Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Like an old girlfriend

This is a complicated story. It starts at the turn of the last century, as a 20-years younger myself is trying to create a character for a series of stories. I had just read Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars, hot on the heels of Kim Newman’s Seven Stars, and I wanted to do something similar.
In case you missed it, Stoker’s story (that you can find here both in the 1903 and in the 1912 versions) has been filmed a number of times, and many fans fondly remember the very loose Hammer Films version, known as Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (because Hammer knew how to sell movies), and featuring the delectable Valerie Leon.

There’s two things I found interesting in Stoker’s novel… (beware, here be SPOILERS!)

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Seven Stars unabridged

aa117ebe2ef23034997a167da91a67ffMy first exposition to Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars was through the Hammer classic 1971 movie, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb.
Yes, the one featuring Valerie Leon.
I can’t remember where I first saw the movie – I was probably in the last year of middle school at the time, or on my first year of high school, and anything with the Hammer logo was a cherished treasure for me and my schoolmates.

Dark_detectivesI later read a cheap paperback translation, and found it somewhat boring.
I appreciated a lot more what Kim Newman did with the central themes of the novel, in his Seven Stars, which is contained in Stephen Jones excellent Dark Detectives, that I read at least a decade later.
Admittedly, I was never a Stoker fan, being more in the Conan Doyle and Rider Haggard field.

For the uninitiated,1 in what is considered to be the first modern “curse of the mummy” story, young Margaret Trelawny (daughter of a famous Egyptologist) is possibly the reincarnation of ancient (and fictitious) Queen Tera, whose astral body’s been preserved in as a mummified cat.
But it’s more complicated than that. Continue reading