Maps of China Miéville’s Bas-Lag: semi-official and unofficial

Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 11.34.03 PMUPDATED MAY 14: Check out the official map drawn by China Miéville here!

(Original post continues below…)

Apart from a map of New Crobuzon, the Bas-Lag novels by China Miéville have never included maps of the world. This is a shame because China describes the geography so well, and there are many places described (or at least named), beyond the places actually featured in the books. It would be so great to see how the world fits together.

Supposedly official maps exist, but China may have surrendered them to Adamant Entertainment for the much-delayed RPG Tales of New Crobuzon. Who knows if this RPG, first announced in 2008, will ever see the light of day? Updates from Adamant Entertainment about the project are nearly non-existent. It’s as if they don’t want to remind people that they should be working on it.

What fans of Bas-Lag are left with are the semi-official and unofficial attempts people have made at mapping the world. I’ll go through the best ones below.

Dragon Magazine

Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 11.46.44 PMFebruary 2007’s issue of Dragon Magazine (#352) was all about Bas-Lag, and is a treasure trove of cool information and illustrations. I’m not really a tabletop gamer myself so all the stuff about stats is lost on me, but it’s still an issue worth having. The magazine features:

  • A 2-page interview with China Miéville
  • An 18-page “Bas-Lag Gazetteer”, featuring tons of info about the geography and history of Bas-Lag, and three maps
  • A 7-page feature on the “People of Bas-Lag” (with RPG stats and great illustrations)
  • A 12-page feature on the “Monsters of Bas-Lag” (with more of the above)

That’s a fantastic amount of content for China Miéville fans, even ones who aren’t into tabletop RPGs. What’s of most interest are the maps. These are all by fantasy cartographer Robert Lazzaretti. The first is a map of New Crobuzon, which is sadly just a recreation of the one inside the pages of Perdido Street Station. The other two are unique. One shows the surrounding lands immediately outside of New Crobuzon, while the other shows the majority of the continent Rohagi (regrettably labelled “Komagi” on the map—someone didn’t do their proof-reading).

Presented below are these two wider-scale maps:

Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 10.55.56 PM

Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 10.56.15 PM

Please note: these maps are the work of Robert Lazzaretti, and are presumably copyright of Paizo Publishing. I publish them here as low-res scans solely for the enjoyment of fellow fans. You can purchase the entire issue here, for now.

They are pretty good, but I’m not sure if they are directly adapted from maps provided by China Miéville. The magazine does not say. My guess would be that they’re not, because some things look incorrect based on geographical descriptions in the book. However I leave it up to readers of this blog to decide for themselves. We might never know, unless a guaranteed-official map is one day released.

Fan map by JenJenRobot

There is one unofficial work of cartography that is exceptional and worth featuring: the map of Bas-Lag by DeviantArt user JenJenRobot. That map can be seen here, as well as below:

Bas_Lag_by_JenJenRobot (1)

JenJenRobot published this map under a Creative Commons license, so I am thankfully allowed to post it on this blog as long as credit is given. And credit is deserved, because it’s a commendable, high-quality piece. Nonetheless I also have some quibbles about the location of certain cities.

New Crobuzon rail map

Finally, I feel like I must share the rather clever New Crobuzon rail map created by Mark Dormand, which you can see here (and below). The map is also available as a poster, in various sizes and colours. Check it out at Mark’s shop!

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6 comments

  1. Hey there thanks for the mention, and lovely site! 🙂 You actually can get a copy of my rail map – China’s publisher’s got in touch with me some time ago and gave me permission to make them available to buy, there’s a few options on my Society6 page – http://society6.com/squid

    1. Hey, that’s fantastic! And I just got paid yesterday too 😀

      I’ll update the post. Is it okay if I also put a thumbnail-ish image of the artwork in the post itself?

  2. I’ve been dying for an official map of Bas-Lag for years. But unless China Mieville returns to Bas-Lag, I some how doubt it.

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