Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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On Lovecraft’s birthday

1188_128486729706So, it’s H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday.
Back when I started reading HPL this was not the minefield it’s become in recent years.
So now I sit here and I wonder, how would a post in celebration of H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday be perceived?
How would it reflect on me?
Which is simply silly.
So, let’s get this thing going. Continue reading


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Holmes & HPL

sherlock-holmes-greg-joensI was listening to an old Harlan Ellison interview, last night, and he was saying that if you want to get a proper education, you have to read the Canon, that is, all the Arthur Conan Doyle stories about Sherlock Holmes.
Those will set you straight, Ellison said, because they are stories about the power of rationality, the power of observation. And they teach you that there are no mysteries if you pay attention.

And I think it’s a sound suggestion.
Hell, you can’t go wrong with “Read Sherlock Holmes!” Continue reading


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In Egypt with Sax Rohmer

saxrohmer1Let’s kill two birds with a stone: today’s the birthday of Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward, better known to the world at large by his pen name Sax Rohmer – the man who created the original Yellow Peril, Dr Fu Manchu.
A lower-class child that started a career as a civil servant before he turned to writing for a living and claimed to be part of the Order of the Golden Dawn, Rohmer would be 135 today.

His most famous creation, Dr Fu Manchu, first appeared in The Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu, as a serial, in 1912. Two other novels followed,and then the character went on hiatus for about fifteen years, only to return with The Daughter of Fu Manchu in 1928. Continue reading


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80 years with and without Lovecraft

Today is the 80th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death.
I think I read all of the Gentleman’s stories, multiple times, and I liked them quite a bit.
I discovered HPL in high school, when I was reading all the fantasy and SF and horror (but not much horror) I could lay my hands on. Then I re-read it while in university, back when all of a sudden HPL was starting to make the news, to be critically appreciated. And I still read some of his better stories now and then, for nostalgia’s sake.
Now, according to a sort of scientific study I did with my old friend Fabrizio, the Lovecraftian reader’s evolution goes through three phases: Continue reading