Thursday, 1 November 2018

Pied Piper of Syr Darya

I lie here on the couch watching football. I am infected by norovirus and feel about as bad as I can ever remember feeling. I can't eat, drink, move, or sleep. But what I can do, goddamit, is blog. "I blogged didn't I? At least I did that." Put that on my tombstone.

Feverish dreams gave me an idea: some renditions of the Pied Piper of Hamelin story end with the Mayor (who, you may remember, asked the Piper to get rid of the rats but then refused to pay, causing the Piper to disappear with all the town's children in a fit of pique) going off to search for the missing children - and he is often described as "still looking for them now". A bleak ending - in the book version my daughter likes, the Mayor is even depicted on the final page as an impossibly old man wandering through empty mountain passes in a perpetual and fruitless search.

So, I wonder - what if the Mayor's wanderings lead him to Yoon-Suin? That would make a great novel idea. He never finds the children. But he finds other things instead.

Other ideas for Yoon-Suin/real world crossover novels:

-Spanish or Portuguese conquistadores discover the Yellow City; Europeans are ravaged by horrible diseases
-An account of the British Purple Land Company setting off on voyages through oceanic wormhole things that open in the Gulf of Morays
-An account of the lost tribe of Israel wandering into Sughd from the West
-First contact with a trading vessel from  a Yellow City Noble House sailing up the Thames/Mersey circa 1800

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