Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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52 Books

So, here is an idea.
I have put together a list of 52 books.
Of these 49 I have here, either on my shelf or on my e-reader. The other three I’ll get as soon as possible (one comes out in April, I’ve pre-ordered it already).
So the idea was – I can read (and in a couple of cases, re-read) one per week, and then do a post. The list is pretty eclectic – it features novels and short story collections, a couple of comic books, a lot of non-fiction (science and nature, history, politics & economy).
Some books are well known, a lot of others are not so widely popular.

I thought about doing this as a podcast but came to the conclusion that
a . I hate my voice
b . I don’t like talking to myself
c . writing is faster

Also, yes – d . a blog post is cost-free, while a podcast archiving space costs money.

I would add that at this moment my desire to communicate with the people out here is VERY close to zero, so I am thinking about doing this for my Patrons, but I will also devise a way to post out here too – without short-charging my supporters. I have an idea already.

So, what do you say?


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Unbreakable Ink 2 is out for preorder

The second volume of the anthology Unbreakable Ink, edited by Shebat Legion, will hit the shelves on the 15th of January 2022, but you can preorder it now. The volume includes a wide selection of fine fiction, and also one of my stories, called Out of the Closet – a spooky comedy featuring ghosts and monsters.
Check it out, if you feel like.

And here is the cover…


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The Red & the Black – a movie night

Two nights ago I was feeling like some light entertainment, and so I scanned the list of the available movie on my streaming platforms. Because when you live in the sticks, streaming platforms are a life-saver.

And of course I set my sights on Netflix’s feature film, Red Notice – an action comedy caper featuring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds? That’s just what the doctor ordered after a long day writing and trying to put some order in my affairs.
So I got me a full teapot and my cat (yes, babies, this is as middle-aged as the Magna Charta) and I started the film.

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Supernatural, Space, Gothic and more

You know that story about the guy that manages to kick a nasty (and expensive!) habit, only to relapse and fall even deeper into his old ways?
There have been books written on this story, and films made. Some very good, some pretty sucky.

For me, it all started with the Numenera 2 Bundle of Holding I mentioned a few weeks back. You know me – a great game, a ton of handbooks, and I help a charity… I can’t resist this sort of offer.

And Numenera is an excellent game, and with a system I liked a lot – even though I should not, because it’s very modern and freeform, and I am old and grew up with Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest and the Basic Roleplaying System.
But really, the Cypher System that is at the core of the Numenera RPG ticked all the right boxes with me. So much so that I thought… hey, there’s a generic, universal implementation of this game. Why don’t I give it a look?

Short sad story: the hardback Cypher System handbook, second edition, goes for about 100 bucks, if you can still find a copy. That’s brutal.

But then, Black Friday came…

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Kickstarting the Bad Guys

The Nefarious Villains of Sherlock Holmes is a two-volume anthology of new original stories featuring… well, the nefarious villains of Sherlock Holmes. The anthology is currently being launched on Kickstarter, and it features, among many fine stories, a piece by yours truly, featuring (not yet) Colonel Sebastian Moran, and with a notorious pulp psicopath as a guest star.
Check it out.


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Not just senior citizens – more adventures in radio

So I went and bought a small multiband radio to replace the one that Panthayra destroyed. After a little research (about which, more to come), I settled on the RETEKESS V115 – and the decision was due to my limited budget, the videos and websites I had checked out, and a hefty discount from Amazon. And here is a publicity shot of the radio in all its glory, complete with a senior citizen because we have learned that only people of a certain age need radios these days.

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Steampunk shenanigans: Arcane (2021)

I have never played League of Legends, and I have no idea what it’s all about. I have seen a lot of game artwork around, and I have been duly impressed by the look of the thing, but I am not that much of a gamer anymore – if I ever was. On the other hand, I am a sucker for good animation, and for steampunk, so when the trailer of Arcane, the new Netflix series, was posted, it got my attention.

Now the first three episodes are here – and clocking at 40 minutes each, they are just what the doctor ordered for a break and a cup of tea between writing sessions.
And I am duly impressed.

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