The story so far: I started writing In the Land of Babblers in 1992, and (so far as I can tell from file dates) finished it around 1996.  I sent it around a few places, but it’s basically been sitting on a succession of hard drives for, oh dear, almost 18 years.

There were a couple of near-bites.  A small press was interested for awhile, but never went anywhere with it.  My friend Jeffrey Henning was going to start a press and publish it, but ultimately went on to other things.  Then I got into publishing books myself, and when I paused to do some fiction, I wanted to get Against Peace and Freedom out first.

Also, the market spoke to me.  It said, very clearly, write non-fiction.  APAF still hasn’t sold 200 copies– which The Conlanger’s Lexipedia surpassed in its first two months.   I have an idea for another non-fiction book, but it’s going to take a couple of years to research, so it’s time to dust off Babblers and get it out there.  (And then finish A Diary of the Prose Wars.)

So, I’ve been reading and revising; I’m about halfway done.  I think the prose reads well enough; the main things that require changing are references to things I know more about since I wrote it, such as clothing styles and the Munkhâshi language.

It’s a weird book and I’m not sure how to describe it.  It has action in it, but Beretos’s major problem, once he’s at Berak’s keep, is finding something to do, as Berak thinks he’s useless.  I guess that’s partly my response to epic fantasy: most of our lives are not epic, and even important things (as, in this case, resisting Munkhâsh) often can’t be addressed with the quick violence that most stories rely on.  Plus, in your twenties and thirties, like Beretos, you may have an ideology or a religion which tells you that there’s a great struggle afoot and you want to take part in it, and yet actually accomplishing anything seems impossible, plus people who are supposed to be your allies turn out to be complete tools.

If that sound enticing, well, surprisingly soon, I’ll be asking for some readers.

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