On Loss, and Sherlock, and Mars
Today I finished a rough draft of the first chapter of the third Dabir and Asim book, currently titled The Maiden’s Eye. That felt pretty good. It also felt pretty good hearing that one of my short stories actually featuring someone other than Dabir and Asim had been accepted for a secret sword-and-sorcery anthology project (shh) just this morning.
Not so cool was spilling the orange juice down the side of my desk, although it was pretty swell that I missed a couple of books that I had lying around and merely soaked the carpet.
I’ve been watching the BBC Sherlock stories with the family, which inspired me to dig at last into the actual stories. As influential as Sherlock and Watson have obviously been upon Dabir and Asim, it’s only been recently that I peered deeply into the Sherlockian canon. Safer than peering into actual cannons. I quite liked what I found. It got me thinking about what put me off about the series the first time I tried, and how I wish I’d been given better advice about where to start when I began reading. More on that in a bit.
The other thing I’ve been reading are some Leigh Brackett short stories in the most excellent Shannach – the Last, from Haffner Press. I find it apropos that I was reading about Brackett’s Mars yesterday when I got the word that her old friend — best man at her wedding — Ray Bradbury had passed away. I’ve thrown my web weight around about Harold Lamb and Leigh Brackett and Robert E. Howard, and I’ve talked about my love for the works of Zelazny and Leiber and Moore and Forrester and scads others, but I probably haven’t mentioned Bradbury much. I suppose that’s because he was the first author I actively sought out, and that I’d read and re-read his stories before I’d ever found my way to the others that really influenced me. But wow, oh wow, did his work have an impact upon me, particularly his space operas. Particularly his stories of Mars. Seeing as how I’m making my name writing fantasy set in the ancient Middle-East, that probably sounds odd, but space opera was my first genre love, and I still loves me some of that. The original Star Trek and Ray Bradbury anthologies like Golden Apples of the Sun and R is for Rocket were dear companions and shaped a lot of what I like in storytelling and were a light toward what I like best in humanity.
Thanks, Mr. Bradbury, for inspiring me along with so many others. My kids are reading and loving your work as well.