East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Lord of Joinville

I’m terribly late.
I’m working around the clock to deliver the third chapter of AMARNA in time while keeping all the other pieces in motion.
4d17Dlyl_400x400And as it usually happens, another thing hits me from an unexpected direction: a good open call, with an easy submission window and for a well-respected publisher. There’s not much money in it, but it would look fine in my portfolio.
And it’s a call for stories about crusaders.
It would mean following in the steps of Harold Lamb and Robert E. Howard.
Am I sold?
Of course I’m sold.

So I started doing some preliminary research, and in so doing I stumbled on a book and a character that really really work for me on all levels.
Let me introduce you Jean de Joinville… Continue reading


The Pirates are Coming (very slowly)

Today is the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so, first and foremost, arrrh!

strangertidesbookThis said, I was reflecting yesterday that I still haven’t written a story about pirates. Which is a damn shame.
On the other hand, then I think about William Hope Hodgson’s stories of ghostly pirates, or Tim Power’s wonderful On Stranger Tides1, or George MacDonald Fraser’s masterfully silly but historically sound The Pyrates, or Michael Scott Rohan’s Spiral of Worlds stories, and I realise I’d be facing some pretty harsh competition.
And I did not mention the sacred name of Rafael Sabatini.

By the way, is there any good recent pirate-based fantasy story you would suggest?
I need to update my reading list.

But I was saying… Continue reading

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Looking for a lost world

An unexpected post, with some musings and some ideas – basically me talking to myself by way of the blog.

Fact is, I’ve more or less successfully pitched “a story with dinosaurs” to a publisher, and I’m working on an outline for a short novel (say, about 45K words) more or less in the Lost World genre.
Quoth Wikipedia…

The lost world is a subgenre of the fantasy or science fiction genres that involves the discovery of a new world out of time, place, or both. It began as a subgenre of the late-Victorian adventure romance and remains popular into the 21st century.

… and I am a fan of the subgenre – H. Rider-Haggard, E.R. Burroughs, all the way down to Xenozoic Tales and Indiana Jones.
And yes, why not, babes and dinosaurs1.


Continue reading