I already have a bit of an intellectual crush on Jess Nevins for his series of pulp posts at io9, his annotations of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Top 10, and his tumblr blog.
But now he has to go write an awesome and inspirational article about Asian history in the 18th and 19th century and Asian pulp literature for sci-fi publishers Tor.
RTWT, but my favorite part (and best idea for a story ever) is this:
"From the mid-17th century through the 1920s Chinese novels translated into Mongolian were in huge demand in Mongolia, and there was a flourishing trade in them. But the problem for the Mongolian bookbuyers and booksellers was not only the bidding wars which would break out with Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese buyers, but that getting the manuscripts back to Mongolia to sell was difficult because of the very real chance that those transporting the books would be attacked on the way back by bandits wanting to get the manuscripts and sell them for themselves. This resulted in decades of adventurous Mongolian book traders as skilled with sword and gun as they were at selling books." [Emphasis mine].
A network of swashbuckling mercenary booksellers in Mongolia that had to fight off bandits who wanted to steal their wares! That would be a great trope to replace the archaeologist/explorer that usually pops up in adventure narratives.
Updated to add: P.S. Had to share this, which I posted on Twitter. NY Times review of HUUUUUGE Spanish history book mentioned Phillip II of Spain planning an invasion of China in 1580. What the what what? How has that not been written by some spec-fic/fantasy genius yet?