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The Marquis de Leech

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About The Marquis de Leech

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    Blood-sucking Aristocrat
  • Birthday 12/15/1982

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  1. Sharing a crackpot theory of mine: Ar-Pharazon might have been gay. (I'd be very surprised if that turns up in the Amazon adaptation though).
  2. My new sword and sorcery story is now out, as part of Issue 48 of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly: A Night in the Witherlands
  3. Finished Metamorphoses, by Ovid. It was the two volume century-old Miller translation... a tad literal for my taste, but still perfectly serviceable (one got the impression that Miller thought the reader ought to be reading Ovid in the original Latin, and that the English was there to help the doofuses). For those unaware, Metamorphoses is Ovid jamming together a vast array of Greek myths, to ostensibly tell the story of the world from the Creation to the death of Julius Caesar. As the name suggests, he's interested in those myths that show change in some way, while a recurring theme is gods and men being turned crazy by Love. Because it's Ovid (a political exile), there's also the subtext that all gods are bastards, and by extension, his final comparison of Augustus to Jupiter is not a flattering one. Anyway, some of the myths that jumped out to me: - The one where Hermes and Apollo tag-team rape a sleeping woman. One expects this sort of behaviour from Zeus and Poseidon... but Hermes a rapist? That's a bit different. In fact, Ovid goes out of his way to demonise all the gods, not simply Zeus... it's a poem with lots and lots of rape. - The Scylla gets a backstory. - Adonis' gloriously messed-up family backstory, which I wasn't aware of when reading Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis. - Orpheus gives up on women after he fails to rescue Eurydice... and turns to the "tender boys" of Thrace instead. I am actually unsure if this is Ovid (a Roman) having a go at Greek cultural norms, but dear god, it makes for icky reading. - The ones Shakespeare straight-out stole. I also think that Tolkien having Elwing turn into a bird in The Silmarillion is a shout-out to Ovid. Ovid has lots and lots of cases of people becoming birds (and plants/trees).
  4. Had a sword and sorcery piece accepted for the next issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Yay.
  5. I'm unfortunately reliant on library books for GMF, and in addition to the ones I have already read, there is only Mr American and McAuslan in the Rough.
  6. Finished Black Ajax, by George MacDonald Fraser. Not actually a Flashman novel, but part of the continuity (Harry's father, Buckley Flashman is a major character). As one would expect, it was thoroughly educational, this time about black boxer, Tom Molineaux fighting for the English Boxing Championship in 1810. Fraser does an impressive job giving voice to multiple POV characters, while it kept jumping out at me how alien the slang of two hundred years ago actually is.
  7. I've knocked off a couple of ancient short pieces - A True Story, and The Syrian Goddess, both by second century Syrian writer, Lucian of Samosata. The former has occasionally been cited as science-fiction from the Classical World, a sentiment with which I strongly disagree.
  8. Finished Flashman and the Tiger, by George MacDonald Fraser... and with it, I complete the twelve-volume Flashman Papers.
  9. I've taken the liberty of compiling the Tom Bombadil scenes from the Soviet adaptation, and adding them to the Swedish and Finnish versions, to create a quarter of an hour of adapted (non-English-language) Tom: The Complete Tom Bombadil: 1971-1993
  10. The biggest point of interest there is the demolition job on Humphrey Carpenter (and really raises so many questions about the Letters). I actually disagree with her conclusion that Rider Haggard does not influence Tolkien at the plot level. The Mirror of Galadriel and the Bridge of Khazad-dum are both clearly influenced by She, quite apart from Tolkien originally naming the city of Tirion as Kor.
  11. They're rather hamstringing themselves with those submission guidelines. Someone who has never even had a token payment from an e-zine is going to stand out like a sort thumb.
  12. I've had a productive Easter break, having knocked off the last two collections of the Sherlock Holmes canon. His Last Bow (the collection, not the story) was decent - I absolutely loved The Devil's Foot. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes was, alas, a near-abomination. It's not completely awful, but apart from Thor's Bridge, the best stories are mere retreads of the old classics. I kept wondering whether Conan Doyle was making the collection deliberately bad, to allow him to retire the hated character in peace. Anyway, my rankings of the stories: A Game is Afoot: Ranking Sherlock Holmes Stories
  13. The lost Soviet Fellowship of the Ring is rediscovered.
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