Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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3000 in 4

The pleasure of nailing a 3000-words historical dark fantasy in a single afternoon!
It’s the sort of thing that makes one feel good.
Sort of what the heck, I can still do it!

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It is not that hard, really.
In fact, you can do it too. Here’s what you’ll need:

  •  a basic story idea
  • Wikipedia to check historical facts
  • 3 Mars bars (or cheap knock-off), to be awarded one every 1000 words
  • the full knowledge that the work won’t be paid, so you better get it out of the way fast

And I know, I know

writer = guy that gets paid for writing

Sorry to let you down, folks.
Indeed the payment was one of the first thing that was promised me, but then the money sort of fizzed. So it turned this job into another sort of work – just showing off, a cheap (ah!), childish display of writing prowess: one full story, 3000 words long, in one afternoon, from empty page to finished first draft.
what the heck, I can still do it!


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Aculeo & Amunet on the Road to Babylon

So I am currently writing a new Aculeo & Amunet story.
It’s good – I like the guys, and it’s like taking a vacation.
I’d love to have three or four stories for a new collection to publish for Christmas – I’ve one ready, and another I am writing right now… let’s say I’m sort of halfway there..295f12a6feb1e0d8e3cfbfe76f0e75f5

The story I’m working on right now is very loosely based on a 1976 song called The Road to Babylon, from an album called The Roaring Silence, by the Manfred Mann Earth Band.
As I said in the past, I use a lot of music for inspiration, background, soundtrack and assorted distractions when I write, and listening to this one really got me going. Continue reading


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Other people’s pulps: Adèle Blanc-Sec

I knew about Adèle well before I saw the movie.
The Jacques Tardi series of comics called The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec had been one of the many I had discovered when, in my early years as a university student, I used to spend a lot of time in the bookstores scattered in the center of town.
With its rough, sometimes unpleasant style and its alternating light and dark plots, the series about an early 20th century adventure fiction writer and adventuress featured dinosaurs, Egyptian mysteries, strange conspiracies and retro-technology.
It was great fun, winking and gently mocking a lot of classics, from Verne to Conan Doyle to Leblanc.

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And yet, when finally the Adèle Blanc-Sec movie was released in 2010, the first of a proposed trilogy, I caught it on the big screen, and I did not like it.
Or, better, I liked it, but not as much as I had anticipated.

Re-watching the film in the silence and heat of the Astigianistan hills, I finally saw what peeved me all those years ago, and I was sort of reconciled with the movie. Continue reading


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Alfonso Azpiri, 1947-2017

Spanish comic artist and illustrator Alfonso Azpiri passed away a few hours ago.
Azpiri was one of the many graphic artists whose works I cherished.
Wikipedia classifies him in the “adult oriented” field, but his stories, that ranged from science fiction to horror, while often incredibly racy, were also a fun mix of caricature and satire, and his pneumatic, big-haired trademark female characters were both sexy and absurd, sultry and silly.

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With the character of Lorna, he created a silly, naughty mix of Star Wars and Barbarella.

Here is a small gallery of his works, in memoriam.
And yes, depending on where you are, some of this might be considered NSFW. Continue reading