East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Hail to the Queen

4902075237.02.LZZZZZZZA quick one, to raise three cheers to the novel Queen of K’n-Yan, by Japan’s foremost supernatural horror author and H.P. Lovecraft scholar, Ken Asamatsu.
The novel – published in the Kathleen Taji English translation by the fine guys at Kurodahan Press –  is finally available in ebook format, and it is highly recommended – a heady mix of science fiction, ancient mysteries and Lovecraftian Mythos, set in a finely detailed Japanese setting.
One of the best Lovecraftian horrors out there, subtly disquieting and deeply suggestive.
An ancient mummy, biogenetic experimentation, old military experiments, horror, madness and a dark shadow extending over humanity’s future.
Fast, furious, and scary in a very unusual way.
Great introduction by Darrell Schweitzer.
Stunning cover.
Highly recommended indeed.


How I became a hack, part three

Yes, just like that...

Yes, just like that… sort of.

One day I’ll write a book called Mistress of Yamatai.
It will be a Burroughs-esque actioneer.
The story – a freak accident involving some ancient Japanese relics causes out hero (an anonymous orientalist) to slip back in time (and possibly sideways, too) to the ancient land of Wo, where he’ll have to face unspeakable lovecraftian horrors and shamanic magic, fight blood-thirsty barbarians and woo fiery-spirited, ample-breasted Himiko, the Mistress of Yamatai.
A classy thing, in other words.

I’ve got the story outlined, the characters sketched – the zip file including the lot resurfaced a few days back, after a slump caused a pile of old CDs to spill fan-like on my desk.

One day or another, I’ll write the book.
I made a promise.
In the meantime, here’s the story about Himiko, the Mistress of Yamatai, and about her Curse. Continue reading