East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Birthday book haul

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And so the day of my 53rd birthday is coming to an end. I’ve celebrated with a quick jaunt to the last pizza place open in the area, and I’ve had dinner with my brother and a friend. The rest of the day, I spent reading – because it was my birthday, and I received a lot of books as gifts.

And I might as well share, so, here’s a list of all the wonders my friends gave me. In no particular order…

  • Justin Humprey’s The Dr Phibes Companion – a learned essay on the ins and outs of the fabled Vincent Price movies.
  • Mark Norman’s Telling the Bees and other customs – a compendium of folklore, traditions and superstitions connected with classic rural activities. Great as a source of ideas for future stories.
  • Jess Nevins’ The Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes – 2000+ pages of pulp characters from a variety of countries and cultures.
  • Charles Beaumont’s Perchance to Dream and other stories – a fine collections of short stories from one of the great masters of weird short fiction.
  • Vincent Curcio’s Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame – a bio of one of the most iconic actresses of film noir (and one of my earliest screen crushes).
  • Angus Wells’ Lords of the Sky: a novel – a fantasy interregnum novel from an author I always wished to get to know better.
  • Lindsay Faye’s The Paragon Hotel – a very promising mystery novel.
  • Alastair Reynolds’ Beyond the Aquila Rift – a collection of short fiction from one of the modern masters of space opera.
  • Various Authors, Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summer – an anthology of solarpunk science fiction, because it’s good to be optimists sometimes.
  • Various Authors, The Best of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly – just what it says on the tin, and a nice addition to my collection.
  • Neal Asher’s The Soldier – another author I think I should get to know better, another space opera universe to explore.
  • Bradley Beaulieu, Twelve Kings – an Oriental fantasy that I’ll probably save for the hottest days of summer.
  • Ann Lekie’s Ancillary Justice – a Hugo-awarded space opera that I missed when it first came out. Time to set that straight.
  • Peter Benchley’s Jaws – yes, the novel from which Spielberg made his movie. A perfect summer read.
  • Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon of the Ninth – I heard so much about this novel that I really am curious to see what it’s all about.
  • Linda Nagata’s Edges – another space opera, which is good because I as it happens every summer, I am on a space opera roll.

And this is almost it – because I also got a steam cooker as a gift for my birthday: I’ll eat particularly healthy food while I read these great books.

There’s a lot to be said about this getting older business …

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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