Location, location, location
I like maps. I’ve drawn a map for every large-scale novel I’ve written. They’re very useful; and Memory Seed was no exception. Because the novel was set entirely in Kray, a small coastal city, I wanted its urban topography to be consistent and exact. Below, you can see the original map drawn in 1992 for the rewrite of the 1988 draft.
The six stories in Tales From The Spired Inn take place in various locations. My fascination with inns and taverns led me to create a couple of hostelries crucial to the plot, of which the Spired Inn was the most important. ‘Dr Vanchovy’s Final Case’ takes place mostly inside that inn, placed near the Gardens in the lower part of the Archaic Quarter. ‘Funeral For A Pyuter’ takes place largely near and in the Cemetery, one of my favourite locations because of its association with the Revellers, the proud, antagonistic, narcissistic class of Krayans who follow their own extreme brand of tribal loyalty. ‘Granny’ also takes place in the Gardens and the Cemetery, with some action back at the Spired Inn.
‘First Temple’ though was a different affair. In the novel I mentioned the Andromeda Quarter and its bizarre, jungle-like terrain, but I never went there via the plot. After Ian Whates asked me to write two new stories I thought this would be the only opportunity I’d get to visit it, so the story mostly takes place in that tropical, earthquake-prone quarter.
‘Memory Seed’ is an extract from the novel designed to act as a breather before the final tale, ‘The Green Realm Below,’ which was the first Kray story I wrote, and which takes place in the Gardens but mostly underground, revisiting a realm hinted at during Arrahaquen’s escape from the hellish dungeons beneath Gugul Street.
Location has always been important to my novels. Kray was vivid in my mind from the moment I wrote it, and it remains that way to this day… helped by a map!