Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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80 years with and without Lovecraft

Today is the 80th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death.
I think I read all of the Gentleman’s stories, multiple times, and I liked them quite a bit.
I discovered HPL in high school, when I was reading all the fantasy and SF and horror (but not much horror) I could lay my hands on. Then I re-read it while in university, back when all of a sudden HPL was starting to make the news, to be critically appreciated. And I still read some of his better stories now and then, for nostalgia’s sake.
Now, according to a sort of scientific study I did with my old friend Fabrizio, the Lovecraftian reader’s evolution goes through three phases: Continue reading


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Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions

156628And so it is out.
Extraordinary Renditions, the latest collection of stories set in the Delta Green lovecraftian conspiracy universe, is available through RPGNow1, and various other platforms.
The volume was edited by Shane Ivey with Adam Scott Glancy, and it includes the following tales, covering the story of Delta Green through the 20th century …

“The Color of Dust” by Laurel Halbany.
“PAPERCLIP” by Kenneth Hite.
“A Spider With Barbed-Wire Legs” by Davide Mana.
“Le Pain Maudit” by Jeff C. Carter.
“Cracks in the Door” by Jason Mical.
“Ganzfeld Gate” by Cody Goodfellow.
“Utopia” by David Farnell.
“The Perplexing Demise of Stooge Wilson” by David J. Fielding.
“Dark” by Daniel Harms.
“Morning in America” by James Lowder.
“Boxes Inside Boxes” and “The Mirror Maze” by Dennis Detwiller.
“A Question of Memory” by Greg Stolze.
“Pluperfect” by Ray Winninger.
“Friendly Advice” by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
“Passing the Torch” by Adam Scott Glancy.
“The Lucky Ones” by John Scott Tynes.
“Syndemic” and an introduction by Shane Ivey.

Extraordinary Renditions was developed as part of a very successful Kickstarter campaign – and I’m extraordinarily proud of being part of this project.
I love the Delta Green setting, and being one of the contributing authors feels like going home.
I made my first sale in the gaming business with a contribution to Delta Green: Coutdown.
I started writing stories in English on the Delta Green Mailing List.
The line up of this collection features a group of excellent writers, some of them good old friends, and some personal icons of mine.

So, yes, I’m extremely happy – and hope you’ll be happy to read this book, too.
It’s a killer.


  1. the package includes mobi, epub, azw3 and pdf versions of the book, so everybody will be happy. 


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Strange, far places

Today is H.P. Lovecraft’s 125th birthday, and here on Karavansara HPL is sort of a patron saint.
Can we really say something new, original and interesting about the Old Gentleman?

Well, I just saw this, posted online, repeatedly.

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That’s HPL’s most famous quote, probably.
And while I repeated it often, like some sort of mantra, there is another quote by the Master of Providence that really is my favorite.
The Lovecraft quote, as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading


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Meet the Shanhui

According to Chinese bestiaries, such as the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas, a strange creature exists in the wild, which is called the Shanhui …

There is a beast here at Penal-Law Mountain whose form resembles a dog but with a human face. It is adept at throwing things and laughs when it sees people. It is called the Shanhui. It moves speedily like the wind, and if seen by people is an omen that great winds will blow throughout the world.

Now this passage stuck with me as I was looking for creatures for my story, The Ministry of Thunder.
What caught my attention, I think, was the idea of a dog with a human face; hybrid creatures are popular in supernatural and fantasy fiction, and the Shanhui reminded me of Brown Jenkin, from H.P. Lovecraft‘s The Dreams in the Witch House.

shanhui

And so, the green* devil dog of the ancient Chinese bestiaries entered my book – first as a dire warning, then as a nightmare, then as a beast in the dark, and finally as a dangerous monster trying to… Continue reading


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Writing the blues away

Ouch!
The post for today did not go online as planned, due to a web glitch while I uploaded it.
This is bad!
Here’s the belated post.
Sorry sorry sorry.

old-typewriterI’m going through a writing bout – partially caused that my professional life has come to a complete standstill after my PhD dissertation.

So I’m sending CVs around, and writing like there’s no tomorrow.
Because, in all fairness, there could be no tomorrow.

To me, ebooks and author-published stories are really today’s pulp racks.
Which means I suddenly understand in a very hands-on way what being a hack in the golden age of the pulps might actually feel like.
A heady mix of dread and exhilaration.
Ideas come freely, and writing them is easier than usual.
As long as this lasts, I’m on a roll. Continue reading