J.C. Gemmell
<i>J.C. Gemmell</i>  <i>Independent</i>  <i>Author</I>
  • © 2021 J.C. Gemmell 0

J.C. Gemmell Independent Author

Tion FAQs

Why have you used so many foreign words (italics) in Tionsphere?

Michael R. (UK)

I always intended Tion to be a diverse world, despite its segregated levels. Overpopulation one of Tionsphere’s central themes, yet as I was writing my first draft in 2013, I realised English has so very few words for 'person' and 'people'. In fact, I think that's about it. So I started to make up alternate terms but realised there was no systematic, grammatically correct tie between them.

This made me think about other languages. I recalled a documentary from 2005 (The boy with the incredible brain) where an autistic savant, Daniel Tammet, claimed to have learned Icelandic in a week. Icelandic has been consistently ranked as one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn due to the archaic vocabulary and complex grammar. Imagine my delight when I discovered, Icelandic has at least seven words for 'person'.

Armed with this knowledge, I started to think about introducing these strange new words to avoid repeating their English equivalent. This is, after all, a story about a massive population of human beings. I have introduced the foreign terms carefully, implying their meaning, without the reader feeling the need to consult Google. As the story progressed and more dystopian terms were required, I wanted to respect my characters' diversity and reflect our global community's languages. My personal favourite is raja'a, which comes from the Arabic rajea. This one word grew into a key theme throughout Tionsphere and The Uprisers (January 2021) and causes considerable unrest in Demiurge (2022).
Which should I read first, Tionsphere or The Visionary?

Kate N. (UK)

I wrote Tionsphere and The Uprisers simultaneously, originally intending to publish a single book interspersing two different timeframes. While the book flowed, it came in at 250,000 words before it was ready to be edited. This led to a laborious unpicking of the interwoven stories but created two separate novels. By Christmas 2020, the third book in the Tion series, Demiurge, was in its second draft awaiting editorial review, and I had finished the outline for a fourth instalment, which has a working title of Taking Zero.

The first chapter of Taking Zero was not as engaging as I had hoped and will not make it to the final book. I needed a different challenge, so I decided to attempt a short novel that explored the Forming of Tion, and one of the central characters from Demiurge, Xin-yi.

The Visionary is a stand-alone work and does not assume any knowledge of the world in which Tionsphere is set. It does not matter if it is your first experience of Tion or if it is read after one of the two books in the main series.

Please let me have your feedback, or maybe leave a review on Amazon or another online store.
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