International Day of the Book

So, how was yours?

Mine was a bit of a rush, but nice, overall: after Irish class, we walked down to the town center, where the main bookstores were open until midnight, and music concerts and bands were playing, among many other cultural acts related to books.

We got some books and comic-books: Green Lantern Corps: Recharged (how can't you love a superheroes comic-book where you have all the variety of species as you could get races in the Persian Empire? And where the power is your imagination? You can't, obviously :-), books 1 and 2 of the Spanish edition of Full Metal Alchemist manga (really cool), the first instance of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle, and La vieja sirena ("The Old Syren") by Spanish writer and Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) of the Language member José Luis Sampedro, an author I am starting to really like not just for his writing, but also for his thinking... We also got a couple of books about the real life of the author's cats, which are written in a very interesting point of view: the cats'.

I'm waiting a bit for the 'bigger' book safari, anyway, when the Old and Used Book Fair opens shortly, hehehe...

Last weekend, also, was interesting because we were in Cuenca, a beautiful town in Don Quixote's famous La Mancha, declared Humankind Patrimony by the UNESCO, with gorgeous landscape, wonderful gastronomy and really tight slopes! I went to the Archaeological Museum, of course, and got lots of pictures, including many remains found in nearby Segobriga, which was a very important town in Roman times, as intermediate point between Complutum (nowadays Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; which articulated the trade from NW Hispania, specially gold and silver mines; and trade from Caesar Augusta) and Carthago Nova, with its harbors. I couldn't go there (shame!) but it has a wonderful amphitheater, and an almost "complete" circus, and a pretty decent forum, with lots of statues, and so... Really cool! Remnants of the old Almozarab castle (Alcazar), and old medieval town wall that's intimately mixed with the "modern" houses...

We got great weather, and a great time, indeed! We'll be back, yup!

So, how was yours?


ADDENDUM (the next day): OK, some afterthoughts, actually... I'll try to edit and post some of the pictures I got, not just from Cuenca but also from those other wonderful places, full with archaeological treasures, I have visited, it may be a monographical pictorial edition of de praeterito tempore... Just let me some time to organize it all, and then to get some bandwidth for uploading them...

And regarding La vieja sirena, the book's about an unusually beautiful and mysterious woman (hence the syren), in the Egypt of the III Century CE, and about her really hard life through the Roman and Persian Empires and how she interacts with, sometimes, unique individuals. . . Well, I'm in page 117 of 711, actually, so you can imagine I can't really say a lot about it... What I can say is that the author has taken special care in exposing the inner world of the main characters, specially the starring, of course, a woman of any names (basically, every time she's sold or kidnapped she gets a new one) and no definite identity; this shows even through the writing, sometimes even the punctuation reflects this inner world, with sentences riding on each other like thoughts in a shaken mind . . . It's not, however, confusing, but after a page, you get the twist of it and becomes natural and it's like a dimension slip, it fits.

The writer is a really good one, and it's shown in his mastery of the language, almost poetical in some fragments (the inner space ones): clear and direct, but effective and complex without becoming pedantic (as a counter-example, the writer of Tartessos, which I've mentioned before, writes in a somewhat pedantic way, he uses a very cult language, but it gets a bit really heavy sometimes, it makes reading it really tiring, and I'm used to old spanish and know quite a handful of anachronistic words myself!) and he's done his research homework so far with good marks: he even manages not to overwhelm the reader (which I have yet to master!) and that's, definitely, a sign of a master.

If you can find it translated to your language, keep an eye on this blog, because I'll probably recommend it to you very soon!




Long time no see, yes, my fault.

Life's got some kicking, I won't moan, though, but... :-P

I've been re-reading my current WIP, Revolt!, to get the twist of it, and I must say I've really enjoyed my description of the battle of Lade! (even if it may be wrong that I say so myself, but what the...) I'll have to review it, of course, but it's got rythm, it's got intensity, the personal twist I learned from writers such as Oden, Durham, and others (where I naturally tend to the aerial, omniview kind of battle description, too much Chariots of War, I guess, hehe). One question, though: I depict some classical trierei maneuvers, like the periplous (etc) and reading in other places (actually a translation of Herodotos's Histories I got in dead tree the otehr day), I got the notion that those maneuvers might not be used at the time of the ionian rebellion... Opinions? I think those could be perfectly used, even if the high numbers of epibatai in some ships may point to a more conventional assault-on-the-waters kind of warfaring...

Second, I saw a book just published in Spanish, written by Michael Ford Curtis, which'd translate back to English as The Sword of Attila, and reading from the back cover, it looks like it can be pretty interesting (not like the one I saw that looked like a love story between Attila and Honorius's sister, argh). Any recommendations? (it's hardcover and about thrice as expensive as it will be on pocket edition...)

I'll try to update a little bit more frequently, and participate on your blogs, I have an ontry on Gabrielle's pending...