Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Five reasons for reading Fritz Leiber

Mondadori, the major Italian publishing group, will hit the shelves this week with a massive 1300-pages volume featuring all the Lankhmar stories written by Fritz Leiber.
To celebrate this, I did a piece on MELANGE, the independent magazine of fantasy and culture – and because I was asked by some friends that do not read Italian, I’ve translated the piece, and I’m posting it here.
Enjoy.

Continue reading


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Leiber where you least expected him

I was pleasantly surprised in discovering that the latest issue of Hellebore, the magazine of folklore and ancient terrors, features a lengthy and quite interesting piece on Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife, its real-world influences and its long-lasting legacy. The article was penned by Rebecca Baumann.

And I already like this magazine A LOT, but now I have even more reasons to recommend it.
I mean, Fritz Leiber, right?
What else do you need?

Hellebore magazine #3, the Malefice Issue, can be ordered directly from the mag’s website. It’s money well spent.
(and no, I don’t get a commission, and they don’t publish my stuff – but it’s a really great read, a beautiful addition to your shelf, and a magazine that deserves all the support it gets)


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Inspirations

There are two questions that usually pop up during interviews, and they are

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
  2. What authors inspired you to become a writer?

The answer to the first is, of course, Schenectady.
The answer to the second, for me, is a little more complicated – or at least lengthier – because I am convinced that if we are readers – and writers can’t not be readers – then everything we read is a source of inspiration.
This kind of answer usually is interpreted as evasive by interviewers, so I usually have a list of authors I recite like a mantra.

And I thought it might be interesting to write a list, not only of authors, but also of the books by those authors I found inspiring. The books that made me say

THIS! This is what I want to write.

Who knows, maybe you need some reading suggestions for what’s left of summer. Here we go. Continue reading


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Three Devils in Faustus

I just delivered a new 5000-words story to the editor of a forthcoming anthology.
It’s supposed to be sword & sorcery, and indeed it features a sword, and some sorcery.
The Devil itself plays a part in it – quite literally.
It will be first published in Italian (if, that is, it turns out to be good enough), and then hopefully also in English.

11936-004-4F8FBD3DThe story is called “Three Devils in Faustus” – and yes, this is a wink at Leiber’s masterful “Four Ghosts in Hamlet”.
I’ll never be as good as Leiber, but my story strives to be somewhat Leiberian in tone, as there is little violence, much talk, some drunkenness and a striking woman in a green dress.
But there is also some bit of Anderson’s “A Midsummer Tempest” – that is, it looks like it takes place in our world, but actually it does not.

The story did take indeed some curious work of bricolage. Continue reading