Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A way point, and new projects

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aquariusThe first half of the first draft of my new novel is in the hands of my editor, while I hammer out the kinks in the second half.
The going is good.
I like the story, I like the characters, and I’m writing about good ideas in a way that I like.
Nice and smooth.

As it usually happens when I’m very busy doing a lot of things, nice ideas start popping up almost everywhere, and it feels really bad to put them on the backburner, or to bury them in my tiger-striped notebook, waiting for a moment to work on them.

So, while my science fiction novel is rounding the half-way buoy and my steampunk game is getting in shape, I’m setting aside two other ideas, not knowing when I’ll be able to work on them.

Getting new ideas and imagining new projects is a great way to keep tiredness at bay – and I’ll talk about that too, one of these nights.
But right now, I have two dream projects, that I still do not know if, when and how will take shape.

Unknown-magazine-January-1940The first, is an idea about a fantasy novel, set in the Mediterranean area, and in Italy in particular, more-or-less in Medieval times.
So far I have a very loose set of ideas and models. I’d like to reprise local folklore and traditions, and give the whole a humorous spin.
As I told elsewhere, I discovered fantasy not through Howard or Tolkien, but through the stories from Unknown magazine.
To me, fantasy will always be humorous, tongue-in-cheeck and anti-heroic.
So, that’s the first idea – doing a (not so) straight fantasy long story, starting here in the hills where I live, and where in the time of yore both Templars and Saracen pirates roamed.
I have a long list of references, from Mario Monicelli to Magnus & Romanini, by way of Roberta MacAvoy and Guy Gavriel Key.
And yes, Ladyhawke, too.
And a liberal dose of Sprague de Camp & Pratchett’s rationalized fantasy.

The second idea is…
OK, so I was interviewed a few days back1, and I was asked what I’d like to write outside of the genre – and off the top of my head I mentioned I’d like to do a western or a mystery, but I also had to point out that, knowing myself, I’d probably end up sneaking some supernatural/fantasy/sf elements even in a mystery or a western2.
I know my limits.
And I really really like both the idea of the weird western or the occult detective story.

Just last night I found this painting – that to me represents sort of a summary of why I write.

974872

So, yes, I’d like to do some genre-bending – and maybe write something about an occult detective.
Or more probably, a couple of occult detectives.

Who knows.
Right now, the ideas are written in my tiger-striped notebook.
I’ve got a novel to finish, some steampunk stories and scenarios to get on the road, and a whole world to design.
And a ton of great books to read.
Now this certainly beats working, right?


  1. but the interview has yet to be published. 
  2. I also mentioned I’d love to write a radio drama, but that’s a whole different story, of course. 
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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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