Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reading Report

This weekend I've been reading mostly short stories. Read a couple of Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mysteries from the collection Whispers of the Dead. Tremayne always impresses me with his ability to craft a clever whodunit in the short form, which is much harder than it looks. As historical mysteries go, Tremayne's are some of my favorites.
Also read (or re-read, really) Lovecraft's The Haunter of the Dark, which is the one where an analog for writer Robert Bloch meets a messy death at the hands of a gibbering slavering thing from the outer dark. It was written in response to Bloch's The Shambler from the Stars, in which a Lovecraft analog meets a messy death, etc etc.
Then I jumped to The Road of Eagles, which was one of the posthumous collaborations between Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague Decamp. Decamp took an existing Howard story of the same title, but set in the 16th century Turkish Empire, and rewrote it as a Conan story. This upsets a lot of Conan fans, but I don't really mind. Howard himself would have rewritten it as a Conan tale if he thought he could sell it, and having read both versions I can tell you that Decamp didn't change much other than substituting Hyborian age names and places for the originals. My favorite of these re-writes is The Blood Stained God. Decamp really nailed the rework on that one.
This morning I'm reading Julius Caesar:The Gallic Wars, which is a different translation the standard version of Caesar's campaign in Gaul.

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