Woke up to find my US publishers had me sent the copy edit of The Shattered Skies. This is the last major edit, one final chance to move whole paragraphs around, or even cut entire subplots. The thing I was really looking forward to, however, was the style sheet. I’d guess only trade published authors would be familiar with these bad boys. It’s a double checked list of every character and place name in the manuscript, every instance of jargon, every neologism, even every unusual profanity.
Reading through it is like seeing a year’s worth of world-building compressed into a few minutes. It reminds me how weird sci fi and fantasy narratives can be. I’ve extracted some of sheet below. It amuses me to think that it’s chock full o’ spoilers, but you can’t tell what they are or even what they mean.
It also has my favourite style sheet moment.
“Jadi Coto (horn).”
Age of Sail, after-action reports, Agronomy Services, AK-77, Andaman Cluster, Arakan, arclight cannon, Armada-level Autonomous Combat Intellect, Ariane, Armadalen Commonwealth, ass clowns, Astral Fortress, Astrolabe Bay, AU (astronomical units).
baksheesh, bangsat, barque, Batavia, BattleRaiders, battlespace, battlesuit, bibi khana, Big Ring, big-ass chunks, bio-rig, biomass, biotic age, bitchslapping (v), bodydeath, Bonox, borgs, box-head.
carbonmesh matting, carbon nanoweave armor, Cartel Security, Chaebol, Chase Corporation, Châteaux Francois, cleanskin, Ciandur, class A offenses, Code, the; Coders, combat rig, Combat Intellect, Combine credits, Combine space, Combinierré, Compliance Mech, Congress of Earth, Coral Sea, HRS, Coriolis Habitat, Court of Interplanetary Disputes, crash pod, Cunard line, Cupertino Binary, the Binary, Cupertino Corporation, Cupertino System.
D-Day, Dark, the; Dark-accursed enemy, datasphere, dead-enders, debt slaves, deck plating, deep lacuna, defaulter camps, Defiant, HMAS, Descheneaux Station, Deutsche Marine, DevGru system, domestic servitor bots, Domination of the Combine, douchebros, Drakensberg Hab, dropships.
E2C Kestrel, Early Corporate Period. Earth standard year, Eassar Habitat, engram extraction, Enterprise (Astral Fortress), Euroclassical Style, exotic matter casing.
Federation of Russian Oligarchies, field effect, first lifer, Five Fleets, flesh work, flexi-screens, floating point lock, follow-on forces, Force Protection troopers, Forces Coloniale of the Yulin-Irrawaddy, Fort Saba, Fortress Soedirman, freebooters, freeport.
G2 burner, g-field, Gagarin Lounge, Garuda, gelform cast, gene-splicing, gland Dtox, god-view position, goosh, Grand Families, gravimetric shock wave, gravpods, Great Ironstone Desert, Greater Volume, Greater Volume Maritime Code, Greco-Persian Wars, Ground Force Security unit, grow house, Gudang Garam, gummy soldiers, gunsotsu.
Hab rat, Habitat Security; HabSec, Hab Welfare, Habnet, heliopause, helium 3, Highland Park distillery, holo-field, holo-presence, holosphere, holovise (v), Home Fleet, homeworlds, honbu, Hongdae System, Hornets (Armadalen), House Siregar, Household Guard, hull traders, Human Republic, hyperspace baffles, hyperspace buffer.
Imperial Javan kommandos, Imperial Javan Navy, Imperial Naval Academy at Medang, Imperial Naval Code, Imperial Privilege, Imperial Russian Habitat of Putingrad, Intellect (the), Irrawaddy Belt.
Jadi Koto (horn), Javan Empire, Javan Honor Guard; Javan spider-cat, Javan War, Je Ne Regrette Rien (merchant raider), Jezail (heavy cruiser), Jindabyne, jujaweed, Jula (yacht), Javan rupiah, Joseon
This would have to be the most tedious or the most fascinating job for some trade publishing minion to put together, it's really impressive
Bitchslapping needed to be identified as a verb?
'Greco-Persian Wars'? Have you seen '300'? Yeah, that.
Had to google "neologism" so learned something new today. Surely the Imperial Russian Habitat of Putingrad is a shithole of the highest order!!
Ha, I see some pretty cool stuff in there! Such a stupid proof way of combing for errors.
Your soul must be crushed with the use of ass clown and not the proper arse clown....
Bonox? “Transcranial stim, intravenous mRNA, or Bonox?” …douchebros 😆
A bit like a data dictionary for software.