About Mapping Winter

Also, a post someone pointed me to … I think Sandstone on Twitter, but not sure … I was pretty much away from internet access during the past couple of weeks, so it’s been a bit difficult to post things in a timely fashion.


Here is Marta Randall’s own post about re-issuing the new version of her Sword of Winter as the new Mapping Winter.

Keep in mind that I really liked the original version. Granted that I read that when it first came out, in 1983, when I was a teenager; I was not likely to say OH, THIS AGAIN when I hit a cliche. Randall herself was disgusted by the pat ending she was pushed to include:

The worst insult was what I was forced do to my characters. Lyeth rescues, and is in turn rescued by, a boy and over the course of the novel she comes to love and cherish him, so that a threat to his life is what drives the book’s conclusion. That was not enough for the editor, who insisted that I turn the boy into a “hidden prince” – you know, that cliched figure who suddenly and with no grounding is revealed to be The Most Important Person, The Answer to All the Questions, end of story. By this time it was more than obvious that the editor had no respect for my work and refused to devote any of his precious and much-lauded editorial talent on it. Harried and almost at my wit’s end, I shoehorned a prince into the book, the editor accepted it, and the book was published at the precise moment that the publisher’s sf/fantasy line imploded. …

If you’re interested, click through and read the whole thing.

If you never read the original book, it’s still available as a used book via Amazon. I do think it would be interesting and fun to read both versions in quick succession.

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7 thoughts on “About <em>Mapping Winter</em>”

  1. This story reminds me rather a lot of Andrea K Höst’s description of trying to get an early book of hers published. Alas for Marta Randall, indie publishing wasn’t an option in the 80s.

  2. Randall actually had an editor look at her manuscript and try to work with her on it.
    It was awful for her, but I did like the original.

    Host’s never made it that far.

    Considers the Very Long Thing she’s reading at the moment and what’s on the TBR…I think I’ll make SWORD my next read, then MAPPING and report either here in a comment or to our hostess on my thoughts on the two.

  3. I did post about this and coffeeandink (https://coffeeandink.dreamwidth.org/) is the one who linked it to me!

    I looked up the publication history, and this was originally published through the Timescape imprint at Pocket Books, so the editor in question was likely David G. Hartwell, who was the founder of the New York Review of Science Fiction journal and for his editorial work at Timescape and at Tor Books and won several Hugo Awards for his editorial work (he had at least been nominated by the time he was working with Randall). The story Randall tells is such a shame!

  4. Is Mapping Winter available to you as an ebook? Or is this a pre-publication announcement?
    Because I cannot find it on Kobo .

  5. So I’ve read both back to back now. It was a bit weird. There are large sections of text that are basically the same – Rachel, that flute still decorates the air – and the scavenger hunt remains and yet enough little stuff is changed to make the character’s focus completely different. Readers of the original may recall that Lyeth just wanted out. In Mapping Kieve wants to explore and map the uncharted lands, and has been thwarted by her Guildmaster making other choices for her assignments.

    there’s still the boy, but his role as heir was insisted on by the editor of Sword, he is just a boy here.

    So similar and yet different.

    Thee were occasional bobbles in the text: lay and lie got confused, and some metaphorical language just didn’t work for me, but mostly the book remains good, probably better and definitely looking forward to exploring a culture in movement, with telegraphs and steam engines overtaking the ‘prestigious’ roles the Riders have filled. That part was mostly downplayed in Sword although it was there.

  6. I just started Mapping Winter last night. I’m barely into it, but it’s definitely hooked me. Excellent first chapter.

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