image An interesting little article over on io9 about the influence of Tolkien on English novelist David Mitchell. Mitchell also describes Tolkien as “the ultimate world builder”.

Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks both prove that author David Mitchell has an incredible knack for world-building. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that he was obsessed with Tolkien as a child, to the point of drawing his own maps of Middle-earth.

Talking to the Irish Times, Mitchell praises George R.R. Martin as “a world-building genius” who’s created a massive cathedral in the form of A Song of Ice and Fire. And then there’s this tantalizing tidbit:

Tolkien was his first literary love. Mitchell spent time as a child in Malvern, England (whose landscape inspired Tolkien), drawing his own maps of Middle Earth, “inventing all that was happening in the lands beyond the edges of the story”.

In previous interviews, Mitchell has made it sound more like he became obsessed with the maps in Tolkien novels, and then graduated to drawing his own maps of fantasy lands. Either way, the notion of the young Mitchell being inspired by Tolkien to draw his own fantasy maps is kind of awesome.

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