Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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The Return of Asteria

sun-kingDuring the coming weekend I will write a 12.000 words story, give or take 2000.
It will not be hard, at least the first draft – the story’s been outlined for two years, but I never got around to actually write it.
It’s called Asteria in the Court of the Sun King, and it’s the third in the series I started in 2014 about Asteria, a formerly dead amazon that is a pawn of forces beyond her comprehension.

It all started in 2014, with a discussion with a friend of mine, Italian indie author Alex Girola, about the old peplums, the sword & sandal movies that were the staple of Italian fantasy cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, and that gave us a lot of fun and even a few good movies.
What both Alex and I found fascinating – and promising from a writing point of view – was the mix of spurious Mythology, mismatched genre tropes and time periods the movies displayed. Continue reading


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Hammer-style sword & sorcery

coverThere’s a thing we’ve been talking for a while, with my friend Alex – that is a fine Italian writer of genre fiction – about doing something somehow similar to the legendary Hammer “failed pilot” Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter1.
And indeed Alex did something like that, with his series about the Uhlan, a fine line of horror/adventure books.
As I said, we talk about something of that kind roughly once a year, usually in the whereabouts of Halloween, when we reminisce like old men about old Hammer movies, old games of Ravenloft and even more obscure geekeries like Chill, the old, classic horror game.
We might call it Hammer Style Sword & Sorcery – that is not a thing, as far as I know, but works with us.

Let’s sum up the basic elements of this project that will never be… Continue reading