Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Making changes (still writing -related)

After the bout of bad health I suffered through early this year, I decided to make a few changes. After all, my life has changed: I was a researcher working in a lab, a teacher moving between universities, now I am a writer spending most of his time sitting in the dark in a room full of books, typing.
So, different life, different problems, time to make some changes.

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Not all the boxes were red, back then

I keep seeing posts on social media about people that wax nostalgic about the wonderful time they had as kids, playing D&D Red Box – what was at the time known as the D&D Basic Set. The long hours spent with their friends, the simple joy of adventure in a more innocent time, the thrills and the laughs and the excitement of being heroes in their own adventures, fighting monsters in a fantasy world.

My memories are somewhat different.

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The night of Mars

OK, so the flesh is weak. I’ll be the first one to admit it.
I have this friend, we seldom see each other. We were supposed to go out for an ice cream and some talk, but when I got to her place things took a different course, and I ended up spending the night at her place.
In my defense I can say she’s a great person, she’s got air conditioning and she’s got Hulu.
So we spent the night binge-watching the fourth season of Veronica Mars.

I do not like binge watching. I belong to a generation that used to get its TV entertainment in weekly installment, and that’s fine with me.
But I’m ready to make an exception for Veronica Mars.

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Flash from the Past: Hawk & Fisher

I discovered Hawk & Fisher in the early ’90s, when I bought in bulk the six slim Headline paperbacks that make up the series. It was a very strange hybrid: sword & sorcery, detective story and humor.
But I liked the general concept, the six paperbacks were cheap, and it was a fun way to spend a summer.

Hawk & Fisher is one of the first series developed by Simon R. Green, a British writer that has fully metabolized the pulp ethos of yore: he writes serial characters, usually in pretty classic genres (fantasy, horror, space opera), adding a twist that makes even the most trite concepts look fresher.

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Stuff in the mail and an ice-cold chinotto

Hey, you might say, were you not supposed to take the day off and wonder the sun-baked streets of Nizza Monferrato?
Well, I am – just got home for a few minutes to drop the shopping bags and put some things in the refrigerator.

But it was a good thing that I took a moment to come back home, because I found my contributor copy of DreamForge Magazine #2 (the one that features my short story “Sapiens”) waiting for me in the mailbox…

… plus the galleys for an anthology that should come out in August and carries a story of mine…

… and the final editor’s rev of another story that should get out in a few weeks in another anthology.

Also, a letter by the editor that received my Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and that will give me his opinion in September.

So what can I say, it’s good to be home.
I’ll drink an ice-cold chinotto (a somewhat retro drink, if you will) to that, and then get back to Nizza, where my brother roams alone at the moment.