and Intermittent Discussion Questions.” Realms of Fantasy 5, no. 1 (October 1998).

Lewis, D. F. “A Map of Memories.” Palace Corbie Eight (Merrimack Books, 1999).

Massey, Misty. “At Map’s End.” Rum and Rhinestones (Calgary AB: Dragon Moon Press, 2010).

Stackpole, Michael A. A Secret Atlas. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2006.

———. Cartomancy. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2006.

———. The New World. New York: Bantam Spectra, 2007.