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Here Be Dragons

Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings

by Stefan Ekman


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Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies (2016)
Fantasy worlds are never mere backdrops. They are an integral part of the work, and refuse to remain separate from other elements. These worlds combine landscape with narrative logic by incorporating alternative rules about cause and effect or physical transformation. They become actors in the drama—interacting with the characters, offering assistance or hindrance, and making ethical demands. In Here Be Dragons, Stefan Ekman provides a wide-ranging survey of the ubiquitous fantasy map as the point of departure for an in-depth discussion of what such maps can tell us about what is important in the fictional worlds and the stories that take place there. With particular focus on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Ekman shows how fantasy settings deserve serious attention from both readers and critics. Includes insightful readings of works by Steven Brust, Garth Nix, Robert Holdstock, Terry Pratchett, Charles de Lint, China Miéville, Patricia McKillip, Tim Powers, Lisa Goldstein, Steven R. Donaldson, Robert Jordan, and Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.

Publication Details

Wesleyan University Press
Publication Date:


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Stefan Ekman (Author)

STEFAN EKMAN is a freelance lecturer on fantasy, role-playing games, and manga, and serves as the head of the Fantasy Literature Division at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at L...

More about Stefan Ekman
Here Be Dragons
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