PodCastle 206: Another Word for Map is Faith

by Christopher Rowe.
Read by Ann Leckie, editor of GigaNotoSaurus.
Originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

On the other side of the valley, across the creek, the real ridge line—the geology, her father would have said disdainfully—stabbed upstream. By her rough estimation it had rolled perhaps two degrees off the angle of its writ mapping. Lucas would determine the exact discrepancy later, when he extracted his instruments from their feather and wax paper wrappings.

“Third world bullshit,” Lucas said, walking up to her. “The transit services people from the university paid these little schemers before we ever climbed onto that deathtrap, and now they’re asking for the
fare.” Lucas had been raised near the border, right outside the last town the bus had stopped at, in fact, though he’d dismissed the notion of visiting any family. His patience with the locals ran inverse to
his familiarity with them.

“Does this count as the third world?” she asked him. “Doesn’t there have to be a general for that? Rain forests and steel ruins?”

Lucas gave his half-grin—not quite a smirk—acknowledging her reduction. Cartographers were famous for their willful ignorance of social expressions like politics and history.

Rated PG.