Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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“Fever” is out

Basic RGBThe Pro Se Thriller of the Week is, to me, a fine example of a simple idea elegantly executed: four thriller series, new episodes coming out alternatively one er week.
The offer includes the techno-thriller of THE OUT OF TIMERS, the police procedural of MURDER, AR, the sophisticated caper thriller of AKA THE SINNER and the supernatural thriller of HARRIDAN.
Four series, six episodes each, each episode written by a different writer.
A total of twenty-four novellas, one per week for six months, at a ridiculous price.

The tag-line of Thriller of the Week is the future of digital storytelling.

And I am part of this, having sold four stories to Pro Se Productions, one for each series.
And today, my first story hit the shelves – it’s called Fever and it is the second episode of THE OUT OF TIMERS.

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African guerrillas, rapacious companies, a deadly virus, a dastardly plot… what else do you need to keep you happy for Christmas?

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Hussars & Hackers – return to Drachenstahl

Back in… oh, it was probably 1984, I first tried my hand at a series of short stories set in a post-catastrophic future, in which micronations (but they were not called micronations back then) were the last surviving bastion of order in a world in which environmental and economic disaster had created billions of refugees.
I had just read a book about the coming ice age (it looked legit), so I threw that idea in.
ruritania_zenda_1938_by_mbhdesign-d8zcnf3I had been reading The Prisoner of Zenda for the first time, too, and I sort of wanted to mix the small operetta nation/state of the book with a sort of futuristic and cyberpunkoid stories.
Hussars and Hackers, if you will.
So I imagined this small Alpine nation, called Drachenstahl (which means something like “stolen from the dragon”), served by airships and with a solar/geothermal energy economy, in which a small unit of “technology cops” operated – people charged with keeping an eye on the diffusion of new technologies and the abuse of those technologies. Continue reading


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Jolanda and Me

It is always a pleasure receiving your author copy of a book you contributed to. When the book was edited by the likes of Franco Pezzini and Fabrizio Foni, it is an extra pleasure because you know it’s a high-quality volume.
So here I am, in my very messy library…

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… with my copy of Jolanda & Co – le Donne Pericolose, a far-ranging survey of dangerous women in popular fiction.
I contributed a piece about a classic trope, the Queen of the Lost City in fiction from Haggard to the 1930s – and took the opportunity to once again show my affection for the Egyptian Amenartas.

And now the book’s here, and it’s a beauty, and I am very proud of being part of this beautiful project.


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Earhart in the Marshall Islands?

416uDLSiwgL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I started reading about Amelia Earhart back in university, after stumbling on a slim book called I Was Amelia Earhart, a fictionalized account of Earhart’s final days.
Most obviously fictionalized because nobody knows exactly what happened to Earhart after she disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in 1937, together with her navigator Fred Noonan.
The book was strange, not exactly what I had expected, but what the heck, there was a mystery in there, one I had heard mentioned for ages, but never got into.
So I started reading on the subject. Continue reading


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Patreon: the New Deal

unnamedAs Styx used to sing, Nothing Ever Goes as Planned – I launched my Patreon page on the 1st of December 2017, and about a week later Patreon announced they are changing the payment system.
The following is the suggested text I should post for my followers, to explain to you what’s going to happen:

In the past, I was covering Patreon’s 5% fee and all of the processing fees in full for all of my patrons. This meant that every month I saw anywhere from 7-15% of my earnings taken out to cover those processing fees.
Starting December 18th, Patreon will apply a new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 to each of your individual pledges. This service fee helps keep Patreon up and running and standardizes my processing fees to 5%.
This ensures that creators like me keep more earnings in order to continue creating high-quality content. I hope you understand and continue your pledges on Patreon. You can read even more about the service fee here.

*I hope you understand…** my goodness! Continue reading