East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Christmas gifts, and then some…

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And here’s the traditional “what I got for Christmas” post that seems to be de rigeur on any blog worth its mettle.

I did receive mostly books, and mostly genre books.
My genre of books, if you will.
And without further ado, here’s a list of my latest acquisitions.

61H40U96veL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_ . The Blood & Thunder Guide to Pulp Fiction, by Ed Hulse.
This is a big fat book, a thorough guide to the history of the pulp genre through monographic articles on the magazines and genres, and authors. Beautifully illustrated with dozens of covers from the golden age of cheap entertainment.

. Michael Moorcock‘s The Whispering Swarm in hardcover was my own gift to myself. Moorcock’s “false autobiography” will be my read for the early weeks of 2016.

. A stack of Sherlock Holmes Apocrypha, including The Giant Rat of Sumatra, The Whitechapel Horror and The Scroll of the Dead… all of which will be dutifully reviewed in the next weeks and months.
A good Holmesian pastiche is always like taking a vacation.

6556846 . Hell! said the Duchess, a strange, racy, absolutely scandalous supernatural novel by Michael Arlen. Originally published in 1934 and recently reprinted by Valancourt Books, this was described by Karl Edward Wagner as the best supernatural horror novel ever written.

. Brian Daley‘s original three Han Solo Adventures – there’s been a lot of talk, recently, about Star Wars. The Daley novels were published in 1978/79, back when the franchise was just a movie and two Alan Dean Foster books and little else. These are fun, happy-go-lucky books that capture the freshness and the pulpy feel of the original movie.

. The first Vampire Hunter D novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi, published by Dark Horse.
I just recently “discovered” the franchise (mangamaniacs had scared me off it in the past) and I’m quite intrigued by this sideways interpretation of the vampire mythos, one that crosses the border between horror, fantasy and science fiction.51+TCBvgfUL._AC_UX500_SY400_

. Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald‘s The Price of Stars, first volume in Mageworld space opera series – because I love space opera, and I got some very good opinions on this one.

. … and an old novel I’ve been wanting to read forever, simply because it’s called Slaves of the Volcano God, by Craig Shaw Gardner, and it looks like the sort of humorous fantasy filled with movie references I might like.

call-to-adventure-cover-560x760 . And finally, the only other non-fiction title in the bunch – and probably the book I’ll read first in this fat list… Aloha Wanderwell‘s Call to Adventure, it being a collection of memories by a world traveler and adventuress of the early 20th century… one more for my collection of books by and about forgotten (by some), larger than life historical characters of the last century.

So, not bad as an emergency stash of books for the long winter nights to come, what?

Incidentally, the list is this long because it features a pair of titles I received today as gifts – it being Saint David and all that.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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