Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Radio Karavansara #5: Work in progress

Yesterday I shared a few photos from the documentation phase of my current work in progress – and I said I was also patching together a sort of soundtrack, as I usually do when writing my major projects.
And considering today’s been a good day, I was able to take two hours off around lunchtime (who needs to eat anyway) to put together a proper soundtrack as an episode of Radio Karavansara

As the book will be set in New York’s Greenwich Village in the early ’50s (unless the publisher asks me to move it to San Francisco in the 60s, of course, or whatever), this is mostly classic jazz, with a few modern things thrown in for variety.
But this reflects the mood of the story I have in mind, and also the personality of a few of the characters.
I hope you’ll like it.


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A bad girl, or so she said

I fall easily in love with the women of yesterday – especially those that I discover in my search for what I usually call pulp history.

220px-Emily_HahnFor instance – Shanghai, 1930s, a party in the Italian consulate, one of the guests is a beautiful woman chaperoning a gibbon wearing a diaper.
I put that in my novel, The Ministry of Thunder, and I was told I was silly.
But it’s a historical fact : the gibbon was called Mr Mills.
The beautiful lady was Emily Hahn.

Born in 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, Emily Hahn was the first woman in America to get a degree in Mining Engineering – basically because she had been told she would never get it, and it was an unsuitable job for a woman.
And indeed it was – in the sense that she was ostracized, and had to find another way to make a living. So she started writing.

Sort of. Continue reading


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Other People’s Pulp – Curse of the Spider Goddess

Lost and alone in the African jungle, archaeologist Jonathan Baker has a very bad encounter with a giant spider – he loses his right hand, and barely survives the ordeal.
Saved by the lost Sumai people, he learns the legend of the Spider Goddess, planning the extinction of humanity, and receives the strange blessing of the ancient god Siruuk.
Through a mysterious ritual, his right hand is restored and imbued with mystical powers, and he becomes known as The Claw, the traditional enemy of the Spider Women that serve their evil Goddess.

Then things get really interesting. Continue reading