Monday, February 23, 2015

Map Monday: Turtledove's "Les Mortes d'Arthur" by Bruce Munro

I have become increasingly nostalgic in my old age. I keep going back to a lot of alternate history and science fiction works I first read in high school that started me on this long and geeky road across the multiverse. Take Harry Turtledove for example. Although it was his alternate history that inspired me to write, I still enjoyed his more mainline science fiction, like hisshort story "Les Mortes d'Arthur".

Set in an obsolete future after a limited nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, the space-based events of the sixty-sixth Winter Olympic Games are being held on the Saturn moon of Mimas, but they are interrupted when someone starts murdering the athletes. It was a fun bit of SF murder mystery and if you can get a hold of a copy of Departures you can read it. What caused me to reread that same story, however, was the appearance of several large federations and other nation-states that had enough wealth to go to space in this future. I always wondered what would have happened if someone made a map of this Earth...
Bruce Munro makes his return to the Map Monday spotlight with one of his classic overly annotated maps. Here we see his vision of the nations that not only participated in the games on Mimas, but also those still stuck on terra firma. As usual you can get even more details about this retro-SF on AlternateHistory.com, but what I liked most of this map was the feelings of nostalgia that coursed through me when I first laid eyes on it. Perhaps I too tried to visualize what this Earth looked like when I was younger, but I lacked the patience (more likely talent) to make that vision a reality. You have to treasure moments like this and I hope I am not the only one studying this map while comparing it to the notes inside your own head.

Honorable mentions this week go out to DPKdebator's World War III map, Noravea's map of Saratoga and Lynn Davis' The Great Northern War. Don't forget to check out the funny 27 hilariously bad maps that explain nothing on Vox (thanks to @m_blind on Twitter for pointing that out to me). If you want to submit a map for the next Map Monday, email me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com with your map attached and a brief description in the body of the email.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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