Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Hussars & Hackers – return to Drachenstahl

Back in… oh, it was probably 1984, I first tried my hand at a series of short stories set in a post-catastrophic future, in which micronations (but they were not called micronations back then) were the last surviving bastion of order in a world in which environmental and economic disaster had created billions of refugees.
I had just read a book about the coming ice age (it looked legit), so I threw that idea in.
ruritania_zenda_1938_by_mbhdesign-d8zcnf3I had been reading The Prisoner of Zenda for the first time, too, and I sort of wanted to mix the small operetta nation/state of the book with a sort of futuristic and cyberpunkoid stories.
Hussars and Hackers, if you will.
So I imagined this small Alpine nation, called Drachenstahl (which means something like “stolen from the dragon”), served by airships and with a solar/geothermal energy economy, in which a small unit of “technology cops” operated – people charged with keeping an eye on the diffusion of new technologies and the abuse of those technologies. Continue reading


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The Mysterious West

moon-elis-foldThis is a request post.
The first in a series of request posts – or better still, the start of a side-project which started as a request post.
Complicated…

I was talking, a few days back, with my friend Claire, and we hit on the idea of the Mysterious West, or, if you prefer, the West as seen through the eyes of Eastern Fantasy.
We were discussing the fascination the Japanese seem to have for European historical settings and melodrama – from the middle ages to the very early 20th century, references are quite frequent, in anime, manga, narrative.
Our chat started because of Takarazuka, really.

So, Claire said, why not explore this idea, this concept of the Mysterious West? Continue reading


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Prisoner of Zenda, the musical

After the photo posted on Thursday, I was looking for something interesting and Ruritania-related in the media, for my Sunday post .

Well, here goes – an excerpt from the Takarazuka staging of Anthony Hope‘s Prisoner of Zenda as an all-female-cast musical*, in the year 2000.

This is Rupert of Hentzau (actress and singer Kouju Tatsuki) doing his thing, and being suitably rakish.

Enjoy!

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* And yes, it is implausible like all musicals, only a little more so.