East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

The long and short of it

I write mostly short stories and novellas. The main reasons, I think, have to do with time – on one hand, I often write to pay my bills, and writing fast is OK, but shorter works can be mailed out to publishers faster. But there is also another element, and it’s got to do with my impatience – as I often write to see how the story will go and what will happen to the characters, by writing short I get my answers sooner.

The same goes, I believe, with reading – as I grow old I find myself more attracted to short stories and novellas than to longer works, and I tend to prefer one shot novels to lengthy series.

But there are exceptions.

Continue reading


Idle for a while

At the end of last week I took part in the Nizza Monferrato book fair, Libri in Nizza, to meet a few old friends and talk about books and stuff. The event took place in the Foro Boario, a vast public hall that was created refurbishing the old cattle market. Due to causes independent of the organization’s decisions, the temperature inside was probably 35°, with a humidity fit to growing orchids. As a result, I am now here with a fever, and a sore throat I am treating with honey drops and hot tea.
My head is killing me, and I am wracked by cough.
Aren’t these cultural events a wonder?

But it was generally fun, and afterwards we had a pizza at Casablanca’s, and talked shop, and projects, and stuff.
Then I came home and woke up next morning without a voice, but with a fever.

Now I am taking a few days off, laying in bed and reading.
Thanks to a special promotion on Amazon.it, I finally got myself the first three books in the Foreigner series by C.J. Cherryh, and I am enjoying them a lot.

After more than forty years as a science fiction reader, Cherryh is still one of my favorite authors, and the first Foreigner book I am currently reading is everything I have come to expect from this superb writer.

It makes it worth while being down with a sore throat and a fever.


Five books that got me started

Over at her place, my friend Jessica Bakkers posted a list of the six books that made her what she is, as a writer. Great idea. It’s fun, it’s easy to put together in the form of a post, and we are always ready to learn more about the writers we follow, and maybe find out a few new books to read.
So, why not steal Jessica’s idea?

Now, I actually already did something similar, a while back, listing the authors that had most influenced me. The ones I wish I was as good as. A shortened list, one that I could (and maybe will) expand.
But let’s look at this thing from another angle.

Continue reading