By Ed Thomas, Lilith Roberts and Alex Richards
Maps are a classic way of communicating ideas. It's a cliche that every Fantasy book has a Map in it to act as a guide to all the locations. And AH Novels often are the same. Alternate History by its very nature means that things are different. Borders are different, cities are in different places and countries have different names.
Much like Fantasy, you are presenting the reader with a different world which they can sometimes struggle to picture and much like Fantasy, one tool to help the reader keep track of the story is to include a map, which details what is going on. SLP often uses that, like in the below example from Ed Thomas' 'A Greater Britain' illustrating the border changes from an enacted Hoare Lavel peace plans to end the Second Italian-Abyssinian War.
But, much more unique to internet and AH forums, are maps which try to tell a story in themselves as micro fiction, which implies the stories through just the illustration. A glimpse into a world that can express its own clear idea without needing a story.
Take for instance the example below by Alex Richards, which is a parody of the maximum Yorkshire crowd and so tells it's own story without needing additional text.
Likewise the below by Lilith Roberts paints a vivid picture without even needing a year attached to it.
In the next few weeks we will look at various other, less traditional, graphics, that can also be used in the same way to paint a picture of a world.