marina_bonomi: (book)
...as one of my favorite characters would say.

Among the people and groups I follow on Twitter there is Medievalists.net (a wonderful resource on its own account), through them I discovered Unbound and a very special book.

Unbound is a British Kickstarter-like site, for books only, and the project Medievalists.net posted about is The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth. The wake is an historical novel set in the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings, in the author's words it is a story of the collapse of certainties and lives; a tale of lost gods and haunted visions, narrated by a man of the Lincolnshire fens bearing witness to the end of his world.

As if it wasn't enough (for me it definitely was), this is what the author has to say about the a very specific struggle I'm sure many on my friends' list will relate to:

More than three years ago, I began to write a historical novel which made me realise why I don’t read many historical novels. I couldn’t make the words fit, and I gradually began to see why: the language that we speak is so utterly specific to our time and place. Our assumptions, our politics, our worldview, our attitudes – all are implicit in our words, and what we do with them. In order to have any chance of this novel working, I realised I needed to imagine myself into the sheer strangeness of the past. I couldn’t do that by putting 21st century language into the mouths of eleventh-century people.

So I constructed, almost by accident, my own language: a middle ground between the Old English that would have been spoken by these characters and the English we speak today. The result is a book which is written in a tongue that no one has ever spoken, but which is intended to project a ghost image of the speech patterns of a long-dead land: a place at once alien and familiar. Another world, the foundations of our own.


Here is a short excerpt:

when i woc in the mergen all was blaec though the night had gan and all wolde be blaec after and for all time.a great wind had cum in the night and all was blown then and broc. none had thought a wind lic this colde cum for all was blithe lifan as they always had and who will hiere the gleoman when the tales he tells is blaec who locs at the heofon if it brings him regn who locs in the mere when there seems no end to its deopness
none will loc but the wind will cum. the wind cares not for the hopes of men
the times after will be for them who seen the cuman
the times after will be for the waecend

who is thu
who is thu i can not cnaw
what is angland to thu what is left of angland
i spec i spec i spec
no man lystans


I know this book will drive me crazy, but I also know I'll enjoy every minute of it.
If you are into roleplaying or fantasy art it's very likely you have at least heard of Larry Elmore, he is the one who did the famous D&D red box and set the tone for D&D art for years.
He is also a very personable and approachable guy, bot T. and I were stunned by his friendliness and down-to-earth attitude a few years ago when we met him at GenCon.

The news is that he is planning to do a full-color art book including most of his pieces, and is crowdfunding it through Kickstarter.
(it's already a few times above the set sum), it's good to see more and more established creatives taking the crowdfunded route.

(Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] crowdfunding )







Thinking of Home While on a Mission in the West (1)

This morning, wild geese went East,

At dawn they broke my sleep.

Restless, I can’t dream again,

Alone, I think of Chang’an (2).

(1) Anonymous poem found in the archives of the Chinese embassy in Italy.

(2) Chang’an ( ‘Perpetual peace’, modern day Xi’an 西安 ‘Western peace’), was the capital of more than 10 Chinese dynasties, during its heyday it was one of the most populous cities in the world, this poem dates from the mid-eight century AD, when Chang’an counted a population between 800,000 and 1,000,000 within city walls.


________________________________________________________________________________



This is an apocryphal piece 'in the style of Tang translations', if you wish, that I wrote for the Silk Road Allies alternate history project. While no Tang poem was found in the archives of the Chinese embassy in Italy, the information on Chang'an is true.



If you like my work  and want to contribute, tips are appreciated: they'll go into funding my research for this project and some art commissions to illustrate it.


Mrs. Hambly has long been one of my favorite fiction writers, even since I read her TOS novel 'Ishmael'. Her historical mistery series featuring Benjamin Janvier (first book 'A Free Man of Color') changed my fondness for the author into a full blown addiction ( I'm actively hunting for each and every book Barbara Hambly and Guy Gavriel Kay have ever published and they are the only two living authors that have me this addicted).

You can imagine my delight when I discovered than mrs Hambly has a blog right there on Live Journal, and that she is a very down-to-earth, approachable lady.
She has been posting a lot of very good news for the fans of her works, recently, but I find very, very interesting her latest post: she is planning to step into cyberfounded creativity in the near future.

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