Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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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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Worlds of the staircase

You are a gamer – and sometimes a game designer – and your friends know what to do as Christmas approaches: they hit you with games. This is what happens to me every year, and 2017 is no exception. Yesterday a new game arrived, and I can already see I’ll have lots of fun with this baby.

 

9781494977528-usLords of Gossamer and Shadow was developed a few years back, in 2013 in fact, and financed with a Kickstarter. The game is  the ideal heir of the old, legendary Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game – a game based on Roger Zelazny’s Amber novels.
Now I know and I have held in my hands a copy of Amber Diceless, but I have never played it, and this is absolutely shameful for a Zelazny fan.

But now I have the opportunity to make up for lost time, and it will be great to finally try that system with this new game. Continue reading


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Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a biased review

Dragonfly-by-Raphael-OrdoñezI promised a review and here it is.
I spent the weekend immersed in one of the most intriguing, baffling and intelligent books I read in a long while.
The book is Raphael Ordoñez’ Dragonfly, a novel I discovered thanks to the Black Gate blog.
The review published by Black Gate promised much – and the novel delivered in full, and possibly more1.
What was an impulse purchase, based on a great review and a great cover (by the author himself), turned out to be one of the best reads of this year.

The novel takes place on the Counter-Earth at the Cosmic Antipodes, whatever that may mean, and indeed much of the setting is shrouded in mystery.
Is this the past, the future, some place else or our own world? Are the strange individuals the hero meets aliens, members of different human branches of evolution, or something completely different? Continue reading


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Slapdash & Sorcery

I’m back online for good, and to celebrate I’m doing three related posts on my three blogs.
The first post is already up on GreyWorld, the next is going up later, in Italian, on strategie evolutive.
Let’s say I’m doing a blog tour of my own blogs.

wwrAnd I mentioned the late Sir Terry Pratchett, on GreyWorld.
I love Pratchett’s Discworld novels – I loved them ever since I read about Pratchett in Michael Moorcock‘s Wizardry and Wild Romance, and decided to check this new writer out.
And if it’s true that the Italian versions of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic were seriously unfunny due to some translation problems, as soon as I started reading Terry Pratchett in English, it was a cartload of laughs.
But not only that.
Which leads to the true topic of this post. Continue reading


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Ten books meme – multiple reading edition

OK, there’s this meme going, about the Ten Books of Your Life.
Silly.
Like there was only ten books that important in my life.
And I was talking about this with my friend Claire – and she’s doing two lists of ten books, because she knows.
And as we chatted about it I thought I can’t actually set down a list of ten books that are all-important – because I can’t decide what they are important for.

But I can do set down a list of ten books I re-read regularly.
Because sometimes I do re-read some of those books. Continue reading