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Raunch Review: The Expanse

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 Author: Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck, & Nick Farmer

Work in Question: The Expanse (TV Series)

The Profanity: “Pashangwala”


I can’t think of a better conlang in recent memory than the Belter Creole or “Lang Belta” in its own words. It’s the fictional language spoken by the Belters of The Expanse series, the frontier folk who dwell in the asteroid belt or among the outer planets. Created by Nick Farmer specifically for the series, this pidgin language is a mish-mash of words and gestures haphazardly assembled by a society coming from disparate backgrounds, who spend a great deal of time living and working in the vacuum of space. It’s a brilliant fictional language with a ton of detail paid to everything from the language’s drift to the shift of emphasis depending on use.

As you’d expect, we see that same attention to detail in its vulgarities. For a series on swearing, I do tend to avoid dropping f-bombs, so I’ll let you Google and discover the true meaning of “pashangwala.” It’s as salacious as you’d expect. Vulgarity aside, this is solid faux-swearing.

Typically, I don’t rank one-to-one replacer words or phrases as high as others. So it might surprise you to see me score “pashangwala” so high. Why? Well, it makes sense. Lower scoring one-to-ones often are found in the language of fictional societies, which have developed on their own and away from English. But, in the near-future world of The Expanse, Lang Belta is primarily rooted in English. The culture that came before the Belter’s is our culture. So to see words, phrases, and vulgarities like ours meld into a fictional future lingua franca would be expected. It’d be more shocking if words and phrases like this were absent altogether and would speak of a much different society than we’re shown with the Belter culture—a solid five.

Xídawang da wowt da ultim. (I think I did that right.)

Final Score: 5.0


🤬 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.


New Book = New Map

Good day, citizen! As we all know, the Lovatine archipelago extends far beyond our great city and its rugged coastline, and the waters beyond can be treacherous. With the aid of volunteer submissions and the City of Lovat and the Camalote Group’s funding, the Waite Corp. is pleased to distribute a new nautical advisory chart detailing the Inner Passages of our coastal waterways. Be advised the data on this chart is advisory only. Extreme caution is urged—soundings in fathoms.


I promised all you Gleam Upon the Waves readers I’d have a new map available for your perusal. With the release of this handy chart, I’m also pleased to finally open up a new reader resource dedicated to the Cartography of the Known Territories with two maps are available today and more planned for the future.

One of my goals with these maps have been to do something different each time. The first map which I released around the launch of Old Broken Road, was modeled after those glossy roadside brochure-maps you’d find in truck stops, at service stations, or in those brochure racks located in the lobbies of cheap hotels. This latest creation follows along with Gleam’s seagoing roots, and was based on a heavily modified NOAA nautical chart complete with soundings, elevation contours, and the locations of various points of potential danger. While a map isn’t necessary to enjoy any of my books, you know I always embrace any opportunity to expand the world of the Bell Forging Cycle and I think cartography is a fantastic tool to do just that.

So what do you think of this latest chart? Let me know in the comments below.

Lovat is for Lovers

What is murder, monsters, and madness in the face of true love anyway? There’s a shiny new die cut sticker available in my shop. I think you’ll dig ’em.

4.8″ x 2.7″ Die Cut Holographic Sticker
Old Haunts — Vignettes and Visions from the City of Lovat

Old Haunts: Services Suspended

📍 West Lovat Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕦 Late Night

“West Lovat was a bedroom community. Many of the city’s workers lived there, taking the monorail into the city in the morning and drifting home at night.”

—Waldo Bell, Gleam Upon the Waves


Visit Previous Haunts:

Lucky Star

📍 Denny Lake Warren
🏙 Level Four
🕙 Midmorning

Rhapsody

📍 King Station Warren
🌆 Level Four
🕖 Early Evening

Serenade on Two

📍 Martello Warren
🌃 Level Two
🕚 Late Night


Local Service

📍 Martello Warren
🏙 Level Four
🕐 Mid-Day

Licensed Dir. Agents

📍 Unknown Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕚 Late Night

Happy Auseil

📍 Hickman-Franklin Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕝 Early Morning


Title Card for "Social Climber" a Lovatine Vignette of a man riding a public lift

Social Climber

📍 Frink Park Warren
🏙 Between Level Four & Five
🕜 Early Afternoon

Title Card for "Order Up" a Lovatine Vignette of a neon sign flashing behind the espresso machine in a coffee shop

Order Up

📍 Shantak Coffee
🚢 Deck Three
🕘 Mid-Morning

All of Me

📍 Wilcox Warren
🌇 Level Four
🕢 Morning


Red-Light Nite

📍 West Lovat Warren
🌃 Level Three
🕦 Late Night


Study Related Ephemera:


Explore Distant Margins:


Credits:

“Yellow Dog Blues” by Bessie Smith & Her Blue Boys
Other audio from Freesounds, special thanks to: el-bee, erh, joedeshon, johnsonbrandedediting, joseaguldelo, mickdow, nahlin83, ngruber, rabbydaw, and reznik-krkovicka


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Signed GLEAM UPON THE WAVES Paperbacks are now available

Well, that took forever. But today is not a day to dwell on the past, today is a day for celebration! Signed Gleam Upon the Waves paperbacks are now available in my store! For those of you who have been patiently waiting, your waiting is at its end! Get your signed copy today!

Signed copy of Gleam Upon the Waves with its swag set

I can only store so much backstock at my house, so supplies are limited, but I already have more on order. All US orders are shipped via USPS Media Mail. I’m happy to ship internationally, for that I use USPS Priority Mail International. Shipping a book/books internationally can be cost prohibitive, but I will ship to Canada. In the past, I did ship to the UK as well, but with the all the convoluted Brexit rules, I won’t be shipping there for the foreseeable future. If you live somewhere else, shoot me an email and we’ll figure it out.

If swag or signed books isn’t your thing, or you prefer cheaper shipping, or want to start reading ASAP, you can acquire Gleam Upon the Waves from any of the links below.

Paperbacks

Amazon • Barnes & Noble  IndieBound  My Store


eBooks

Kindle • Kobo • Nook • Apple Books • GooglePlay

The GLEAM UPON THE WAVES swag set is complete

Up until now the Gleam Upon the Waves swag set has been missing a key piece. Remember, a few weeks ago, when I mentioned I was working on a top secret bookmark? Well, I am please to say it has arrived in all its horrific wriggly glory. Avert thine eyes from the madness-inducing tentacled terror of The Bookmark of the Deep!

The Bookmark of the Deep in all it’s horrible glory
Continue reading → The GLEAM UPON THE WAVES swag set is complete