East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

I’m stupid, but it’s all right

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Yesterday I decided I am stupid, and it’s all right like that.
You see, I was handed a book for review purposes; the thing’s printed by a major Italian publisher and touted as the Second Coming of adventure writing. So yes, I was curious.
Pity the research backing the action was probably limited to re-watching a pair of old movies to get the fake accents right – there’s mountains smack in the middle of the greatest floodplain on Earth, there’s a lot of made-up archeology and anthropology that do not even try to look plausible, there’s a main character so derivative even his name is second-hand. The book apparently is selling in cartloads.

All of this, and I’ve been spending the last week looking for the floorplans of the Cairo Museum in the ’50s, to get the opening scene of my new Corsair story just right.

Cairo and district, Egypt. The Egyptian Museum. Interior of m...

So yes, I felt stupid, but I decided it’s all right like that.

Also because, as soon as I threw the offending book in a box and decided to forget about it, I stumbled on this (praised be Pinterest and those who Pin on it).


It’s from an old Baedeker Guide, from 1929 – a little early, but integrating it with photographs like the one above (from 1934) and old articles, I’ll be abvle to reconstruct the scene.  And it’s all right.
So yes, the new Corsair story is under way. It’s tentatively called Hunting the Pharaoh, and it opens with a whizz-bang scene set in the Cairo Museum.
I just first-drafted that scene, actually. And so I’ve got the first 2000 words of the story in the can, and I’m quite happy.
Even if I’m stupid.

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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