East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Visit Mordavia for less than 10 bucks

177744Halloween draws near, and you have still 19 days and a handful of hours, at the moment I’m writing this, to get hold of the Leagues of Gothic Horror bundle at Bundle of Holding.
For about ten bucks you can get the basic set-up including the Leagues of Adventure roleplaying game handbook, and the two books, Leagues of Gothic Horror and Mordavia: Land of Horror, that will allow you to play a solid game of Hammer-style horror.
No emo vamps here, no horny werewolves… just the good old game of the sharp stake and the silver blade. Can it get any better? Continue reading

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OK, it all started with an article that came out one month ago on the Strait Times.

For $12 an hour, a middle-aged Japanese man will listen to your woes, do chores and offer advice on things like love and life.

Now that’s not a bad rate, right?
I mean, 12 bucks per hour makes almost 100 bucks a day working 9 to 5.

ossanTurns out in 2012 a guy called Nishimoto Takanobu started an online service from his apartment, called Ossan Rental, basically Rent-an-Uncle, where uncle is not exactly a compliment, but rather a disparaging term to label fifty-something men.
The service charges 10.000 yes per month (roughly 3 bucks per day) the “uncles” that want to make their services available to the public. Services that range from doing small chores to providing counsel and suggestions. The most requested of Nishimoto’s uncles can get up to 60 jobs per month, racking roughly 900 bucks.

I am not kidding you – here’s the website (and right now there’s a guy labeled as sold out… wow!)

Now I read the articles about the Rent-an-Uncle service, and… Continue reading


A new magazine, and a dead end

They tell me I am weird.
A new magazine is being launched in my country.
They seek stories (no genre specified, but that’s all right), up to 15.000 characters – which is more or less 3000 words.
And I am always looking for new markets, so… why not?
They are willing to read our stories, they say, but they don’t mention any payment. So I ask what rate they are paying.
The answer arrives pretty fast…

We do not have funds to pay for the stories.

But they will sell the magazine. Continue reading


Waiting for the Haunting

coverEverybody’s talking about The Haunting of Hill House, the new series on Netflix. I’ve been told it’s quite good, by people I trust, and sooner or later I plan to catch it.
I will let some time go by.
I find a little unnerving the onslaught of those that spent the weekend binging on it, and now are rampaging on the socials.
Wait until you see episode six!
It’s none like the novel!
The finale is great!
He is very good, but she is also very good!
I’m watching episode three a second time!

It’s not a matter of spoilers.
I read the novel, I watched both movies, I have a general idea of what to expect.
But it feels like sitting at dinner in a fine restaurant, and having the guy in front of you telling you how much you’ll enjoy the second course while you are still going through the appetizers. “Be sure to order the salad…”
Please cut me some slack.

And while I wait for the noise to quiet down and for the bingers to go binge and enthuse on something else, I might as well read the original Shirley Jackson novel again.
And in case you are interested, you can get a copy for free, legally, from this link, because the copyright on The Haunting of Hill House expired in Canada.

This is probably the best ghost story ever written, and it’s quite suited for the season.
Check it out.