Final thought on Baku

Or rather, three final thoughts, since I wasn’t really awake enough while in Azerbaijan to write them down.

First, it’s much the most normal-looking city of the three capitals; apart from the old walled district which is very small, it could be practically anywhere in Central Europe, never mind the Soviet Union.

Second, the one bizarre aspect is the ubiquity of posters with photographs of the late President Heidar Aliyev (Heydər Əliyev to his friends) and presumably stirring slogans in Azeri.

Third, I realised that I have in fact read another book apart from Ali and Nino which is partly set in Baku; it is Kushiel’s Avatar, the last in the trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, where the climax of the quest takes place in a horribly transformed and much expanded but still recognisable version of the Shirvanshah palace in the old city (also the home of Ali’s ancestors in Ali and Nino).

In our universe, the prophet Zoroaster was inspired by the fire leaping from the natural oil and gas deposits around Baku where he grew up. There aren’t a lot of his followers left in the vicinity of Baku now, but Jacqueline Carey does a good number on the legend.

One thought on “Final thought on Baku

  1. Great post! Just one thing to point out, according to Death of the Doctor, Liz Shaw is currently working on the moon.

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