East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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God Stalk and the Fantasy Interregnum

A woman with retractable claws like a cat, fleeing from a territory where an obscure power changes everything that lives, and where everything that dies rises again, hostile and unstoppable. A vast city, in which men and gods live side by side, and once a year the dead gods roam the streets in search of revenge on humanity that has abandoned them. A shadow that stretches slow and inexorable over the world, no longer opposed by those who were charged with preserving the order.

God Stalk, by P.C. Hodgell has been called one of the best fantasy of the last thirty years. Surely it was the best fantasy I happened to read in 2015 – quite the latecomer, considering God Stalk was released in 1982 for Berkley Fantasy.


It was God Stalk that got me thinking about what I call The Interregnum, that has been a side interest of mine these last three years.
Let me explain. Continue reading


Vergil and Med Fantasy

51M68AP5CQL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_The last time we met Avram Davidson we were visiting Scythia-Pannonia-Transbalkania in the company of Doctor Eszterhazy. True, we met him briefly, too briefly, when we crossed paths with Marco Polo, and that was it.
Avram Davidson was an excellent writer, one whose style was his and his alone. He is responsible for some of the most memorable short stories in the history of the genre – like the one in which he describes the life-cycle of bicycles, from larval paperclips to wire coat-hangers, to full bicycles.
It feels deeply unjust that Davidson and his works have somehow fallen off the public’s radar. Granted, Gollancz reprinted some of his best works as cheap ebooks, and Robert Silverberg and Grania Davis curated a collection of his short stories a few years back that should still be available, but it looks like there’s a few of us that remember. Continue reading