Howard Andrew Jones is the author of two of my favorite reads from last year: The Desert Of Souls and Pathfinder Tales: Plague Of Shadows, both great sword and sorcery reads! His popular prior post here on the historicals of Harold Lamb is one of our most read guest posts. This time, he talks about why a white midwesterner set his fantasy novel in historical Arabia.
People ask me why I’m so interested in the ancient Middle-East. Why isn’t everyone? The 8th and 9th century of the Abbasid caliphate was a true golden age, when scientists, poets, philosophers, scholars, and explorers were sponsored and celebrated. Science and arts flourished. It’s no wonder that later storytellers looked back at the time with longing and threaded the caliph Harun-al-Rashid and the vizier Jaffar into the fabric of The Arabian Nights. These two were said to wander Baghdad nights in disguise – as they do in the Nights — and they weren’t the only fascinating figures of the time.
But I think a lot of people aren’t really asking why I find the time period interesting. They’re asking how a white guy from southern Indiana got interested in the Middle-East.
I occasionally run across the implication that by writing of the ancient Middle-East I’m practicing cultural appropriation. I never know quite how to respond to that, although I try to be sensitive. After all, there’s a long history of people from the west writing other cultures as stereotypes. A LOOONG, painful history. I can only say that I strive to write characters, not caricatures. A lot of people don’t realize that the stories of the Arabian Nights are a blend of Chinese, Arabian, Persian, and Indian myths. A few of the stories might well have been inserted by a Frenchman who claimed he’d gotten them from a Christian Arab, although there’s no record of their existence before Monsieur Galland’s translation of the Nights. Anyway, a lot of other people have gotten to play with the Arabian Nights, and I would like to think it’s okay for one more to sit down at the campfire and spin a few, even if he’s a white Hoosier. View full article »
BryanThomasS: Future Guests 4/04 @lindeapoitevin 4/11 RoundTable- Aliens/Monsters 4/18 Space Battles Authors 4/25 @StinaLeicht 5/2 @jsprunk70 #sffwrtcht (Thu Mar 29 00:28:16 +0000 2012)
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Guest Post by Howard Andrew Jones
Before Stormbringer keened in Elric’s hand, before the Gray Mouser prowled Lankhmar’s foggy streets—before even Conan trod jeweled thrones under his sandaled feet, Khlit the Cossack rode the steppe. He isn’t the earliest serial adventure character, but his adventures are among the earliest that can still be read for sheer pleasure.
He was created in 1917 by Harold Lamb, in a time when “costume pieces” provided the same kinds of thrills that fantasy and science fiction adventure stories deliver today, and he appeared in the pulp magazines.
The best remembered of these magazines today are probably those devoted to the adventures of single characters—like Doc Savage or The Shadow—or the early magazines of the fantastic wherein those we now recognize as giants were published—Weird Tales, and, later, Unknown, Planet Stories, and other science fiction magazines.
Shortly after World War I, though, there was very little to be found in the realm of the fantastic. For all their fame, the later science fiction magazines and Weird Tales were hardly representative of the content found in most pulps. The most popular of magazines tended to be devoted to westerns and detective tales. Aside from the occasional Verne reprint and a few innovators—like the fellow who’d written of a civil war soldier transported to Mars—adventure was found in more recognizable places.
And then came Lamb. View full article »
BryanThomasS @talekyn Did I mention acceptance speeches void wins?#sffwrtcht -8:14 PM Jul 27th, 2011
talekyn @BryanThomasS @HowardAndrewJon @pattyjansen I’d like to thank all the little people: Prof. Flitwick, Gimli, Ray Palmer, Spanky… #sffwrtcht -8:13 PM Jul 27th, 2011
BryanThomasS @pattyjansen LOL I know right. I have to learn to set limits. I have no idea how much that cost him. #sffwrtcht -8:13 PM Jul 27th, 2011
pattyjansen @BryanThomasS phew, so you don’t have to post another book to Australia! #sffwrtcht -8:12 PM Jul 27th, 2011
BryanThomasS Thanks, everyone! Next week we have an anthology of stories dealing with faith, science etc. Please join us next Wed! #sffwrtcht -8:12 PM Jul 27th, 2011
sffwrtcht Thanks, everyone! Next week we have an anthology of stories dealing with faith, science etc. Please join us next Wed! #sffwrtcht -8:12 PM Jul 27th, 2011
HowardAndrewJon #sffwrtcht Thanks again. -8:12 PM Jul 27th, 2011
BryanThomasS @HowardAndrewJon Thanks so much, Howard. I’ll email the addresses shortly! #sffwrtcht -8:11 PM Jul 27th, 2011
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