Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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The Vizier’s Second Daughter

Travel back in time to kidnap historical figures for a few days, which then produce neural copies for the entertainment industry. It’s a job like any other, for “Bill” Billings.
A short orientation course, and then a jump in the past, to extract another subject. In Baghdad, in the ninth century, this time, to kidnap Scheherazade, the daughter of the Vizier, the greatest storyteller of her time.
Only, this time it does not work out as expected.
Not only does Bill kidnap the wrong girl, but a failure of his time machine deposits him and his unexpected companion… elsewhere.
Very much elsewhere.
Is it simply a post-human future, as Bill suggests, or is it the land of the Jinns, as claimed by the second-born of the Vizier? Continue reading


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Autumn & De Lint

I am longing for Autumn.
I’m a guy for half-seasons, Spring and Autumn are fine with me. Winter is too cold and dark here where I live, and summer is too damn hot and lonesome.
But in Spring and Autumn temperatures are acceptable, and it rains, and the countryside has wonderful colors. And I tend to prefer Autumn because it comes without an extra of hay fever and allergies.

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I was thinking about autumn last night as I was writing a scene in which two gypsy wagons cross a hilly country in late September. I knew what I was looking to achieve, but I failed to. Continue reading


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Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan

asteria khan engMy Italian readers had to wait two years for the second adventure of Asteria: Minos was published in August 2014, Great Khan in July 2016.
The foreword to the English language edition explains a bit of the background on that hiatus.

And my English readers are getting the Second Asteria Adventure, Asteria in the Court of the Great Khan barely one week after the first, both on Gumroad (for those that do not like Amazon, or prefer a different file format) and on Amazon.
Nice and smooth1. Continue reading


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World Cat Day

Today is the World Cat Day and this is the obligatory post about cats.
I am usually described as a cat person. Ever since I was two years old I never spent a single day in my life without a cat.
My house cats when I was in Turin, and after moving here beyond the black stump in Astigianistan, the community cats that have elected my courtyard as their playground/safe space/whatever.

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In the last few years the locals have also started to use this area of the village as the dumping ground for unwanted litters of kittens – and basically the feral cat population is growing steadily.
One of these days they’ll realize they are the majority, and will seize the power.
And it would be an improvement.

410dE5WkfyLAnyway, as we are at it, let me suggest a good book to you cat lovers out there.

The Cat Owner’s Manual covers everything you need to know about the maintenance and day-to-day operation of your cat. The book covers hardware, software and advanced options.
It was written by Dr David Brunner, a card-carrying veterinarian, and it’s both fun and useful. Because we need to take good care of our little feline overlords.

Have a nice World Cat Day.


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Asteria in the Court of Minos

I know you guys are eager to learn what happened yesterday in Nizza, when I crossed typewriters with my friend Fabrizio Borgio for four hours of intense fiction writing.
And I’ll tell you, but not right now.

Right now, I am happy to announce that the first episode in the resurrected series The Adventures of Asteria is out and about, finally in English. You can buy it right now on Gumroad (epub, pdf, mobi) and it will be up on Amazon in a few days1.

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Asteria in the Court of Minos pits the gray-haired amazon against the king of Crete, and his sinister counselor, the scientist-magus Aischyuras.
Danger.
Intrigue.
Violence.
Minotaurs.
The Serpent Cult.
Giant robots.

Inspired by the old peplums and sword & sandal movies that were Italy’s own brand of fantasy film-making in the ’50s and ’60s, the Asteria stories play with time and space and historical accuracy, and often end with a big explosion.
I hope you’ll enjoy them.

All of Asteria’s adventures are stand-alone, novelette-length stories, and can be read and enjoyed in any order.

Next week…

Asteria in the Cour of the Great Khan

ADDENDUM: Amazon was faster than ever, and in about six hours made the ebook available. You can get it HERE

 


  1. my patrons have already received their free copy or their discounted copy, depending on their level of pledge. It’s good to be my patrons (or so they say). 


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You need to know Jack Hunter

Let’s start with a very simple question: why is Hollywood wasting money on those Marvel comics flicks, instead of finding a good director and a good cast, and start making movies based on the Jack Hunter stories by Stephen Jared?
Or any other book of his, really.
But I’d rather have a Jack Hunter series of movies, thank you.
Three, for starters. Or a good TV series with high production values.
Yes, a TV series would be perfect.
So listen up, Netflix: look at Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries, take notes, then option Stephen Jared’s Jack Hunter books.
Start earning the money we pay you, what the heck.

OK, hyperbole apart, what am I talking about?
Let me tell you… Continue reading


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The return of Lex Arcana

In 1993, Dal Negro, Italy’s foremost producer of traditional games (cards, chess sets etc), launched a roleplaying game called Lex Arcana. The game had very high quality values, as it could be expected being produced by Dal Negro, and was a big success with the Italian players.

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I doubt anyone ever heard about it outside of our borders, but things are about to change: Quality Games, a game company based (quite fittingly) in Rome, is about to launch a Kickstarter to bring back Lex Arcana internationally, and I was given the opportunity to take a look in advance at the Quickstart rulebook.
So here’s not a review, but more a little introduction to the game. Continue reading