East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


On the Air, the roleplaying game

radio-graphicIf you’ve been reading Karavansara before, you know that among my (too many) interests both old time radio and roleplaying games can be found.
One is strictly an hobby, the other is also a sometimes paying job.
And we’ve talked quite often, with my friend Clare, about throwing our fears to the wind and trying to do a radio drama. Because it would be fun.
Then, today, I discovered On the Air. Continue reading

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Robert Arthur and the Mysterious Traveler

RatypingI was a fan of Robert Arthur Jr before I was a fan of anybody else. Robert Arthur Jr came before Jack Williamson and Robert Howard and Fritz Leiber and Jack Vance and Roger Zelazny and Michael Moorcock and all the rest.
This because the first books I cut my teeth on were part of the series The Three Investigators, that were credited to Alfred Hitchcock but were actually written by various authors – and Robert Arthur Jr wrote the first dozen or so.
24992Robert Arthur also edited a number of anthologies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Ghostly Gallery, that was – as I mentioned a few days back – the book that started my long-time fascination with ghost stories.
The volume included three stories by Arthur, The Haunted Trailer, The Wonderful Day and Obstinate Uncle Otis. Very good stories, that remained in my memory these 39 years. Continue reading


On the border with Bogart & Bacall

1And talking about Old Time Radio.

There’s a series about a guy with a boat.
He’s an adventurer, and in the early ’50s he gets involved in a series of intrigues, mysteries and thrilling adventures. He moves on the border between the civilized world and the changing water margin of islands and ports and strange places.
The series takes its name from the name of his boat.

Only it’s not The Corsair – much as the basic premise appears to be the same.
It’s called Bold Venture, and the hero of the piece is Humphrey Bogart.
And there’s Lauren Bacall in it, too!
I can only hang my head and accept the fact that I’ve been trumped.
And I can enjoy the show, of course. Continue reading


Old Time Radio: One World Flight

I think I already mentioned in the past the Old Time Radio Researchers Group, a community of old time radio aficionados devoted to bringing accurate reproductions of old radio shows to the attention of the public.
I am not an expert of Old Time Radio – I know the basics, I’ve heard a few of the best known shows – and the OTRR Group is to me a source of endless surprises.


Browsing their collections of the Internet Archive is always a source of delight, and yesterday I discovered One World Flight, a 1947 documentary series by Norman Corwin (a giant in the history of American broadcasting). Continue reading


The World Adventurers Club and the OTRR Group

I guess my friend Claire will love this one.
I recently discovered the Old Time Radio Research Group (aka OTRR Group), a band of old time radio enthusiasts that maintain what they describe as the most accurate archive of OTR series in the world.


Which is quite the thing – and in these evenings, while Italy was being besieged by the San Remo Music Festival, I slipped back into the past thanks to a pretty fun radio series from 1932, called World Adventurers Club. Continue reading