East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Swords (and much more)

researchI’m doing a quick post, here, to point out to interested parties three excellent resources I found about ancient (and not-so-ancient) combat.
But also shields and daggers and polearms.

I believe in plausibility when writing my stories – plausibility over overkill.
I’m not writing handbooks, I’m writing fiction – and I want my stories to be believable without clobbering my readers with too much detail.

One thing I learned is, listening to someone passionate about a subject is often better than going through arid web-pages and treaties.
And mind you, I love doing research for my stories, but as I said in the past, there is such a thing as too much research.
So I apply the old Doc Savage methods for becoming an instant expert. Continue reading

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Postmodern Jukebox

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox has been the best find of the month, and I need to share it.
So here’s a sample.
But be sure to check out this gentleman’s whole catalog.


Radio with Pictures – Clutch Cargo

CC - PMB (0)Do you remember Clutch Cargo?
A few days back, on a blog I do not normally read, an off-topic comment to a rather meaningless post (I’m not making this up, ladies and gentlemen) dissed Clutch Cargo, calling it a bad show, making fun at its style and animation.

And that throwaway comment, on a blog I don’t normally read, sent me back memory lane.

So, for the uninitiated – what the heck’s a Clutch Cargo? Continue reading

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She who must be obeyed

sheSometimes working on the weekend is fun.
I’m writing (well, actually revising, at the moment) an essay on Ayesha and other “lost race” queens from popular fiction.
Happily, my piece will go in a high-profile publication.

And as an extra bonus, it’s been a good excuse for watching again this old Hammer movie from 1965 – a very loose but fun adaptation of H. Rider Haggard‘s classic, She, featuring Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

So, why not spread the joy?
Here are some highlights, courtesy of Youtube.

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Huckleberry Finn’s Interdimensional Capers

I was talking about this with some online friends a few nights back – The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a 1968 Hanna-Barbera live action/animation series I saw, in glorious black and white and dubbed in Italian… ah, probably in 1973 or ’74.

The premise is pretty, ehm, straightforward: Huck, Tom and Becky, pursued by Injunjoe, enter a complex of caves that happen to be…
Your guess is as good as mine – I’d say interdimensional gateways to parallel universes.

You bet.

Here’s a snippet of a vaguely Wilkie Collins-esque episode.
You find the rest on Youtube.


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Terry & the Pirates, episode 1

Today something special – the first episode of the Terry and the Pirates serial, from 1940, featuring the delightful Sheila Darcy as the Dragon Lady.
I wrote about Darcy in the past, but I realized I never provided a sample of the serial in which I discovered her beauty.

You can find the whole serial on Youtube, both as single episodes and in handy chunks of seven or eight chapters bundled together.
This does not really match the comics, but it’s still a nice period entertainment.


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In the Jazz Age…

A great montage of sequences shot in China and the Far East in the 1920s, set to some suggestive and atmospheric jazz music.
A treat from the YouTube collection of marvels by Aaron1912.