Monday, May 2, 2011

Post-Apocalyptic Maps

I've always been something of a map fetishist, maps of the post-apocalyptic Earth all the moreso. I've long been fond of the map above, which appears in my edition of Sterling Lanier's Hiero's Journey, which is both a fun book and an avowed influence on Gamma World. I think it sets just the right tone through its difference in geography and nomenclature from the modern world. You know, looking at it, that you're not in Kansas anymore.

Does anyone else know of any great post-apocalyptic maps they'd like to share? There are the Gamma World ones, of course, but I'm thinking primarily of ones from literary settings. I don't recall ever seeing a map of the Horseclans world, for example, but there may very well be one floating around somewhere on the Net. If you know of any especially well-done or evocative post-apocalyptic maps, please mention them in the comments below.

22 comments:

  1. Not literary, but the Mutant Future section of this site has some nice post-apoc maps:

    http://www.djeryv.com/

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  2. http://www.berserker.com/info_swdsmap.htm

    James Kahn's "World Enough & Time" had an amazing map of the West Coast but I'm having trouble finding it online. Will need to scan it myself.

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  3. Here is a map from a Cartographers' Guild contest of a post-apocalyptic Monterey and San Francisco that I particularly liked.

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=33908&d=1298697289

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  4. I like the maps from Paul O. Williams's Pelbar Cycle books (The Breaking of Northwall and its sequels).

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  5. There are maps of the Horseclans North America at various times (2300, 2593, and 2800) in the GURPS supplement detailing that world. The one for 2593 shows all of the former United States and parts of Canada and Mexico, the other two show only Eastern Mehrikah (and parts of the former Canada, of course).

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  6. Looking around, I found this thread on the Morrow Project "Shattered USA". The map you'll want is here.

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  7. Finally, BTRC's WarpWorld is a pretty spiffy postapocalyptic background (with fantasy-style magic, trolls, elves, and whatnot!), though the original system (the same one they used for TimeLords and SpaceTime, though apparently they've retooled the setting for the much simpler EABA system) is nearly unplayably complex. I've always liked the map, but can't find it online.

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  8. As Faoladh said, there are maps of Horsclans Mehrikah in the GURPS book.

    There was only ever one single Horseclans map in the novels, and that in the first edition of the "Coming of the Horseclans" published by Pinnacle. It is the "Chieftain's Map" of Kehnooryos Ehlahs; fairly simple, really, but it shows in how truly small an area of action the first novel really took place. Of especial note is the alrge, circular lagoon where Washington DC is supposed to be.

    I've never seen a scan of "Chieftain's Map" online; unfortunately my scanner is down now... sorry!

    I should note that I've poured over maps form our era and the novels, and have identified some interesting bits and bobs over the years. For example, from the descriptions in the books, Morguhnpolis and Gafnee from the "Revenge of the Horseclans" series are likely actually Morganton, NC and Gaffney, SC.

    This is interesting, as in this case, Morganton became Eeleeoheepolis after the Greek invasion, returning to the old Morguhn name after the Horseclans invasion; while Gafnee either retained its name, and a new post-Invasion clan was based out of it, or a clan named Gafnee just happened, like in the case of Morguhn, to settle in the town once known as Gaffney. I'd say that the GURPS listing of the Gafnee clan was an error, likely based on not checking the geography; though if you've got one odd coincidence, why not two, I suppose...

    Yes, I am as much a Horseclans geek as a gaming geek... sigh.

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  9. Don't have time to look up a link, but the Hawkmoon RPG. Originally published by Chaosium, Mongoose also did a version.

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  10. Have you seen the maps in Le Guin's novel "Always Coming Home"? There's quite an assortment, at all scales, all in the style of her future postapoc culture(s). But then, she always gives good map.

    -- Kim

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  11. Here's a bit of GW map trivia. The rulebook notes that "the scale of a hex is roughly 43.7 kilometers (27.3 miles) from side to side." I once asked Jim Ward why such a ridiculous, useless scale was chosen, and he said "that was Tom Wham's idea of a joke."

    Steve

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  12. I have used the map from the 1978 Chaosium boardgame Lords of the Middle Sea.

    In a similar vein, using ordinance survey maps and postulating a rise in sea level works well, as does adding oceans to a radar map of Venus.

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  13. The SM Sterling "Emberverse" series is an interesting turn in post-apocalyptic fiction. For an unknown reason all modern technologies fail (i.e. gunpowder, electrical power generation, steam engines, etc) and society collapses as a result. The series track social change over a thirty year period with some interesting permutations, largely manifesting into neo-feudal states throughout North America. There's a good map as well displayed here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:StirlingMapFinalC.jpg

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  14. Also fun (but far from Gamma World) was this map of the world of Judge Dredd http://www.hypergeek.ca/2011/01/a-comprehensive-map-of-judge-dredds-earth.html

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  15. Lords of the Middle Sea -- an intriguing map for an otherwise lackluster game. There's also the map from "Omega War," the game that came in Ares #14. Beautiful map, mediocre-to-good wargame.

    http://boardgamegeek.com/image/205959/the-omega-war

    Steve

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  16. The 'Lantik Ocean' is an example of a couple of pet hates I have with post-apocalyptic world-building.

    If the word changed to that extent, presumably people aren't literate any more. A word can easily change in speech, but maps and other documents use 'official' spellings rather than deriving them from speech: a map will always say 'Jersey', not 'Joisey'.

    But if people are no longer literate, what is the distinction between the 'k' of 'Lantik', and the hard 'c' of 'Capitol'? Why are they 'Mehrikans' and not 'Mericans'?

    Secondly, why did the word change in the same way along the entire Atlantic coast? This isn't necessarily wrong. Previously isolated groups could have re-established contact with each other, and one version of the word came to dominate. But usually there's nothing to suggest that that's what's meant to have happened, as opposed to the author just not thinking about it.

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  17. I can't believe nobody has posted the post-apocalyptic map of the U.S. from the Kamandi series of comics. Imagine if Jack Kirby had been around to illustrate some RPGs?

    http://comicbookcartography.posterous.com/the-world-of-kamandi-map-1-jack-kirby

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  18. I just happened to post up a hi-res image of the Gamma World NoCal (Northen California) map yesterday for a GenCon game this year (Fully booked already). Anyone is quite welcome to use the map for their game though.

    http://gamedevonline.net/wordpress/

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  19. anarchist: It's a trope (almost a cliché) which is shorthand for "language has changed, like it does". It's better than most SF, which ignores linguistic science almost entirely. I could go on about orthography in the absence of prescriptive dictionaries, but I did that already and the internet ate the post.

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  20. Well there's the map of post-apocalyptic England in _Riddley Walker_.

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