East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Palace intrigue and zombies

I am not particularly fond of the zombie craze of these last few years. I watched the classics, I do enjoy the occasional recent movie, I even wrote a story set in a post-apocalyptic sorta-zombie story, a long time ago, as part of a shared universe a friend created, but I find it damn hard to do something new and cool and meaningful with zombies.
On the other hand, when I find someone that’s actually able to do something new and cool and meaningful, I like it a lot.

Case in point: Kingdom, a South Korean TV/Netflix TV series that pits its main characters against a horde of zombies in 15th century Korea.
And weirdly enough, it’s based on a true story.

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The Hooded Man

The website Den of Geek published a long, well-detailed articles about the legendary (and actually quite good) British TV show, Robin of Sherwood.

I loved the series, and I was thinking about doing a post myself – it’s been thirty years since the last episode aired – but the Linos Cathryn Thomas piece I linked above is just perfect.

robin of sherwood

I loved the youthful cast, the mix of history and folklore-based fantasy, and the production values – ironic, considering the series was apparently done on a very tight budget. It also featured some first class writing and an overall magnificent cast.

So, check out the post, track down the old episodes, and – like the Doobie Brothers said – listen to the music…

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Graham_Diamond_Samarkand_new_editionI was quite happy to discover that recently launched British publisher Venture Press is going to reissue, in ebook format, a fair chunk of Graham Diamond‘s catalog.

Born in Manchester in 1949, Diamond started in fantasy and science fiction, to move later to many other genres.
But I am really interested in his earlier works.
I mentioned his quite entertaining Captain Sinbad when I read it last year.
And now, thanks to the Venture reprints, I’m having lots of fun with another of the earlier works of Graham Diamond – Samarkand.
Could I resist a book with such a title?

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Historically accurate…

… except where I screwed up.

I write historical fantasy (among other things).
My Aculeo & Amunet stories are set in the Third Century AD, and the historical details are as accurate as possible.
I try and keep the world historically real.
Then maybe a be-tentacled creepy horror pops out of some dark corner.

figure 8

Now, thankfully, history has so many dark corners and fuzzy borders, that finding the right place to fit in our invention is usually quite easy, or at least lots of fun (thus compensating the trouble).
The trick is blending history and fantasy as seamlessly as possible. Continue reading