Time for a Change
May I recommend to you my new story, “The Venetian Dialectic,” to be found in The Change, a brand-new anthology edited by S.M. Stirling?
The story takes place in Steve’s Emberverse, in which he’s been writing for damn near 20 years now. In order to understand the story, you need only to know that in this alternate world, all advanced technology ceased to work back in 1998, and the planet was thrown back to the tech of the late Middle Ages.
In addition to Steve and myself, the anthology features Harry Turtledove, Jane Lindskold, John Barnes, Victor Milán, Diana Paxon . . . and, as they say, “many more,” including one-time Taos Toolboxer Lauren Teffeau.
“The Venetian Dialectic” is set a generation or so after the Change, in which Venice is rebuilding its maritime empire, and ends up in a conflict with King Spiridon of Cyprus over possession of the island of Rhodes. The upshot is that I got to write another big brawling sea story, something I like to do now and again.
Because I’m obsessive about getting the setting right, I not only deeply researched Venetian maritime technology, but also the languages and cultures of the various states involved. My Venetian protagonist doesn’t speak Italian, but Venexián, which claims not to be a dialect but a language of its own. So my character’s an Ammiraglio, not an Admiral, with a name that’s distinctly Venetian. I toss in a few words of Venexián here and there, and try for an English approximation of that language’s strange double pronoun system— “They can’t they get in, and I-myself won’t go out.”
Likewise the Rhodians all have names that are Rhodian, as opposed to Greek, and they occasionally utter words peculiar to the island’s dialect.
Despite my obsessiveness in these and other matters, I think I managed to craft an entertaining story, with a protagonist fond of children, empire, poison rings, treachery, and Unione Venezia, the Greatest Football Team in the World.
“Go arancioneroverde! Gooooooal!”
Have fun. I did.
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