Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Lupin the 3rd – The First

I had heard about the new, 3D CGI animated movie in the Lupin the 3rd franchise about one year ago – more or less when I learned of the death of Monkey Punch, the artist and writer of the original manga from which the character was derived. I was curious about the movie, but for a number of reasons, I had no opportunity to watch it.
Until last night.

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Geishas, real women, and Lovecraft Country

It was weird, in a way, watching the sixth episode of Lovecraft Country, last night. One of the two best episodes in what I still feel like an uneven series, fraught with some “typical” HBO problems, Episode Six is set in Korea during the Korean War, and centers on a local girl in love with American movies, and serving as a nurse in an hospital. I won’t say more not to spoil you the fun.

What made the experience surreal was that I had spent part of the day,so to speak, in Korea – first, re-watching the classic Train to Busan for the next episode of the podcast I co-host with my friend Lucy, and secondly because I’ve been reading a very interesting book that puts everything in a different perspective.

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In Egypt with Belzoni

Now that I am free of the work for my Client from Hell and missing my payment (oh, the bank will love it!), I can start work on a new project whose contract I signed last week – an historical adventure, featuring the Great Belzoni.

In cased you missed him – hard, considering he was six foot seven inches tall, and wide in proportion – Giovanni Battista Belzoni was an Italian former student of divinities, adventurer, antiquarian, hydraulic engineer, egyptologist, stage magician and fairground strongman, that soon after Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt conducted a series of excavations along the Nile – basically because his work as an hydraulic engineer for the local administration had fizzed.

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Decompressing in Bloody Scotland

I’m taking the weekend off before I start working on my next project and try to go back to normal(-ish) and find a way to pay the bills, and so today and tomorrow I’ll attend a virtual convention online – listening to crime writers discussing their trade, and other wonders.

Bloody Scotland will be on today and tomorrow, and you can attend most of the events for free. Later this afternoon, both Robert Crays and Lawrence Block will be on. And I’ll be there.
Follow the link to know more – you can still enroll.


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Still, I live!

Today was not a good day.
First, three of my recent submission were rejected – with very nice rejection mails, but there you are.
Then, the ghostwriting client I’ve been working for in the last few months candidly told me he will pay the last instalment of my due if and when his book will be published. This means waiting three to six months – in the best hypothesis. I pointed out that this way I’ll be unable to pay my mortgage this winter, and he shrugged.
That’s my problem, he said.
He’s not wrong.

I often compare this writing business to a roller-coaster ride. In this sense, today is like the moment the wagon gets stuck upside-down, and they have to come and take you to safety using a crane.
I’m currently waiting for the crane.

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Charles R. Saunders (1946-2020)

I have just learned of the passing away, early last week, of Charles R. Saunders, the author whose Imaro was the first character in a fantasy genre that would come to be known as Sword & Soul, and whose catalog included some of the best fantasy produced in the second half of the 20th century.

I am absolutely devastated – no more than two weeks ago, I was suggesting Charlse Saunders’ books to a contact that was looking for some different take in sword & sorcery – and the recent reprint of the first Imaro book was just what he needed.

For me, Imaro was, with Elric, the first sign that there was life beyond Conan, and I still have my trade paperback of the first volume.

It’s time for a thorough re-read, in remembrance of a great writer.