Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Keep it safe, and keep on reading

The-Dinosaur-Project-9780921912460I’m currently reading Wayne Grady’s The Dinosaur Project, about the joint Canada-China dinosaur-digging expedition in the Gobi Desert, in 1985.
Great stuff, an excellent account of science, research and adventure.
Good science writing.

And the sort of book that rises a few eyebrows when somebody asks you “And what are you reading?”
The point being, why should anyone read such stuff.

I get off the hook easily – I’m a paleontologist, so it’s work-related.
But I was discussing last night with a friend about this thing – that anything out of the ordinary gets you weird looks. Continue reading


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Some of my non fiction

It’s the hard life of the indie writer.
Or something like that.
You write your stuff, you get it to the editor, the ditor likes it.
The publisher publishes it, the people buy it and like it.
You get your copies for your swank shelf, you tell your friends (they do not buy a copy), and then start working on something else, on something new.
And in the meantime, people forget.
“But… did he ever actually publish anything?”
Some like to forget, they are very happy to forget.

Two nights ago, I received a sound thrashing from friend.
I was told to strut my stuff, because it’s worth it.
Or so she said.

So, never ignore a sound advice, delivered with passion: here’s three of the works of which I am more proud!

It was a pleasure and a privilege, as a long time Fritz Leiber fan, to be part of Fritz Leiber: Critical Essays, edited by Benjamin Szumskyj and published by MacFarland.
Taking an eccentric angle, I wrote Thank God They Are on Our Side (I think): The Cat as Alien in Fritz Leiber’s Fiction, which mixes literary analysis, cat ecology, and my veneration for Leiber’s genius, and mixes the lot.

One year later, with the same editor and the same publisher, I was part of the volume Dissecting Hannibal Lecter: Essays on the Novels of Thomas Harris. Once again it was a great, fun experience, and I contributed apiece on the noir aspects of one of Harris’ classics – This is the Blind Leading the Blind: Noir, Horror and Reality in Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon.

The ball was rolling, so when Benjamin proposed a third contribution, I was happy to join his team once again – this time writing about an author, William Peter Blatty, whose work has been to long in the shadow of the movies based on it. And as a ghost-story aficionado, it was great fun writing It Ain’t Over Until the Fat Lady Sings: William Peter Blatty’s Elswhere and the Haunted House Formula.
The essay appears in American Exorcist: Critical Essays on William Peter Blatty

So here they are, my early professional sales as a non-fiction writer.
I can strut my stuff with the best of ’em!