Several readers have asked me to confirm or explain some of the apocalyptic references in my MAP so I'm going to use
this space to outline the overall and general references while also shedding a little light on a few of the most obscure
That said, while I am happy to answer specific questions from readers, I do NOT intend to detail every single reference.
After all, exploration is part of the fun of having a map and I have great confidence in your Google-fu abilities!
Obviously, most of the street/place names are references to apocalyptic scenarios. These references take many different
- The name of someone who prophesied/predicted the end of the world (e.g., Harold Camping, Nostradamus, St. John, Sir
Isaac Newton). In a few cases, I've slightly altered the doomsayers names (e.g., Albert Porta, Charles Manson,
Hal Lindsey) to turn them into place names.
- A description or key aspect of an apocalyptic scenario (e.g., Big Rip, Black Hole, Nibiru, Singularity, Gray Goo,
Gog & Magog, Fimbulwinter).
- Title or detail from a book, comic book, or film with an apocalyptic setting or event (e.g., The Road,
Damnation Alley, Omega Man, Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Soylent Green, On The Beach)
There are a few street/place names which have little or no apocalyptic connotations (as far as I know). Since these
are the ones that have prompted the most inquiries from readers, I will list them here:
- Fanciful folk sayings related to occurances that would signify the End Times or should never come to pass at
all (e.g., Hell Freezes Over, Pigs Fly, Crawfish Whistle, Sunrise in West). Verdens Ende (World's End") Opera House
is where "the fat lady sings."
- Place name puns. Sunova Beach is both apocalyptic and punny and that led me to a few other puns.
The others are not apocalyptic references, per se, but do provide commentary on apocalyptism in pop culture (e.g., Weshall
Sea, Leifsa Beach, Echhs Stream).
- Diane Lane, Penny Lane, and Margo Lane are all pop cultural references. Only Lois Lane (because of the connection
to the Doomsday story in Superman comics) is an apocalyptic reference. The other lane names just riff off Lois.
- The Phoenician Scale is a double nod to my friend Jim Salicrup who was not only editor on Marvel's The Uncanny X-Men
during the planet-frying Dark Phoenix Saga but has also previously had his name appropriated as a unit of time. Here,
I use it instead as a unit of distance.
- The Blue House is an inside family joke.
- Blue Mtns., Eushalnotte Pass and Fangorn March Road are all Tolkien references. More on that later.
Some of the place name and visual details are references to art and the art of cartography (map-making) rather
- The shoreline and mountain ranges roughly approximate Tolkien's map of Middle Earth so that The End lies about where
Mordor would be found.
- The End Times along the lefthand edge of the map echo the design of the Time Bandits movie map. The actual times
on the clocks, however, are all apocalyptic references.
- The stencil type face was chosen as a nod to the map paintings of Jasper Johns.
- The shapes of the three main roads (i.e., Route 666, Western Sunrise Highway, Bifrost Scenic Parkway) leading to The End
are modeled after dadaist Marcel Duchamp's standard stoppages.
- Billy's Path in Revelation State Forest is a reference to a trope from Bil Keane's Family Circus cartoons.
Everything in my MAP is there for a reason. I hope these notes (plus access to the Internet or your local library)
helps lead you to an exploration of these references. If you still have questions (or just want to confirm your
hunches) about what I intended, feel free to contact my by email or stop by at one of my convention appearances.