Medieval scholar Michael Livingston has graced us all with rare treat indeed—he has taken excerpts from various genre novels (by the likes of John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Robert Jordan) and “Chaucer’d” them, translating them into Middle English and recording them for your listening pleasure!
So if history and excellent fiction is your thing, this is definitely something you want to check out.
Here is what he had to say about his latest addition to this set, an excerpt of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War:
In a fit of rage against working on my syllabi for the coming term, I took a snippet from John Scalzi’s novel Old Man’s War (chapter 9 for those playing at home) and, well, Chaucer’d it. That is, I took Scalzi’s text and translated it into Chaucer’s dialect. Details follow the audio.
Many thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal for the accompanying cover art, fashioned using the Historical Tale Construction Kit, which itself makes use of the famed Bayeux Tapestry.
We’re big fans of the cover art, which you can see above, and you can find this recording of chapter nine on Livingston’s website, along with excerpts from several other excellent novels.
And for those who would like to see more of Michael Livingston’s work, he has a historical fantasy series coming out from Tor Books! Keep an eye out for Shards of Heaven:
As Rome and Egypt march toward war, two of Caesar’s sons — one by blood, one by conquest — race to find the Ark of the Covenant. Each of these young men hopes to harness its fabled powers for his own aims, weaving a three-year adventure across the ancient Mediterranean: from the priceless scrolls of the Great Library at Alexandria to the blood-burdened waters at Actium. SHARDS OF HEAVEN is the first book in a trilogy of epic historical fantasies that follow this hidden struggle for nearly 30 years — to Jerusalem and Jericho, to the fabled lost city of Petra and the Spanish Frontier — as the most powerful artifacts of ancient myth and legend are ultimately brought together to open gates to Hell and Heaven in a final cataclysm that will shape the fate of the world.