East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Achmed Abdullah

PHOTOSPIN TRAVEL OBJECT AND BACKGROUNDS © 1997 PHOTOSPIN www.photospin.comFemale fans of Tom Jones used to throw their hotel room keys (and sometimes their bras) at him, during concerts.

My fans sometimes throw books at me – and thank goodness for ebooks, because some of the things they throw at me – often selected from my Amazon wish list – would be hefty, and potentially dangerous, paper volumes.

The Achmed Abdullah Megapack, for instance, which landed on my Kindle last night, courtesy of a kind reader of mine (thanks!!), is a 20-stories collection of vintage pulp goodness that would run to 420 pages in the material world.
Enough to knock me senseless.

23863284217880916Achmed Abdullah was not his real name – his name was Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff, and was connected bybirth with the Czar of Russia.
After his mother – an Afghan princess – tried to poison his father – a Russian, cousin to the Czar, and with a penchant for adultery – the resulting divorce caused Alex to move to England.

He studied in Eton and Oxford, joined the army and served for seventeen years in Asia and Africa.
Captured and interned as spy by the Germans during the Great War, he then moved to the US of A, where he started a carreer as a pulp writer and movie scriptwriter.
{9056AABD-BE75-4C50-B352-3F45B20465FB}Img400He wrote the script for Douglas Fairbanks Jr‘s 1924 The Thief of Baghdad.
And he wrote a lot for the pulps – fantasy, horror, adventure, mysteries – mostly with Oriental or African settings.
He wrote for Adventure, for Oriental Stories, for Weird Tales.

The megapack is – like most Wildside Press Megapacks – nothing fancy: just a lot of great fiction, with a good introduction by Darrell Schweitzer.
This is the “I want as much good fiction as possible with me with the least fuss” approach, and I like it.
The stories listed cover the whole spectrum of genres and subgenres Achmed Abdullah wrote, and promise long hours of delight.

It’s not the key to some lady’s hotel room, but it’s great!
Thanks again!

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Hail to the Queen

4902075237.02.LZZZZZZZA quick one, to raise three cheers to the novel Queen of K’n-Yan, by Japan’s foremost supernatural horror author and H.P. Lovecraft scholar, Ken Asamatsu.
The novel – published in the Kathleen Taji English translation by the fine guys at Kurodahan Press –  is finally available in ebook format, and it is highly recommended – a heady mix of science fiction, ancient mysteries and Lovecraftian Mythos, set in a finely detailed Japanese setting.
One of the best Lovecraftian horrors out there, subtly disquieting and deeply suggestive.
An ancient mummy, biogenetic experimentation, old military experiments, horror, madness and a dark shadow extending over humanity’s future.
Fast, furious, and scary in a very unusual way.
Great introduction by Darrell Schweitzer.
Stunning cover.
Highly recommended indeed.