East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Big Game, Short Stories

Growing old1, I find myself increasingly interested in short fiction, both as a reader and a writer.
Maybe it comes from the realization that time is running out, who knows.
Or maybe it’s because, having appreciated the challenges of writing short stories, one comes to enjoy much more the short stories out there.

w505430One of the gifts I made myself for having finished my novel was Alex Bledsoe‘s two-story ebook, Next-to-Last of the Tiger Men & Mack’s Rhino.
I read both the stories two nights ago, and I am awed by the author’s skill and sensibility.

Both Next-to-Last of the Tiger Men and Mack’s Rhino are big game hunting stories.
Is there anything more classic than hunting stories?
Hemingway and all that.
And yet, these are also stories about hauntings – very different hauntings.
Not scary, but… deep.

Both stories feature Tennessee-born professional hunters Linda Fontana and T.S. Bunch, and in the characterization of these two, and their relationship, Alex Bledsoe’s skill shines as much as it does shine in his ability to summon a whole world, a whole set of sensations, in a very short narrative space.

I’ll have to re-read this ebook again, and again – and try to learn as much as I can.

  1. Like George Carlin used to say, I’m not growing older, I have to face the fact that I’m growing old


Within Wet Walls: A (short) Review

www-cover-3-frontI was invited to the launch party for Lily Childs’ Within Wet Walls, yesterday, and on my way there, I got me a copy of the ebook.

I love ghost stories, I read a lot of them in the winter (the atmosphere is right) and this one was presented as the sort of gothic delight I was looking for.

Later last night I read it in one sitting, and I was so completely fascinated that I decided a short review here on my blog was in order.
Here goes. Continue reading


The House of Ka

51-HCjLLpWLTwo nights back I felt like celebrating a small personal victory, so I treated myself to a one buck ebook, and I got me The House of Ka, by Walter Bosley.

I was intrigued by the cover – and then of course the author runs the Lost Continent Library blog, so I was pretty sure I picked a winner.

The House of Ka is a 120 pages novella, and I read it in two sittings.
And very good it was. Continue reading


OK, sorry but I have to share this.
I just got the best review ever on Amazon…

I can’t understand the enthusiasm of the previous reviews, the text is too short for an evaluation. Yeah, sure, it seems to be well written, but what evaluation can I make??

And so he went and gave it a One-star rating.

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All the right rules

support-authorDo you guys read reviews on Amazon, or Goodreads?
I do – not only those for my books, but also those for other people’s books.
I try and write a few reviews, too – feedback is important, and it’s good to try and help spread the word about good books.

So, yesterday, I was waiting for dinner time browsing a few amazon reviews, and I chanced upon a thing that sort of scared me.

No, really, I was scared.

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cover39953-mediumI’ve just had the opportunity of browsing a copy of Philip Parker’s Himalaya, and I’m absolutely impressed.
The subtitle – The Exploration & Conquest of the Greatest Mountains on Earth – gives a good idea of what’s to be expected.
But the quality of the volume is surprising.

The book, published by Conway, is an absolutely gorgeous, one-stop reference on the geography and history of the Himalayan chain, featuring concise but nicely varied chapters on the major topics and a selection of great images.

Mountain climbers provide extra contents by remiscing on their experiences, while specialist authors cover geology, geography, politics and related topics.
The foreword is by Peter Hilary.

Himalaya is available both in hard-copy and in digital format – but I guess a color-able ereader or a tablet are indispensable to appreciate the graphic contents of this book.