Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Sinbad the Sailor

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cover_lgPhil Masters is a well known author in the field of gaming, and in particular his GURPS Arabian Nights is in my opinion not only one of the best GURPS supplements, but also a fundamental addition to any Arabian Nights/Oriental Fantasy shelf.
I check it out occasionally, and it’s been very helpful in and out of my gaming life, and was one of the books that started me on my ill-advised idea of collecting different versions of the Arabian Nights.
And this morning the postman delivered a copy of Master’s other Arabian nights book – Sinbad the Sailor, part of the wonderful Osprey Adventures line.

9781472806130_5The deceptively thin book (80 pages, in the standard Osprey format) packs in a concise and clear way all you ever wanted to know about Sinbad, and it makes for a great read (yes, I went through half of it during lunch).
After a quick introduction about the Arabian Nights and Sinbad’s role in the collection – and outside of it – we get a chapter covering the seven voyages of Sinbad as related in the Arabian Nights. A series of boxouts provide background on the historical elements of the tales.
Then we get a chapter on the world of the Arabian Nights, detailing history, culture and technology. World traveler Ibn Battuta gets covered, details and curiosities are provided.
And finally we take a quick look at the legacy of Sinbad in later incarnations – including movies and TV.

sinbad_the_sailor__the_third_voyage__by_ru_mor-d85e7no

An excellent resource1 and a fun read, the volume is also fully illustrated, both with original art by RU-MOR and with reprints of classic illustrations from various editions of the Arabian Nights.
Absolutely beautiful.


  1. the last Asteria story will feature Sinbad (spelled Sindbad for variety’s sake), and this book is going to be heavily plundered. I left it behind to wait for this books’ delivery, that was only delayed three weeks. Thank you, Poste Italiane. 

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.

2 thoughts on “Sinbad the Sailor

  1. Thanks to Ray Harryhausen, Sindbad is One of the few heroes generated by ancient myths to have had a good cycle of movies dedicated to him. I dream of a fourth movie about him, with a high budget. After all’, Hollywood is sacking every fictional character from ancient cultures, so dreaming is free.

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    • The latest outings by Sinbad were nothing to write home about, alas.
      It would require, as usual, a screenwriter and a director that really “get” the character and the setting, and not just somebody looking for the next SFX blockbuster.

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