East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


It’s fantasy, I can do as I please

We call'em hillocks hereabouts

We call’em hillocks hereabouts

Yesterday I had a brief but highly instructive discussion with the author of a book set in the mountains of Devonshire. Here, in a city of chalets crowded around a Medieval castle, the local sheriff and his deputy have to investigate a series of mysterious murders.

Now the thing that caused some perplexity is, of course, that the highest peak in Devon is about 600 meters high (not exactly a mountain, especially for us that live in the shade of the Alps), chalets are very scarce in the area, and law enforcement in Devon is handled by the Devon & Cornwall Police, not by a rather American-sounding Sheriff’s Office.

When these observations were vented, the reaction of the author was – “this is a fantasy novel, I can do what I please”.

I beg to differ. Continue reading


Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a biased review

Dragonfly-by-Raphael-OrdoñezI promised a review and here it is.
I spent the weekend immersed in one of the most intriguing, baffling and intelligent books I read in a long while.
The book is Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a novel I discovered thanks to the Black Gate blog.
The review published by Black Gate promised much – and the novel delivered in full, and possibly more1.
What was an impulse purchase, based on a great review and a great cover (by the author himself), turned out to be one of the best reads of this year.

The novel takes place on the Counter-Earth at the Cosmic Antipodes, whatever that may mean, and indeed much of the setting is shrouded in mystery.
Is this the past, the future, some place else or our own world? Are the strange individuals the hero meets aliens, members of different human branches of evolution, or something completely different? Continue reading