Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Rather weird

61-DVAP4xlL._SY445_QL70_I have just finished a fun novel called Rotherweird, written by a gentleman called Andrew Caldecott.
First in a trilogy, I got me the ebook in one of my recent sprees, while stacking up for the winter.
I was curious, and I was lucky – the novel is a blast.

The blurbs compare it to Harry Potter, which is obvious (it’s a story set in England but not in London, and it features magic and a school, so it obviously compares to HP) and absolutely misleading.
Rotherweird is fun, fast and built on such a complex bundle of weirdness that poor Harry would get a terrible headache out of it. Continue reading


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Hope & Glory – Talk Like a Pirate!

Ahoy, mateys!
Today it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I’d rather talk about pirates and other assorted ship-based scoundrels and adventurers.
And because I am still promoting like hell my game Hope & Glory, why not give a look at piracy in the skies.251845
After all, Hope & Glory is a game that features airships.
And indeed, the scenario The Man that would be Quinn includes piracy in the sky lanes, the piracy in question being loosely based on South Cina Sea piracy.
And Emilio Salgari.
We’ve been there already, and you know the Tigers of Mompracem did have an influence on my game.

But really, let’s talk about pirates and adventurers, and Hope & Glory. Continue reading


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The Hound of ’59

vMy friend Lucy published today a nice lengthy piece about the 1939 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
You can find the post here, and read it through the usual Google Translate thingy. It’s excellent, and it raises an interesting question, by noting that The Hound of the Baskervilles is treated as a proper Gothic story, an old dark house film.
This got me thinking about the connection between the Canon and the Horror genre, and so while clouds gathered and the storm approached, heralded by thunder and lightning, I brew myself a cup of hot tea, and I took a look at the other Hound, the one that was unleashed on the moors, in the full shocking splendor of Technicolor, by Terence Fisher, with the assistance of the fine gentlemen of Hammer Films.
The first Holmes movie in color.
Another Gothic adaptation, featuring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
It was, if you recall, the year 1959. Continue reading


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Hope & Glory – the criminal mind

Here is where a few topics we discussed in the last few weeks collide and then we download a free ebook.

6778502A reader of mine (thank you!!) just sent me a book – a wonderful copy of The Sherlock Holmes Handbook, by Ransom Riggs.
The volume is a beautiful compact hardbound book, sturdy and very “Victorian looking”, and it covers the whole of the Holmesian lore concerning the Great Detective’s methods, tools and practices.
I am reading it very slowly to make it last, but it’s a perfect complement for a Sherlockian shelf, and it’s also the sort of handy reference one might need to check when writing.
Beautiful, and (hopefully) not too expensive.
I’ll do a full review as soon as I’m finished, but right now on my first impression, I feel like recommending it.
It might also be a good tool for roleplayer playing Victoria settings.
Just saying.

But there is another handbook I’ve been browsing that is worth mentioning.
I used it marginally as part of my research for Hope & Glory, at the very beginning – and maybe because of this I think it is not listed in the suggested reading list in the handbook.  Continue reading


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The Second Lauren Bacall Blogathon: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

This is The Second Lauren Bacall Blogathon, run by the In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood blog, and if I have to explain to you who Bacall was, you are reading the wrong blog.

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But please follow the link and check out the wealth of great posts from the blogs that are participating in the blogathon, and then come back here, because we have a train to catch, and we are running late. Continue reading


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French Naughtiness, General Pershing, and inspiration

There is an image, here on my desktop, I’ve been hoping to use as an inspiration for a short story for quite a while.
It’s called Les Surprises de la Vie de Chateau: La Revue Nocturne, that is Surprises of the Life in the Castle: The Night Review.
It’s a host of ghostly dames, in gorgeous Medieval dresses, examining with curiosity and bafflement the lingerie of a flapper girl as she spends the night in a castle’s bedroom.

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It was drawn by Chery Herouard for a magazine called La Vie Parisienne, somewhere in the 1920s. Continue reading