Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Leave a comment

Two-months review

It’s been a busy two months, December 2017 and January 2018, two months during which I finally put to work the fast internet connection activated in October and I started my online courses. Two months during which the first phase of the AMARNA project started, and of course the first two months on Patreon.
With this post, I will try to give a brief overview of these two months, focusing on Patreon in particular. Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

AMARNA on Amazon

Amarna preview smallMore oompa-loopa shenanigans: last night, Amazon informed me that the first episode of AMARNA is now live.
And what about the disappearance of my files and the long silence afterwards?
Nothing – this will remain a mystery forever.
And it’s somewhat fitting, don’t you think?

But let’s look at the bright side: AMARNA is available on Amazon, too.
More choice for my readers, hopefully more sales.
Everyone’s happy.
Possibly Jeff Bezos’ oompa-loompa’s too.


2 Comments

AMARNA, episode 1

Amarna preview smallAnd so we made it, despite the revolt of the Amazon oompa-loompas.
Because you see, I spent almost one hour uploading the text and the cover of the first episode of AMARNA on Amazon, and when I hit publish the thing just vanished.
[snaps fingers] Like that!

And so I said to myself, what the heck, I’ll use Gumroad1.

And so, here it goes – a simple zip file including both the epub and the mobi versions of the first episode of my serial, DRM-free, that you can buy on Gumroad for the same price you’d pay for the mobi alone on Amazon2.

And what’s more, on Gumroad you can SUBSCRIBE to the whole series, and get the files in your mailbox as soon as they are released, saving up to 22% on the retail price of the six installments.
Is this cool or what?

And now, what about a little preview?
Want to see how it starts?  Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo

Quoth Wikipedia:

Shepheard’s Hotel was the leading hotel in Cairo and one of the most celebrated hotels in the world from the middle of the 19th century until it was burned down in 1952 in the Cairo Fire.
[…]
Shepheard’s Hotel was famed for its grandeur, for its guests, and as a base for the military. It was renowned for its opulence, with stained glass, Persian carpets, gardens, terraces, and great granite pillars resembling those of the Ancient Egyptian temples. Its American Bar was frequented not only by Americans but also by French and British officers. There were nightly dances at which men appeared in military uniform and women in evening gowns. Tourist shops faced the hotel from across the street, and there was a storeroom where officers could check their excess luggage.

ad

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Seven Stars unabridged

aa117ebe2ef23034997a167da91a67ffMy first exposition to Bram Stoker’s The Jewel of Seven Stars was through the Hammer classic 1971 movie, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb.
Yes, the one featuring Valerie Leon.
I can’t remember where I first saw the movie – I was probably in the last year of middle school at the time, or on my first year of high school, and anything with the Hammer logo was a cherished treasure for me and my schoolmates.

Dark_detectivesI later read a cheap paperback translation, and found it somewhat boring.
I appreciated a lot more what Kim Newman did with the central themes of the novel, in his Seven Stars, which is contained in Stephen Jones excellent Dark Detectives, that I read at least a decade later.
Admittedly, I was never a Stoker fan, being more in the Conan Doyle and Rider Haggard field.

For the uninitiated,1 in what is considered to be the first modern “curse of the mummy” story, young Margaret Trelawny (daughter of a famous Egyptologist) is possibly the reincarnation of ancient (and fictitious) Queen Tera, whose astral body’s been preserved in as a mummified cat.
But it’s more complicated than that. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Curse of Fantomah

This is a strange story.
It connects a pulp bad guy from 1929, a Japanese superhero from 1931, an American superhero from 1940, and an Italian master criminal from 1964.
The lot, because of my idea of doing something new with Fantomah.

Fantomah (1)

Fantomah, as you’ll remember, was the jungle queen/daughter of the pharaohs created in 1940 by Fletcher Hanks,later variously re-imagined, and currently on the public domain. In her original incarnation she was a statuesque blonde that turned into a gray-blue skinned, skull-faced super-witch.
Now here’s my idea: in AMARNA1, one of the characters is a pulp magazine reader. He always carries a folded pulp mag in his back pocket. So, I thought I’ll make him read my stories about Fantomah, as published by Spicy Oriental Adventures (a title that, as far as I know, never existed). The idea, in other words, is to write and publish a serial-within-the serial. Short 3000-words episodes presenting my own take on Fantomah, as explained in a previous post.
It sounded easy, it sounded fun.
I would call this serial-within-a-serial The Curse of Fantomah.
Then, I started thinking about Fantaman, and my project started spiraling out of control. Continue reading