Thursday, February 22, 2007


To my great dismay, it has been a while since I posted anything. Whether that is to anyone else’s dismay is an open question. Alas, my computer has gone belly-up. I am reduced to using my work computer on my lunch break. Lunch breaks were not meant to be spent at one’s desk (an open invitation to co-workers and supervisors to send work one’s way). They were made to be as far away from anything resembling as possible.

Check out the new design on the REHupa site: That’s the on-line presence of the venerable Robert E. Howard United Press Association, a swell bunch of guys, so long as you keep ‘em away from online discussion groups.

Also of note is a nifty serial running in, wait for it, the New York Times. The world’s most venerable mullet-wrapper has a ripping yarn by Michael Chabon (of Kavalier and Klay fame) called Gentlemen of the Road.

It’s set in Khazaria during the early Middle Ages. What’s a Khazaria, you may ask. It’s the homeland of the Khazars, now known as the Ukraine and Southern Russia. Which of course begs the question, what’s a Khazar? The Khazars were a horde of warlike nomads that split off from the Huns and forged their own empire of merciless, horse-riding, arrow-shooting barbarians. They were also Jewish. Genghis Kahane anyone? Since they were situated between the Christian Byzantine Empire and the Muslim caliphate both of whom were perpetually at war, the Khazars split the difference.

Chabon has done a cracking job so far. Basically you take a pair of footloose adventurers, an exiled prince with a price on his head, and a whole lot of bloodthirsty killers and there you go. There is also Chabon’s dark, ironic humor. It’s a little bit Isaac Bashevis Singer and little bit Harold Lamb. Check out the Q&A where Chabon lists his favorite authors.

-Dave Hardy

PS. Check out , the blog of fellow Black Sails contributor, Joel A. Sutherland (of "The Death of Captain Eugene Bloodcake and the Fall of The Horrid Whore") -dh


Charles Gramlich said...

Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by my blog. I didn't know you were on blogger. The Chabon serial sounds right down my alley. Good to see a big newspaper like that carrying some fiction as well.

Dave Hardy said...

My pleasure!

Chabon's story is good swashbuckling stuff with a Judeo-centric focus. I really like a story that has a setting that's integral, and Chabon knows how to make his source material work for him (like REH, I daresay).

I was going to refer to it as "Yentl" with battle-axes, but I was assured that was tastless and offensive.
Maybe "Fiddler on the Roof" as directed by Sergio Leone?