Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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NoNaNoWriMo

crest_square-b23dbe8d9b80265765b27ccd9b5d4811I mentioned NaNoWriMo, in a previous post.
I will not be doing the NaNoWriMo – but this does not mean I do not respect and support the brave souls that give it a spin.
Way to go.

My suggestions:

  • get yourself a good writing software: I am partial to Scrivener that usually is available at a discount in this time of the year (you find a link in the sidebar)
  • get yourself the free and excellent WorkRave or a similar software that forces you to take pauses and do relaxation exercises
  • stock tea and biscuits or your comfort food of choice
  • tell naysayers to get lost

The reason I will not be doing the NaNoWriMo, now, is… Continue reading

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The Way Back (2010)

I have just spent the best part of my afternoon watching the 2010 Peter Weir movie The Way Back, and a might fine way to spend my time it was.
The movie is two hours and a quarter, but does not drag, and has a wonderful cast.

The Way Back chronicles the journey of a group of escaped gulag prisoners, from Siberia to India, in 1941.
The story is inspired by actual events, and is highly on topic here on Karavansara. Continue reading


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Aethercon VI

Aethercon_LogoThis is con season – and after crawling to Milan for the local con, I’ll be taking part in a virtual, online con… Aethercon VI, on the 10th, 11th and 12th of November.

The Aethercon is an online gaming convention – you get to meet game designers and publishers, you get to try new games, you can attend panels and burn a few bucks in the virtual vendor area.
Isn’t this internet thing great? Continue reading


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Nyarlathotep, probably

Masks_of_Nyarlathotep_(3rd_Edition)I mentioned Masks of Nyarlathotep a few days back, talking about the Pulp Cthulhu handbook.
Now, for the uninitiated, Mask of Nyarlathotep is probably the War & Peace of Call of Cthulhu, if not of the whole horror gaming genre.
Granted, Beyond the Mountains of Madness is bigger, and Horror on the Orient Express is probably creepier, but for globe-trotting variety, implied menace, cast of characters and locations, plot intricacies and sheer gaming goodness, Mask of Nyarlathotep remains a classic, sort of the standard against which Call of Cthulhu scenarios are evaluated. Continue reading


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Shanghai Under Fire

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The snippet above is the opening of Shanghai Under Fire: July 1937 – March 1938, a 120-pages book published by the Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury that provides a day-by-day breakdown of what came to be known as The Battle of Shanghai.

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You can find relatively cheap reprints on Amazon, or a digitized copy in the Internet Archive, which is the one I am using right now. Continue reading


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Pulp Cthulhu

Pulp Cthulhu – where has this thing been all my life?

51w9H3aTqiL._AC_UL320_SR244,320_Now, the answer is simple – it was in a folder filled with notes on my gaming table, sitting underneath my copy of Call of Cthulhu, 3th edition.
Meaning, we always played Call of Cthulhu as a pulp game.
I played with other keepers, that were more “lovecraftian”, or maybe just more depressed, or more sadistic – in the end, adventures lost their meaning as character after character died horribly and in the end nothing hung together anymore.

Boring.

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The writing life of hacks

I was chatting with a friend, a few minutes back – he’s a good writer, earning a fair share of his income with his books.
Lucky guy.
He told me he had cooked dinner, done some chores, put the dog back to sleep, and now was about to watch some telly.

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I was perfectly able to relate with that – I had just cooked a quick-and-easy pasta for me and my brother, done some chores like taking out the rubbish, and now was about to settle down with a few podcasts and a virtual billiard game.

Hi-octane life of the modern pulp writers. Continue reading