Two Quick Things

I just wanted to post something here to let people know I wasn’t floating face down in the Tiber. Things are going well, but my internet connections remain chancy and tend to be available during the day when I’m busy running around doing other stuff. Then there’s the colorful side-events, like the other night when I was busy tapping out an e-mail while sitting on a bench in the Villa Borghese. A guy sat down next to me and asked me for a cigarette; I told him I didn’t smoke and took no more notice of him until I saw that he was taking his clothes off. I’m not sure whether he was signalling to me that he considered the bench his bed or whether he was preparing to pay me the Ultimate Compliment, but either way it seemed like getting the hell out of there was Plan A. So I’m afraid my signoff for that email may have been a little abrupt…

Anyway, the two things.

1. Chinotto Neri is one of the best soft-drinks in the annals of softdrinking. I have no idea what it is made from; some derivative of smack, it would seem. I’ve refrained from mainlining the stuff only because I have no taste-buds in my arm. (Anymore.) Its only serious rival, in my view, is the Vernor’s of my youth. The Vernor’s of today is a pallid thing, which one can drink without feeling the slightest burning sensation. In ancient days a bottle of Vernor’s would raise your core temperature five degrees and, if it were a hot day, you’d have to be rushed to the hospital. Chinotto Neri is totally different, but if I keep I keep slamming the stuff down I may end up in some sort of treatment facility, if not actually a hospital.

2. Lou Anders, intrepid editor at Pyr, is teaming up with Jonathan Strahan to produce a massive sword-and-sorcery anthology on the magnitude of the already-iconic New Space Opera. Lou blogs about it here, and Jonathan Strahan here. So it looks like big things are in store for fans of the genre. Big things [he repeated, as if the phrase were freighted with some hidden meaning, glistening with dark mystery like a dewy bottle of Chinotto Neri straight out of the fridge].

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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12 Responses to Two Quick Things

  1. sartorias says:

    Oh I hope big things include Morlocky goodness.

  2. peadarog says:

    Congratulations on your discovery of chinotto! Strangely addictive and bound to be the cause some kind of wasting disease. But it’s definitely worth it.

  3. bg_editor says:

    I think it’s good — who, though, will be in the antho? Will it include Morlock and any of the other most promising characters who’ve been fighting to survive in a modern short fiction market that’s been extremely hostile to sword-and-sorcery stories? Will the editors seek out THOSE authors, the ones who’ve been in the trenches writing in the genre even though it’s not popular? I sure hope so.


    • JE says:

      I don’t know much about Jonathan Strahan’s work except by reputation. But I know that Lou likes and knows classic S&S, so I have my hopes it’ll be a fun book (whether the crooked man manages to shoulder his way in or not).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Damn, I had “face down in the Tiber” in the betting pool.

    –Jeff Stehman

    • JE says:

      It was where all the smart money was going. And, who knows, it may pay off yet–I’ll be here a couple more weeks.

  5. fpb says:

    Thanks for making me investigate my own heritage. I had known Chinotto since childhood, but beyond a vague impression that it was made from some sort of vegetable, I had never investigated it. Now I looked it up:

    • Anonymous says:

      re: Two Quick Things

      The news is out.-Lou

      • JE says:

        Re: Two Quick Things

        Hey Lou–

        Yes, I saw I was beaten to it. But at least I got to use my Chinotti-as-mystery metaphor, which seemed to me quite brilliant. But I’ll stop talking about that now.

    • JE says:

      Fabio, thanks! I looked in dictionaries for “chinotto”, I asked people (no one knew what it was) but, you know, I never thought of consulting this interweb thing.

      A kindly restauranteur poured me a chilly glass of something he called “Amaro di Calabria”–and it looks from the Wikipedia entry that chinotto might be one of the ingredients. Which may be why it instantly became my other big addiction. (I’m afraid I have a rather addictive personality.)

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