You can now get Semiosis in French. It’s just been published by
Albin Michel Imaginaire.
I love love love the cover art.
The book has been getting good reviews, as far as I can tell (I don’t really speak French): “J’ai été intriguée, puis enchantée par le mystère de Pax !” “…si un ami, un parent, un jour vous demande de quoi parle la science-fiction, vous pourrez toujours lui tendre Semiosis et lui dire : ça parle notamment de ça.” “Semiosis a été un bouleversement. Une petite pépite de science-fiction qu’il serait dommage de laisser de côté.”
The translator contacted me with a few questions as she was working on it. As a translator myself, I was happy to answer. There was a lot of world-building, and I had to keep copious notes to keep all the details straight. Her questions:
1) Lizards: They’re mentioned several times, and I understand there are different species and sizes. But are winged lizards, moth-winged lizards, bug-lizards and moths the same?
The winged lizards, moth-winged lizards, and bug-lizards are all varieties of lizards. The moths are more or less insects.
2) Bluebird reefs: Are they reefs “made” by bluebirds? Are they mineral or maybe animal? Is there any link between the bluebird reefs and the land corals?
Yes, the bluebirds make the reefs, which are very large communal nests. They’re made out of mud, sticks, grass, etc. They are unrelated to the land corals — although that’s a very logical question.
3) Boxer birds: Is the name due to aggressive behaviour?
Yes. The boxer birds will fight with other species. [This question probably owed to the multiple meanings of “boxer” in English. Does a boxer make or pack boxes, or does a boxer fight? It could be either, and the French word would be different for different kinds of boxers.]
4) Moderators: Are all Tatiana’s predecessors women? (I counted Paula, Vera, Sylvia, Rose’s mother, Rose herself, and 3 others are mentioned but not named.)
Yes, they are all women. [French is a gendered language, so again, the word for “moderator” might depend on their gender.]
5) Page 18, about a moon called Chandra, I feel like one or more words are missing from the following sentence: “That orbits almost the same Pax’s rotation.”
Yes, it should say, “That orbit’s almost the same as…” [She was apparently not working from the final copy-edited version.]
6) Page 32, could you explain what you mean with “I had brought a mind and a heart to Pax”?
That means he [Octavo] had brought both an intellect and sentiments: emotions and moral judgment.