East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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61ijN1LocqL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_As I think I mentioned already, I’ve found that giving myself little prizes when I close or I reach a way-point in a project.
Sort of a Pavlovian conditioning.
It’s easy to find some interesting, cheap reads that work quite nicely, and cost me as much (or as little) as a chocolate.

Tying up a minor project yesterday, landed on my Kindle Wildside’s The Spicy Adventure Megapack which collects 25 stories, you guessed it, from the spicy pulps.

For the uninitiated, the spicy pulps were an infamous sub-genre in the days of old – racy stories, risqué situations, naughty bits.
So far, I had a very limited experience with the spicy pulps, and this is a good opportunity for learning something new.

No, wait… not in that sense.


Stories from the deep future

echoesI’m having lots of fun reading Echoes of the Goddess, Tales of Terror and Wonder from the End of Time, a great collection of stories by Darrell Schweitzer, set in the same universe of the author’s popular and highly respected 1982 novel, The Shattered Goddess.

The eleven stories in the volume – which is available as an inexpensive ebook through Amazon – are set in a distant, decadent future, after a catastrophe of theological proportions (narrated in the novel mentioned above).
The setting and the mood recall Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique and Jack Vance’s Dying Earth – the so called dying earth/end of times subgenre.

Now I am particularly interested in this subgenre, and I’m highly impressed by Schweitzer’s prose – the quality of the storytelling is such, that even a deceivingly light plot becomes multi-layered and highly satisfactory.
There is style and substance.
This is fantasy fiction, but a style of fantasy fiction and swords & sorcery that goes back to the roots of the genre, back to the pages of Weird Tales.
And yet, it is not just a nostalgia trip or a form of narrative archaeology.

The book was released by Wildside Press in february 2013, and is highly recommended.