On maps

I recently posted a blog on the new Penkhull Press website about maps and their value when writing your novels.

I have read many stories in which the protagonist moves across vast landscapes, through difficult terrains, in unrealistic times, with the minimum of effort. Is it really possible for someone, for example, to track dozens of miles through unfamiliar, dense jungle, lumbered with a backpack, in a few short hours, even at night (unless s/he is a superman/woman, of course)? This contraction of activity/time is a common fault in some fantasy and SF adventures I’ve read.

The essay is meant as general guidelines (rather than rules or a code). You can read the whole piece here.

 

International Women’s Day

Whilst taking a leisurely time over dinner the other day, Jan and discussed (surprise, surprise) horror and fantasy fiction, among many other things. And since International Women’s Day was fast approaching (it’s arrive – it’s today!) we started listing the (horror and fantasy) women writers we’d read over our long years. The list grew quickly and so, to celebrate IWD, here’s our compilation of these fine women writers, in alphabetical order:

Joan Aitken, Sarah Ash, Debbie Bennett, Anne Billson, Leigh Brackett, Octavia E Butler, Poppy Z Brite, Pat Cadigan, C J Cherryh, Nancy Collins, Storm Constantine, Louise Cooper, Raven Dane, Aliette de Bodard, Jan Edwards, Phyllis Eisenstein, Cate Gardner, Barbara Hambley, Elizabeth Hand, Joanne Harris, Diana Wynne Jones, Chico Kidd, Nancy Kilpatrick, Katherine Kurtz, Ellen Kushner, Samantha Lee, Tanith Lee, Ursula Le Guinn, Kelley Link, Alison Littlewood, Anne McCaffrey, Juliet McKenna, Patricia McKillip, C L Moore, Lou Morgan, Anne Nicholls (Anne Gay), Thana Niveau, Lisanne Norman, Andre Norton, Sarah Pinborough, Anne Rice, Justina Robson, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Mary Shelley, Kim Lakin Smith, Mary Stewart, Sam Stone, Melanie Tem, Lisa Tuttle, Freda Warrington, Barbie Wilde, Liz Williams, Connie Willis, Terri Windling, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Jane Yolen…

Not a bad list written from memory and on the back of a scrap of paper. There will be many more we’ve missed. I thought about Googling them today but that would be cheating; but I did look anyway: here is Wiki’s suggestions. If you wish, please add further names in the comments section.