East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Orca, the Killer Whale (1977)

It began they say, because Dino De Laurentiis wanted “a fish bigger than a shark”. It was 1976, Jaws had been a smash hit, and the Italian producer was eager to get a piece of the action. So they thought about an orca.
And they shot **Orca, the Killer Whale.”
It doesn’t matter that orcas are not whales.
Nor fish, either.

… and it’s Orchinus orca, not Orca orchinus – and it does not mean bringer of death in Latin.

Anyway, I re-watched this movie two nights back.
Only the following morning did I find out that director Michael Anderson had died. Strange coincidence. Continue reading


The killer whales of the Peruvian desert

I’ve talked about books about ancient mysteries and how I used to read them when I was a kid, and how I sometimes still use them as sources of inspiration for stories and games.
Easter Island, lost continents, ancient astronauts, spirits of ancient Egypt… and of course the Nazca Lines.

nascawhaleI went back to the Nazca Lines because the first chapter of Livyatan, my new book currently in the very early stages of development, opens in somewhere between around 500 BC, when we first catch a glimpse of the monster.
I remembered the obsession of the Andine Cultures for the killer whale, that they portrayed in a number of statuettes, and that was probably a deity/nature spirit for them. And I also remembered there is a killer whale among the famous Nazca geoglyphs.
So, I wanted to use this as a hook for my story. Continue reading