Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.
The Profanity: “Jabber”/ “By Jabber”/ “Jabber &^%!”
I’m going to be honest, I really like “Jabber.” The word comes from the Bas-Lagian pietist Saint Jabber who is apparently some sort of deity within the world. That makes this term a straightforward oath and easily accessible to most English speaking populations (where blasphemous oaths like this are commonplace). Plus there’s something that rolls off the tongue with “Jabber.” It’s easy to say, doesn’t need to be shortened, and feels natural when read. Likewise, it can be coupled with other vulgarities, therefore expanding its use. One slight mark against it, however, is the lack of any worshipers. Most of the characters in Miéville’s book aren’t the church-going type, but even among the background we don’t see much in the way of a Church of St. Jabber. There’s an area of slums in the city-state of New Crobuzon named St. Jabber’s Mound but otherwise, it’s fairly quiet. So while “Jabber” is grounded within in-world history—any real offense is lost on the reader.
🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews
Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.
Recently, I was asked by fellow author H.M. Jones if I’d write a guest post for her blog. She and I both enjoy writing darker fantasy, and I wanted to stay centered around that theme. The result was Lessons from the Shadows. Here’s how the post starts:
“It wasn’t until college that I discovered H.P. Lovecraft, but I had been reading authors influenced by his work for years, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. The dark, weird, and mysterious always enchanted me. I was drawn to the shadows; something there tapped into my core emotions and excited me. Lovecraft and I are very different. He speaks of the “fear of the unknown,” which inspired him; for me, it was not fear but a fascination. I’m not scared of “things beyond.” When I started writing, I found myself attracted to those concepts…”
Be sure to read the rest of the post over at H.M. Jones’ blog. I talk anticipation, character, worldbuilding, and more. It was satisfying to take a moment to ponder on what I had learned since starting this process. I hope you enjoy the post (and find it useful.) We also did a little interview which is at the end of the article, if you want to know more about my literary heroes and inspirations don’t miss it.
Also, make sure to check out H.M.’s work including her latest novel: Monochrome. (Which is currently sitting on my Kindle.) While you’re at it be sure to look into her other work as well: short stories, poetry, and graphic novels.
The date has been set, the stars have aligned, and it is time. The cover reveal for Red Litten World, book three of The Bell Forging Cycle, is coming June 4th, 2015. One again the incredibly talented Jon Contino is back with some beautiful hand lettering. After seeing his incredible work for the covers of The Stars Were Right and Old Broken Road, you’ve probably detected a theme beginning to form for the series. I’d wager you can sorta guess what this cover will look like… or can you. [Cue dramatic music.]
“…legend said that it had come from a mysterious inner realm beneath the red-litten world—a black realm of peculiar-sensed beings which had no light at all, but which had great civilisations and mighty gods…”
—H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop, The Mound
As with all big announcements and cover reveals, folks who subscribe to my newsletter will be the first people who get a glimpse at the new cover. Why not join those brave and noble few and… sign up today →.
If you’re a BookBub subscriber you have already hear this news. However, if you’re not I am very happy to announce that The Stars Were Right, Book One of The Bell Forging Cycle is on Sale again for only 99¢—yay!
Join Waldo Bell as he fights to clear his name while fleeing a mysterious evil through the multi-leveled megalopolis of Lovat. Grab your copy for any of these platforms:
Sale ends February 14, then The Stars Were Right will return to it’s regular price of $2.99—which is still cheaper than that cup of coffee you bought at Starbucks.
Now through the end of January you can pick up a eBook version of my first Lovecraft-influenced urban fantasy, The Stars Were Right, for only 99¢. Join Waldo Bell as he fights to clear his name while fleeing a mysterious evil through the city of Lovat. Purchase your copy for any of these platforms:
Here’s the official date: the cover reveal for Old Broken Road is coming April 29th, 2014. Mark your calendars! Synchronize your watches! Shout it in the streets!
As with the cover of The Stars Were Right, I have been working on this for a while. I think it’s perfect. As before we’ll see the return of alphastructaesthetitologist Jon Contino’s skills, yet again he nailed the lettering. (Check his work out, you won’t be disappointed.) I’m really excited for this one.
If you’re a subscriber to The Telegraph (my elusive newsletter) then you’ll get to check out the cover early! So why not subscribe today? Click here to subscribe. I don’t spam people because spam sucks.
See you on the 29th!