Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Ursula K. Le Guin’s anniversary

There’s another anniversary going, and that’s the death of Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the great literary giants to grace the field of science fiction and fantasy.
I always preferred her non-fiction to her fiction, and I decided to remember her by spending the evening reading her collection of essays, Dreams must explain themselves, and before that, while I was making dinner, I found out and enjoyed very much Learning From Le Guin, a long, fascinating lecture by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Check the video out.
It is always great to be able to learn from the greatest.


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Robert E. Howard at 113

Two-Guns Bob is being celebrated by the knuckleheads in this 113th birthday of his – they talk of blood-dripping blades and big-boobed wenches, of colorful curses, sex and violence, and simple-mindedly describe him as a purveyor of simple-minded trash, because that’s what they are all about.
That’s the new narrative hereabouts, and they say you can’t fight them, because they are many, and now they own the field, their trash is the new truth, because they can repeat it long enough.
I say screw them.
So here’s a poem by Robert E. Howard, born on this day in 1906, a fine writer and an intelligent man, that sometimes wrote rubbish, but even then, with flair.
Because here in Karavansara we remember, and care.

Dreams of Nineveh

Silver bridge in a broken sky,
   Golden fruit on a withered bough,
Red-lipped slaves that the ancients buy—
   What are the dreams of Nineveh now?

Ghostly hoofs in the brooding night
   Beat the bowl of the velvet stars.
Shadows of spears when the moon is white
   Cross the sands with ebony bars.

But not the shadows that brood her fall
   May check the sweep of the desert fire,
Nor a dead man lift up a crumbling wall,
   Nor a spectre steady a falling spire.

Death fires rise in the desert sky
   Where the armies of Sargon reeled;
And though her people still sell and buy,
   Nineveh’s doom is set and sealed.

Silver mast with a silken sail,
   Sapphire seas ‘neath a purple prow,
Hawk-eyed tribes on the desert trail—
   What are the dreams of Nineveh now?

In case you’re interested, the poems of Robert E. Howard can be found here, courtesy of WikiSource.


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A shout out for Ghamak

And now for my next trick, I will do something completely different.

One thing I learned in my early days in the trenches as a self-publisher is, pushing my colleagues’ work costs me nothing, and it is good both for my readers – that discover something new and interesting – and for the colleagues, because this way they my reach a new audience.
And I cash in some good karma.

So, I will start pushing my friends’ work here, once in a while – new books, Patreon pages and what else. And right now I will start with something really different – Francesco A. Pizzo’s Patreon page for his Ghamak project.

Take a look at this…

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