Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Learning more stuff

Here we go again: end of the year, new lists of MOOCs and online courses get published. So much to learn, so much knowledge availabe. And I realize that, as a product of the 1970s/1980s Italian school system, what I learned, deeply and inescapably, in school, is how to l earn. I like learning stuff.

And so I went through the list of December MOOCs you can find on the OpenCulture website, and after spending half an hour checking the links and weighing the offer, I enrolled in two new courses.

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The oompa loompas are on strike

The KDP version of the latest BUSCAFUSCO ebook is taking forever to filter through the Amazon validation system. Is something wrong?
Is the fact that in this adventure Buscafusco tackles the Chinese Triads and the Italian Copyright regulation authority part of the problem?
Is the reference to the dark web and gambling?
Are there nipples or other banned elements hidden somewhere in the book, of which I am unaware of?

The mystery remains. It’s good to see that after these many years, Amazon keeps screwing up my accurately plotted launches.
If you really need a fix of BUSCAFUSCO and you can’t wait for the oompa loompas to drag their backsides to work and do their job, you can of course go to Gumroad, following the links you find HERE.

Thank you for your patience.


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BUSCAFUSCO: Fun & Games

While the Amazon oompa loompas do their job, Fun & Games, the third novelette in the BUSCAFUSCO series is up on Gumroad, in pdf, epub and mobi format, DRM-free. heck it out.

Useless to say, my Patrons in the Five Bucks Brigade get it at a discounted price, and my upper tier patrons already got their free copies. 
Because it is good to be my Patrons.

ADDENDUM: both Women & Children and Ghosts & Shadows, the first two BUSCAFUSCO adventures, are now available through Gumroad as pdf, mobi and epub, DRM-free files.


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Leigh Brackett’s Birthday

Today is the birthday of Leigh Brackett, one of the most influential authors in the field of space opera and planetary romance, or if you prefer of sword & planet, a hard boiled writer and screenwriter, and the wife of Edmond Hamilton.

I first discovered Brackett in the mid 80s, with an Italian translation of The Sword of Rhiannon. Only twenty-odd years later I’d find out that the translation was heavily manipulated, but even in that unfaithful version, I was hooked.
The Skaith books followed – in English, the three Ballantine-Del Rey volumes. And then anything else, in whatever form I was able to find.

It is reading Leigh Brackett that I was made aware of the connection between pulp science fiction and hard boiled fiction. Someone observed that all of Brackett’s heroes were, in the end, Humphrey Bogart, even when they walked the alien dust of distant planets. And this is not a bad thing. By coupling the sense of wonder of the Golden Age of Science Fiction with the melancholy and cynicism of hard boiled, Brackett created a universe that had an incredible stopping power, and feel fresh and exciting seventy years on.

But instead of reading my ramblings, check out this article, called Queen of the Martian Mysteries, by the Michael Moorcock.

And afterwards, check out Black Amazon of Mars, and judge by yourself.