I had enough of my books unpacked a few weeks back to come across my copy of The Atlas of Middle-Earth (1991 revision) by Karen Wynn Fonstad. Playing Lord of the Rings Online made me want to dig through the atlas to get a feel again for how Middle-Earth, and especially Eriador, was laid out in the books.
After digging through it I decided to check on Amazon.com to see if there had been any revisions since my copy came out.
There appears to a similar book from the 1999 time frame, probably due to the movies, called The Atlas of Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Like the version I own, it is also out of print now and the details on Amazon.com are sparse, so I cannot tell if there is any real difference between the two.
So I clicked on the author’s name to see what other books she had done. It turns out she also did a book I had been eyeing some time back. Again, out of print, The Forgotten Realms Atlas is something or a rarity. Used copies of it often sell for more than the book retailed for new.
At that price range I had never quite been able to justify spending the money on a used copy. But it just so happened that there was a used copy listed up on Amazon.com for $10. It said it showed some wear but was in decent shape, so in a moment of geekiness, I ordered it.
It showed up two weeks back. The condition of the book is actually pretty good and the content is up to the standards I expected. The detail inside is up to the standards I had expected. I spent a while just digging through it and remembering old games.
Of course, in the short term the atlas will end up on my bookshelf among circa 1979 AD&D copies of The Dungeon Master’s Guide, The Players Guide, and the Monster Manual as well as some of the David Hargrave books, my fifth edition copy of Tunnels and Trolls, the first RPG I ever actually played, and some other game references.
In the long term I live in hope that some day there will be an outdoors Forgotten Realms MMO.