Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

New project – short-short and tongue-in-cheek

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PulpCovers-UnknownVol.3,No.3,May1940In a perfect world, I’d have 36-hours-days to spend writing.
It would be fun, and maybe I might even turn a profit out of it.

And yet, sometimes there are weird silly ideas that pop up and won’t lay down.

As I think I mentioned in the past, I started reading fantasy with the rationalized fantasy stories that Unknown Worlds magazine used to publish.
I still love the Tales from Gavagan’s Bar, by Lyon Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, and I sometimes I feel deep down I’ve got a De Camp-esque approach to fantasy – I need a good laugh, in my stories, because I take the genre seriously, sure, but just not that much.

So, maybe it’s because I’ve been spending my August nights reading the Glen Cook’s very good fantasy-noir comedies about Garret P.I., maybe it’s because I picked up some weird vibe along the way, but tonight I got an idea for a new fantasy series.

GnollGuy Gnoll – Blade for Hire

It’d be a series of very short pieces about a tough humanoid that works as hired muscle in a generic, D&D-ish setting.
He’s a solitary, one-eyed Gnoll with an attitude.
He talks tough and lives rough.
You pay, he’ll risk his hide for you.

It would be nice, writing tough, tongue-in-cheek action-adventures featuring a lot of weird characters and unlikely situations.
Lots of D&D references, maybe some jokes about hobbits, that sort of stuff.
Maybe poking some fun at a certain fad for “urban fantasy”…

And while the thing started out as a joke while chatting with some friends, I really think the idea has potential.
Not exactly flash-fiction, but short-short stories might work.
Let’s say in the 2000-words range.
With a rule that Guy Gnoll stories must be written in a single sitting.

It would be a nice exercise, and also the sort of thing I can sketch up in those dreadful moments in which my major stories stop going anywhere.
It would be fun, and useful.

So, watch this space – should I ever go beyond the joke level and really do something about it, I’ll let you know.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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