News on the Savage City release date

November 26, 2009

Sophia McDougall sent a very long message to members of the Facebook group, revealing some fantastic news for Romanitas fans. Rather than being published in 2011, the third book in the series, Savage City, is now going to be published in the autumn of 2010!

Sophia also reveals that she will be reediting Romanitas and Rome Burning and making a few changes, but nothing that requires old readers to read the newly-edited books. She also says that she will be writing some Romanitas short stories and posting them on her website, when she gets a new website. So good news all around!

I reproduce her message here:

“I met my shiny, slightly telepathic new editor today. It’s the first time I’ve met someone who has read all three books and is not one of my parents. Indeed as far as I know it is the first time such a person has existed.

“So along with other pressing questions I needed clarified, (such as DID YOU LIKE it and ARE YOU SURE YOU LIKED IT and CAN YOU JUST SAY ONE MORE TIME THAT YOU LIKED IT BECAUSE I AM NOT SURE I HEARD YOU CORRECTLY) I asked her just when she was going to publish in 2011, because it was seemed an awfully long time off, but I had got myself used to the idea and hopefully it’d be EARLY 2011, yes? And I’d been thinking of things I could do online (pictures? Romanitas short stories?) to fill the time…

“Except before I’d got into all of that she said, “What? No, we don’t want to publish in 2011, we want to publish in autumn 2010.”

“You know, the same autumn 2010 it was going to be before. And there was much “…”ing by all.

“So I really don’t know how that happened, because I have had lengthy conversations about 2011 and Why It Must Be So with my agent and he seemed extremely sure at the time. I think he and my Orion editor Jon and my new Gollancz editor Jo were kicking a lot of different ideas around when they met and clearly wires must have got crossed.

“…Although now I am slightly terrified when I get to the internet cafe tomorrow there’s going to be a “Wait! No! 2012, in time for the Olympics!” email…

“But as far as *I* know this evening, all my 2011 angst and my Dark Hints of Something I Must Blog About At A Later Date were for naught. So. Hooray!

“And those Dark Hints I speak of were to do with this: I had also got the impression from that Gollancz wanted me to re-edit Romanitas and Rome Burning quite extensively. Indeed my agent thought when we were done, Romanitas and Rome Burning would be really quite different, worth buying all over again, and I should encourage my readers to do just do that.

“Now, my fairly predictable problems with this were twofold:

“1) How can I ask anyone who’s been following the story to go back to the beginning (and that’ll be £15.98, please)? I can’t. That would be massively unfair.

“2) Even if I could ask you to do that, I don’t have it in me to do that level of work on this series. Not after seven goddamn years. Poor old Romanitas and Rome Burning NEED a nice new copyedit and a proofread (see this grey streak in my hair? That’s the Great Copyediting Disaster of 2007), and there are a few little twiddles I wouldn’t mind doing while I was at it…but overhauling the series to the extent people would actually need a new copy just to carry on? Oy.

“So my plans were to reach some sort of consensus with Jo what I could and couldn’t do and then post something about it. And the consensus seems to be that… that was all a bit of a misunderstanding too, really. In fact, it ended up with Jo more on the “Eh, maybe we should just leave it as it is” side and me more like, “Well, come on, surely now we must do SOMETHING!”

“So, we are going to spruce them up, a little bit, probably, but it won’t affect the story or the characters and shouldn’t be particularly noticeable. You certainly CAN buy many new copies just because you might have lost your first one or it might have received a tragic stain from a teacup, or you might – I’m just thinking aloud here – want to give copies to all your friends. But you won’t NEED to.

“I think all you should need to know about the changes I have decided I AM going to be making is this:

“1) I am going to rename the aircraft because frankly “spiral wing” is a bit crap and I have known this for years. So now they are called “volucers”. If you could just… pretend the other name didn’t happen…? That would be very kind.

“2) Whenever I say they say to people “I’m worried I didn’t make it clear enough that Varius is black. Did you realise Varius is black?” they always say something like, “No, but I did think he had dark hair! So that’s something, right?” And dark hair is NOT really sufficient, so I want to try and fix it. But I try to make that clearer in Savage City anyway.

“3) Also some people seem to think Una is platinum blonde, which she certainly is not, but that is also my fault, because I used words like “pale” and “colourless” but I meant in the sense of sort of washed out, nothing-y mouse brown.

“4) Any particularly bad sentence you may remember, or in Romanitas or Rome Burning… is really brilliant now. You do not need the new copy to check this. You can just take my word that it’s fixed. Honest.

“5) I am still going to try to write some Romanitas short stories for a new website, as soon as I can get one sorted, and I’m still going to put up my ludicrously detailed pictures, because time till next autumn still needs filling.

“Wow, it’s a relief to get all that off my chest.

“(God, if they DO tell me it’s 2011 after all after this…)”

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3 Responses to “News on the Savage City release date”

  1. Roger said

    Hope you will reconsider “volucers” on grounds of its being impenterable. Spiral wing may be “a bit crap”, but is consistent with your other de-Hellenisations. My personal view is that there was no need to de-Hellenise, as most educated Romans had a better knowledge of Greek than most educated English today have of Latin.

  2. dolorosa12 said

    That’s an interesting point, Roger. I just wanted to point out (just in case it’s not entirely clear) that I’m not Sophia McDougall. She does sometimes read Longvision, however.

  3. Roger said

    It’s clear now, thanks. One can but drop pebbles into the pond …

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