In 2006 I wrote a novella, called Gli Anni del Tuono (The Years of Thunder) – Renaissance warfare in a world in which Frederic II had developed mecha or, if you like, mobile suits.
In the 16th century, chivalry means being a good mathematician and engineer, riding a fulminate-powered big robot in battle, surrounded by your peers.
But not all campaigns turn out for the best, and back at home, the serfs are restless.
The story – heavily influenced by a great “what if” article by Matthew Rossi – was published the following year in Alia Italia, a short story anthology published in Turin by Coop-Studi.
My piece – which received good reviews – was graced by a beautiful painting by my friend Dalmazio Frau, a fine artist and a well-respected illustrator.
Two years later, together with other Alia conspirators, we were offered the opportunity of having some of our works read by the editors of a Chinese SF magazine.
We picked what we thought was our best work, and I translated the stories in English.
I re-edited my Renaissance mecha story, and changed the title to Clad in Steel and Thunder, which I thought was rather fitting.
As it normally happens (I guess) when an author translates his own work, translation also meant editing.