East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Talk Like a Pirate Day Gallery

Today is the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, or so they tell me.
And what best way to celebrate this jolly occurrence but with a nice gallery of pirate pictures?
I always loved Don Maitz’s art… and he’s a specialist in pirates.
So here goes!

And I also have a pinboard filled with Maitz’s pirate pics, if you want more!


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Back on the ‘boards

Pinterest-LogoOne of the unexpected consequences of getting a new, fast web connection, is the fact that I can access again my Pinterest boards, that I had been unable to view for the last year.
Too bandwidth-consuming, Pinterest, for my old less-than-80k line.
But that was then, and this is now

This is particularly fortunate, because I tend(ed) to use Pinboards to collect material for my projects, and it wa sgreat to find a (secret) collection of images and links I had put together for a prospect fantasy novel that I was planning and then postponed after my father’s death. And this will now provide the basic structure and plot for the novel I’ll write, and try and pitch to Angry Robot.
So, a lot of research work’s been done already.
Nice and smooth.

But I also found all my other pinboards, of course and this includes my Worldbuilding pinboard

And this is again interesting, because I’m trying to turn my interest in worldbuilding into something else – I am planning a course on Worldbuilding, that I will offer through the web, again thanks to my new, fast connection.

So all’s well that ends well.
And now I’ll spend the rest of the night updating my Pinboards.


Fast can be done

The bit about writing a novel in 14 weeks caused a certain amount of excitement among my friends on Facebook.
But it’s not that short a time, really.

11a40922f35bc7197956dda433747908--mickey-spillane-printingConsider – Mickey Spillane wrote I, the Jury in barely nine days.
It’s been said Spillane’s writing is nothing to write home about, and that I, the Jury is pretty thin for a novel.
And yet, it’s a milestone in both “pulp and hardboiled history.
(and it always had a definitely pulp style to me, despite being first published in hardback as Lloyd pointed out in the comments.)

Or consider A Study in Scarlet, written by Arthur Conan Doyle in three weeks.
The debut of Holmes and Watson.
Not bad, right.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler in 26 days, to pay for his debts.
I can relate to that. Continue reading

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70.000 words in 14 weeks

And then all of your plans go up in the air, of course.
Fact is, I just saw this…

… and I thought, why not?
The guidelines on Angry Robot’s website ask for a finished manuscript of 70.000 to 130.000 words, in the science fiction and/or fantasy genre.
It’s 15 weeks right now to the 31st of December.
Leave one week out to plan and outline, and this means writing 500/1000 good words per day, every day.
Stick to that, and I’d be set, and well within the requested word-count.
It’s not much, actually. Continue reading

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Weekend in Shimla

I’m getting ready to spend tomorrow playing roleplaying games in the best, most fun, little big gaming convention in the West (and also in the East) – Pinerole 2017.

This will be a great opportunity to playtest and stress-test Hope & Glory with a bunch of hardened Savage Worlds players.
For the occasion, I have prepared a scenario called Weekend in Shimla.

pinerole 2017 Hope & Glory handout 2

Continue reading

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This is us, out there

I found this picture, drawing analogies between the Cassini probe and us.


And it is fine, because this is what science does – science builds tools that extend our senses, that make us more so that we can explore the universe.

Cassini is burning in a literal blaze of glory as it plunges into the clouds of Saturn, just as I write these lines. It is the latest witness to our species’ vocation for exploration, for going there and look what we find there.

I honestly hope Cassini’s blaze is a light signaling our civilization has got its explorer’s mojo back and working.
It’s been damn boring these last few years on this planet.

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BUSCAFUSCO: Saints & Witches

santi e fattucchiere cover 2 smallI have just completed a story called BUSCAFUSCO: Saints & Witches, that was financed through a crowdfunding by my Italian readers.
Yes, it is in Italian.
It was a wild ride, and I’m pretty spent at the moment.
And yet, it would be fun to be able to translate and adapt it in time for Halloween. But I can’t really. Apart from the fact that it would be a rush job, the pact with the sponsors of my crowdfunding is that I will not publish the story until the 15th of September 2018.
So I might do it in English too for Halloween 2018.

Which leaves me with another problem: what could I do for Halloween this year?
Maybe an Aculeo & Amunet short, you say.
Or give it a try and finally launch that new series about a supernatural detective?

Ah, decisions, decisions!