East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Form of Desire: Zenobia

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zenobiaGood old Zenobia.
My personal ancient-history crush.

Julia Aurelia Zenobia was the queen that, proclaiming herself Imperatrix Romanorum, defied the power of Rome and led the ill-fated Palmyrene Rebellion. They went down fighting, and a good fight it was. And we have been taught by captain Mal Reynolds that being on the losing side does not always mean being on the wrong side too.

I like the old girl. Always liked her.
I like that particular period of the Roman history known as the Third Century Crisis, and I like Zenobia, a woman defying an empire. The stuff of great stories. The stuff of legend.

According to Wikipedia…

Zenobia has become a popular name for exotic or regal female characters in many other works

… and they go on listing Hawthorne, Wodehouse, Golding, Heinlein and Robert E. Howard.

Zenobia is also the name of one of the Invisible Cities dreamed by Italo Calvino, Italy’s greatest fantasist of the 20th century – and one of the most marvelous imaginative minds ever.

“It is pointless trying to decide whether Zenobia is to be classified among happy cities or among the unhappy. It makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give their form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it.”

And now Zenobia is going to be a book line. *My** book line, if you will. A series of titles that I will choose and translate for my Italian publisher, Acheron Books.
Genre fiction – fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything in between.
It’s a project that was in the air since a while back, and now it’s live.

Jews Vs ZombiesThe first title in the new line, Zenobia’s first crown jewel, will be Jews vs Zombies, a wonderful (well, maybe that’s not the exact adjective) collection of stories both fun, exciting and literary, edited by Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene.
A great little book.

After that… ah, finding out will be part of the fun.

So here we go.
Another day, another dance.
I really really hope Zenobia will be a good dancing partner in this new gig of mine.
But she’s a woman of character – no matter how it will go, it will be interesting.

See you on the dance floor.
Spread the news!

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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