The book is still tentatively titled China for Conlangers, mostly because “conworlders” is more unweildly. You don’t have to do conworlding at all to read it, of course. It’s a short but comprehensive intro to both China and Chinese:
- A history of China from ancient times
- Sections on medicine, architecture, cooking, technology, architecture, and clothing
- An overview of Chinese poetry, philosophy, and literature
- Grammatical sketches of Mandarin and Old Chinese
- How the writing system works
- A chapter on how to create fantasy or sf civilizations based on or influenced by China
For conlangers and conworlders, China is an amazing but forbidding resource. It’s a ticket out of the Standard Medieval Kingdom, and away from standard conlang tropes too. And for Westerners in general, to say nothing of Western gnolls, I think we ought to know more about what is, historically and perhaps in the future, the dominant civilization on our planet.
It’s required a lot of research, and it would be pleasant to spend another couple of years on that. However, that might not improve the book that much.
I think I’m at the point where I need readers. If you’re interested, write to me. The language section is not quite as baked as the rest of it, so I won’t send that out unless you really want to see it. If you know a lot about China already, do tell me; readers who can correct mistakes or suggest additional info are valuable. But so are readers who know very little about the subject, as they are the best judges of whether the book teaches them anything.
Edit: I have a bunch of readers now. Thanks to all who responded! I may need more readers for the second draft; watch this blog!
(I also have a book in progress on Quechua, but that won’t be ready till some time next year.)