Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Hope & Glory: (some of) our Neanderthals are different

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civilized Neanderthal

Illustration by Alberto Bontempi for Hope & Glory

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Hussars & Hackers – return to Drachenstahl

Back in… oh, it was probably 1984, I first tried my hand at a series of short stories set in a post-catastrophic future, in which micronations (but they were not called micronations back then) were the last surviving bastion of order in a world in which environmental and economic disaster had created billions of refugees.
I had just read a book about the coming ice age (it looked legit), so I threw that idea in.
ruritania_zenda_1938_by_mbhdesign-d8zcnf3I had been reading The Prisoner of Zenda for the first time, too, and I sort of wanted to mix the small operetta nation/state of the book with a sort of futuristic and cyberpunkoid stories.
Hussars and Hackers, if you will.
So I imagined this small Alpine nation, called Drachenstahl (which means something like “stolen from the dragon”), served by airships and with a solar/geothermal energy economy, in which a small unit of “technology cops” operated – people charged with keeping an eye on the diffusion of new technologies and the abuse of those technologies. Continue reading


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Hope & Glory, Analytical Engineer

Work on the basic handbook for Hope & Glory has accelerated as the end of the year approaches, and I receive daily sketches that will become interior illustrations.

So, why not share?
This one, for instance, is called Analytical Engineer, and is the work of the excellent Alberto Bontempi.

analytical engineer_matite

In the world of Hope & Glory, analytical engines based on Charles Babbage’s designs are commonplace, and drive the march of progress.


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See you at the Aethercon!

What about a virtual gaming convention?

Selection_893Aethercon is the largest online convention for roleplaying games and gamers, and it will take place on the next weekend, between November 10 and 12. It will feature demo games, speed painting tournaments, panels and interviews. There will be publishers’ stores and vendor booths.
Everything online, managed through Hangouts, Skype etc.

I will be there with my friends of GGStudio and Savage Worlds Italia, and I’ll bring Hope & Glory to the table.
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Aethercon VI

Aethercon_LogoThis is con season – and after crawling to Milan for the local con, I’ll be taking part in a virtual, online con… Aethercon VI, on the 10th, 11th and 12th of November.

The Aethercon is an online gaming convention – you get to meet game designers and publishers, you get to try new games, you can attend panels and burn a few bucks in the virtual vendor area.
Isn’t this internet thing great? Continue reading