The differences between the “Middleworld” hardback and paperback
In terms of style, the narrative was considerably cut. The opening chapters were shortened, the bus ride and the bullfrog anecdote were edited out, and the text was tightened throughout.
Jon redrew all the full-page illustrations, including his favorite: a new, more-evil-than-ever Ah Pukuh.
We also took the opportunity to update the Maya scholarship. This led to one huge change and quite a few small ones. The biggest change is that Lord 6-Rabbit is now Lord 6-Dog. You may recall that 6-Rabbit was the king’s nickname based on his birthdate in the Maya calendar, Wak Lamat. We were advised by Dr Marc Zender, the Harvard lecturer who checks all our work, that the rabbit glyph reading is now felt to be Aztec; Lamat is now read as Star or Venus in a Maya context. We didn’t want him to be Lord 6-Star, so we changed his birthday to Wak Ok, 6-Dog. (We did consider not changing it at all as we loved 6-Rabbit but we’ve pledged to be as accurate as we can, so in the end we took the plunge.)
Also on Dr Zender’s advice, some of the Maya gods had a makeover. Bolon Tzakab has become K’awiil. They’re still the same person, it’s just that this particular god had different names in his long history and we’re dealing with the Classic period when 6-Dog was king. Ah Pukuh changed his title from god of war and violent death to god of violent and unnatural death. Chaak changed his spelling to Chahk and became a stormier rain god. There are many such minor spelling changes. Oh and Lola’s nickname for Max – Hoop – became Hup to better reflect the Yucatec pronunciation.
Stylistic name changes include Max’s new middle name of Sylvanus (after archaeologist Sylvanus Morley), a switch from Aguas Muertas to Puerto Muerto, partly to shorten the backstory and partly because we liked the sound of it. Candelario the shaman has replaced his Spanish-sounding name with Chan Kan to reflect his fierce cultural pride. In the same village, Nico and his little brother both became Och – or possum. (The Lacandan Maya call all their children possum to fool the spirits of the rainforest who like to steal human babies.) These changes came about as a result of meeting more modern Maya people in the Yucatan and also a trip we made into the Lacandon rainforest between Guatemala and Mexico.