Things I Already Know People Won’t Like About Heavy Ice


My characters aren’t speaking English and yet they sometimes make puns or mishearings that rely on English to work. I realise that a lot of people find this annoying, and all I can do is follow in the hallowed footsteps of Tolkien and say think of it as a free translation from the original.

Requite has two recognised languages, a number of dead languages kept alive by scholars, at least one secret language, and a whole bunch of dialects. One of the recognised languages is kept more or less stable across the various Spires by communication between the Retorts, but the other gets less and less familiar the more Spires away from home you are. The inhabitants of Ailebroc at one end of the Fold and the inhabitants of Prémontré at the other have great difficulty understanding one another, which explains a lot about politics. Meanwhile, out in the wider galaxy there are several different trade-tongues and native languages which all have a politics of their own. And then there are the grues…

Kallisty uses profanity more or less as punctuation. I had a go at coming up with a word along the lines of ‘frack’ or ‘smeg’ but I don’t have a gift for that kind of thing. I realise that this is a dealbreaker for a lot of people, and I’m sorry about it.

There are a metric ton of characters. It’s one of my books. People turn up and bring their husbands, wives, business associates, children, parents, old war buddies, religious advisors, boon companions, mortal enemies, misassigned clones, and above all their cousins. It’s not as jam-packed as the Requite books, and I think it’s easier to tell who’s a major character and who’s a spear-carrier, but still, it’s not what you’d call intimate.

Hey, at least this time it’s not in first person present tense, right? Unless I have a sudden brainstorm and decide to rewrite it all from the point of view of Strat the xenoraptor, or similar. :p

Previously in this series: Things I Already Know People Won’t Like About Firebrand

Heavy Ice is on track to arrive some time around the end of the year: I’m planning to attend the Asylum steampunk festival in Lincoln in September, which I’m very excited about, and which I know will give me a lot of ideas for Emma Dread, so I’m hoping to have the second draft of Heavy Ice finished in time for that, but I make no promises. 🙂 Also, as mentioned, I’m planning to attend the Asylum steampunk festival in Lincoln in September, so I have costumes to make…

6 thoughts on “Things I Already Know People Won’t Like About Heavy Ice

  1. I don’t find “translated freely from the original” to be an issue — the ONLY time I get annoyed by English vernacular being used in a book is when it’s modern *slang* (of the “Yo, DUDE!” variety) being used in a historical setting. In a science-fiction setting, vernacular or profanity or wordplay is just fine by me, whether or not there is supposedly English being spoken.

    I’m really looking forward to “Heavy Ice”!! 😀

    1. I really hope you enjoy it. The main characters include a happy, committed but rather young and earnest poly triad who are being driven vaguely cuckoo by one of their number who has acquired Views on the one true way to do poly, which I think will amuse you. 🙂

      1. Oh yes — that DOES sound like a great deal of fun! (And I love your writing and your dialogue, so I have no doubt that I’m going to enjoy this book enormously!) ❤

  2. I’m pretty sure that in your hands none of these things will annoy me. Particularly the first, because I’m a sucker for a good pun and a definite fan of the free-translation idea 😉

    1. I’m not in general a fan of the ‘my characters run away with me’ school of talking about writing, but when it comes to wordplay they actually do just keep doing it all on their own. Also at least one of them knows that malapropisms annoy her more highly educated companions, and does it on purpose to get a rise out of them.

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