East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Last House in the Valley

I’ve just finished translating The Last House in the Valley, the second story in my very loose and occasional Tales of the Frontier.


The first tale, if you remember, was posted last summer, and was called The Demoness with White Hair.
In that case, it was the development of a short piece I had written as a test for a publisher (they never called back).
In this case, it was a story I wrote in a few hours and then handed to my friend Hell for an editing, the lot online and live.
The story some wanker deleted, and wrote Sickening.

Now you might wonder, is it truly sickening? Continue reading


(Almost) One Year of Patreon

patreon_iconIn two months it will be one year I am on Patreon, having launched my profile in November 2017.
A celebration is in order, especially considering I was told it would not work, and instead it did.

So, here’s a few items that are lined up for my Patrons.
I’ll expand on each one in the next days and weeks, but for the time being…

Loose Ends, part 1 – the caveman fantasy novella and the first Pelerine story will come in October and November, and they will be Patreon Exclusives.
The stories went on the backburner for a number of reasons, but now they are being polished and set straight.

Loose Ends, part 2 – the final Asteria novella and the final chapter of AMARNA, that will come in October and November too, and that my 5 Bucks Brigade supporters will get for free, and will otherwise be distributed as usual via Amazon. Once again, real-life problems caused me to put these two projects on hold, but they are ready to get going again.

The Karavansara Open Bar – I am experimenting with Discord, and the thing seems to work fine, and is supported by Patreon. Starting in October, I’d like to set up chats with my patrons on a regular basis.

A BUSCAFUSCO Christmas – in December, I’ll hit my patrons with a pack of Belbo Valley mysteries: Saints & Witches in English for my English supporters, and the first two Buscafusco novellas in Italian for my Italian supporters.

An as yet unnamed non-fiction book – history, supernatural, science, weirdness…? Nazis on Mars? Dinosaurs in the Hollow Earth?
Who knows? I think it’s high time for me to hit my Patrons with some non-fiction, and what better opportunity than the first anniversary?

And possibly more.
Much more.

So, watch this space and if you think it proper, spread the news.
I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, and if you have any suggestion about other perks, please use the comments.

Leave a comment

Imaginary girls after one month

imaginary girls banner IGThe Imaginary Girls experiment has been going on for one month now, and I have published on my Instagram and on my Patreon five 100-words short-short stories associated with five photographs:

  • Livia
  • Cheryl
  • Michelle
  • Alice
  • Carol

The idea was to experiment with the format and do something a bit different with my Instagram, attracting a few new subscribers to my profile, and maybe to my Patreon.
The first month has turned out a 50/50 success: my Instagram (where you get the photos and the stories in English) saw a good increase in subscribers, while my Patreon (where you get the photos, the stories in both English and Italian and brief notes) basically did not cut it.

But a 50/50 success is more than I expected, and now that I have taken confidence with the format, I think I’ll be able to flex my genre muscles, and do a few science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and assorted pulpish adventure shorts in the coming months.

If you are interested, please check out my Instagram profile.
Or my Patreon (hey, it’s worth a try, right?) – there is even a dedicated pledge level, called the Imaginary Girls Mezzanine.

And now, here is a gallery of the first five images, plus the publicity banners I created for the launch of the project.

Leave a comment

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.

asteria 1 eng

Asteria in the Court of Minos pits the gray-haired amazon against the king of Crete, and his sinister counselor, the scientist-magus Aischyuras.
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). 

Leave a comment

The Imaginary Girls are coming

I mentioned this a few days back: Imaginary Girls is a fun project, halfway between writing exercise and flash fiction.
The idea: take one photo, and write a 100-words story/character sketch based on it. A “drabble”, to call it properly.
Any genre. 100 words. Not 99, not 101.

instagram-logo-7596E83E98-seeklogo.comAs I said, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and now I feel like trying, and here’s what I will do: I will publish my Imaginary Girls on Instagram.
I did a little research, and found out that Instagram allows up to 2200 characters of caption for the images that users upload. Continue reading


Rejection slips

Got a rejection in the mail this morning.
Short pitch for a novelette – general plot and a 500 words scene.
It was a long shot.
Two hours at the keyboard, one night, a long time ago.
It happens.
Getting rejection slips is part of the game of writing and submitting to publishers.
Sometimes our stories are just not good enough.
No conspiracies, no misunderstandings of our art, no bullshit.
The submitted material was not good enough.
A writer trying to make this their work should learn to take stock, accept the rejection and move on.
And start thinking at possible ways to recycle the material.

Talking of which… Of course my Patreon supporters might get a chance at reading both outline and sample scene, for their delectation.
I suffered for my art, now it’s their turn.

Leave a comment

Ramen Days

In the last thirty-six hours, more projects have piled up on my To-Do list.
Lots of stuff to write.
Some absolutely great ideas.
Things I want to do.
And that will pay a nice figure, in the long run.

And that’s the rub, the long run.
All these new beautiful projects laying here in front of me would require hard work and lots of time.
A nice bit of research, too.
And long hours spent writing.
And that’s OK – that’s the deal, that comes with the territory: you want your story, you sit down and work for it.
So that’s not really the problem. Continue reading