Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Not a country for writers

Last night my fried Hell (yes, they really call him like tat) got royally pissed off at Lavie Tidhar, the multi-award winning author of Central Station and many other great books.
Hell is an excellent writer and an equally excellent editor – indeed, he served as co-editor on a few of my projects. He’s got a fun series of SF novels set in the fictional desert town of Perfection, in a future world in which everything’s slowly unwinding, and humans co-exist with sexy robots and mutant desert foxes. He’s self-publishing his work in Italian.
Hell’s work’s been often compared to Tidhar’s in terms of complexity, irony and energy, and the two authors were born one month apart from each other.
Only, you all know who Lavie Tidhar is, and none of you ever heard about Germano Hell Greco. How come?

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What makes us human (hint: it has to do with books)

On my Italian blog I have just posted a rather lugubrious post about the fact that, considering I was walking in Asti’s market square one week ago, and that Asti was a city in which a number of COVID-19 cases have been reported, I am currently counting the days, and feeling a shiver every time I cough or I sneeze.
Did I catch it?
Am I infected?
Will I die?

The virus has a 14-days incubation period, so I am currently halfway through, and counting.

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At work on Central Station

25986774With all the stuff that’s been piling up on my desk recently, I failed to post a note about the fact that I am having a lot of fun and a great time all around translating Lavie Tidhar’s Central Station for Acheron Books.
The novel’s so good and the author’s prose is so fluid that it is very easy to go through pages and pages of it almost without noticing.
Which of course means that I have to do a second pass to check all the small bits-and-pieces of the text.

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The Form of Desire: Zenobia

zenobiaGood old Zenobia.
My personal ancient-history crush.

Julia Aurelia Zenobia was the queen that, proclaiming herself Imperatrix Romanorum, defied the power of Rome and led the ill-fated Palmyrene Rebellion. They went down fighting, and a good fight it was. And we have been taught by captain Mal Reynolds that being on the losing side does not always mean being on the wrong side too.

I like the old girl. Always liked her.
I like that particular period of the Roman history known as the Third Century Crisis, and I like Zenobia, a woman defying an empire. The stuff of great stories. The stuff of legend.

According to Wikipedia…

Zenobia has become a popular name for exotic or regal female characters in many other works

… and they go on listing Hawthorne, Wodehouse, Golding, Heinlein and Robert E. Howard.

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