Martin Springett’s note

When I had started rendering the maps for “Under Heaven” I sketched out some images from the story just to amuse myself and get into the right mood. I did some drawings I thought might be cool for poster or cover images. The image that Guy and I liked the best is pictured here, and is available as a poster. A “ghostly” horse rears up over the horizon, towering over the figure of a young woman walking away from the viewer. I was very pleased with this image, it captured a certain mood; the horses, or their intrinsic meaning as gifts, do tend to loom over the narrative. The young woman is unnaturally alone, yet seeks her independence. Another was a horizontal image of horses and riders with wolves moving across the Bogu Steppe. This image is now part of the decorative map. I took advantage of my original layout for the map, which was all”wrong”, scale wise, with cities and towns far too prominent, and used them to full decorative effect in the colour map. I “aged” the map, took a texture from the Can/US edition as a background, and fused all this with my sketch. One other small element was drawn up at this time, a small horse graphic that I thought might be useful to fill in a break in the text or chapter heading. Something like this can’t be intrusive though, it’s not an illustration, but at the same time it’s cool if it connects to the narrative, it just shouldn’t say “hello” too loudly.

–Martin Springett

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