East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


And should the Winter never come? What then, uh?

I am not a fan of Game of Thrones, and I did not like the books by Martin when I read them. So sue me.
I still appreciate Martin as a writer (mostly because of Fevre Dream) and I like what he’s trying to do with his books, even if I don’t care for the way he’s doing it. The Wars of the Roses? Really?

But I have watched with mixed emotions the evolution of the Game of Thrones fandom, their reactions at the way the show and the story were developed and all that. Always good watching how a pro does his thing, and how the punters react.

Yesterday I read somewhere that George R.R. Martin explicitly said that the whole “winter is coming” thing in his books was intended a metaphor of climate change. Now … yeah, I know, I told you already, I am an environmental scientist… this sort of intrigued me.

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A day off

And so yesterday I took the day off. It was, after all, my birthday, and so I spent the day reading a book, listening to some music, and watching a few episodes of a TV series (god bless streaming services and my high-speed satellite connection). I also had a nice serving of tiramisù (a simple dessert that apparently is very popular outside of Italy).

And because this is that kind of blog, here’s the recipe, taken from Wikibooks – and also a controversial, egg-less alternative, courtesy of the BBC. My goodness, to reach the tender age of 52 and find out that tiramisù can be “controversial”…!

As for my other birthday activities…

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Ghosts, Crimes and Philosophy: a review of Joyland

My friend Flavia says she re-reads Stephen King’s Joyland every year, usually in June, because she likes how it makes her feel. And I know a lot of people that did not like the book – and it’s because of both Flavia’s opinion and of those people’s opinion that I went and read it.
I said I’d write a review when I finished it.
Guess what… I finished it.

I’ll start by saying that Joyland plays a dangerous game, because it’s both a crime thriller and a ghost story, and if mixing genres is always dangerous, it is also true that ghost stories often deal with the revelation of some dark secret, the avenging of some old crime. So, it’s a classic mix, and it works fine. Many also point out that Joyland is a coming-of-age story, and this is throwing another genre (or is it a theme?) into the mixer.
As I said, a dangerous game, that King pulls so nicely it seems effortless.

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Beware what you wish for…

As the saying goes… because your wishes might come true.
And no more that six weeks ago I was saying to myself what a damn chore – not to mention the expense – would be trying and putting together a decent collection of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire. A decent collection, mind you, not a complete one.

And now I found out Rebellion Publishing will issue the first 340 pages volume of the Trigan Empire in 2020. Finding the stuff is no longer a problem – but expenses might become critical. The series, written by Mike Butterworth and drawn by Dan Lawrence, ran between 1965 and 1982, and this means a lot of pages.

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Stevie’s second Hard Case: Joyland

Having spent most of the day writing, I decided to take a break at 4 pm and dug out another Hard Case ebook from the big supply I have now on my reader. My friend Flavia posted about starting to re-read once again Stephen King’s Joyland, and I thought, why not?
I always liked the cover of this one, time to see if the story is up to it.

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Red as blood, white as bone

I did not feel like working this afternoon, so I did a bit of writing for a project I’d like to see take off in the next days (due date the last of May), and then I brew me a cup of tea and dug out one of the (virtual) stack of Tor.com novellas I have here. Short, high quality fantasy fiction – what’s better on a rainy Saturday afternoon?

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