East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Letting someone else read Deathstalker for me

I have always appreciated the work of Simon R. Green – of the many, many books of his that I’ve read so far, there is only one that I found less than entertaining. I discovered him through his Hawk & Fisher books, that kept me company for a long, lonesome summer many years ago, and I took it from there. His Blue Moon novels, his Nightside stories, his Carnacki ghost stories…

I also like what transpires from his interviews and articles: his work ethic, his craft-oriented approach to writing. He’s an entertainer, an author of escapist fiction that does not need to make excuses for what he does admirably well. Probably nobody will have their lives radically turned around by reading Simon R. Green, but maybe we’re not looking for a life altering experience… we’re just looking for good, old-fashioned fun. And really, an author that cites among his major influences Leigh Bracket and Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard and Roger Zelazny, Norman Spinrad and Harlan Ellison… of course I want to read his books! It sounds like we went to the same school together!

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Voices in the Dark

The last time I listened to an audiobook I was driving along the highway to meet a friend, and I got so engrossed in the action that I missed my exit, and had to drive an extra fifty miles. I learned my lesson, and left audiobooks on the side for a while.

These days I no longer have a car, and I have a stack on audiobooks I never got around listening to.
I’ve got half a dozen Bryant & May mysteries by Christopher Fowler I got with a special offer a few years back, and I have a huge selection of Warhammer 40K novels I bought with a Humble Bundle two years ago.
And more.

These audiobooks, together with the huge troves of audio-dramas one can find online (via the Internet Archive), are an absolute blessing with this heat: I can turn off the lights, close my eyes and enjoy the ride as the evening gets cooler.
Because we need to adapt to the environment if we want to survive, and this place is too hot, humid and mosquito-ridden to do anything else.

Tonight I’ll start with Bryant & May – nothing better than a good mystery on a hot summer night.

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Karavansara Free (Audio) Library

Ultrafast post to direct you to OpenCulture’s huge list of 900 free audiobooks, featuring fiction and non fiction, and poetry too. Listen to Christopher Lee reading The Strange Case of Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde, or Orson Welles as The Shadow, and tons of others, from HPL to Arthur C. Clarke to the Epic of Gilgamesh.


Merry Christmas and season’s greetings!