Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Serendipity and communities

My friend Claire often talks about serendipity.
Me, I’m an old statistical analysis guru, I don’t believe in serendipity. And yet…

unnamedOne of the things I have been worrying these days – and I was not the only one worrying about it, from what I heard – is what will become of Karavansara and strategie evolutive, my two blogs, now that I also have a Patreon page.

Patreon is a fantastic platform for doing what it does, but it also has a requirement – it wants me to live there, to do my things there. My patrons are hungry for contents, and I am supposed to provide them a steady flow of contents.
But what about my blogs? Continue reading

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AMARNA is ready to start

So here we go – I am about to open the preorders for the first episode of AMARNA.
The first episode will be delivered on the 1st of January 2018, but readers will be able to preorder a copy at a discounted price starting on the 10th of December.

And starting on the 10 of December, I’ll be posting teasers, previews and special contents both here and on my Patreon page. This will include a cover reveal, because the official cover of the project is beautiful.

For those of you that do not know what I am talking about, you can check a full-length preview of the project, or check out the condensed version below.

AMARNA CHEAT SHEET2

To keep up to date subscribe to the AMARNA mailing list (no spam, promised).
Opinions, as usual, are welcome.


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KaravanCast, or how I became a podcaster

The KaravanCast is doing fine with its Episode 0, and as promised, here’s a little more about this new strange adventure of mine.

karavancast-episode-0

I started planning a podcast to go with Karavansara one year ago – thinking it would be a fun thing to do in the long hot summer nights.
I started reading on the subject and I started putting together what I needed – the software, the hardware, the courage. I also started pestering my brother, that has some experience in managing online radios, for suggestions and help.
Then, as we know, things took a different turn – but the idea remained.
I only had one major problem – what the heck should my podcast cover? Continue reading


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Listening to the radio in the night

radio-graphicI think I already mentioned how much I like radio.
Radio dramas (old and new, with a soft spot for the Thrilling Adventure Hour), music (and vintage wonders like the Buddies’ Lounge), and talk radio.

Now, something happened two nights back.
I was not feeling well (what with old age, the cold and the mileage thing), and so I stood up the whole night, and scanned the airwaves with my small, cheap multi-band radio receiver to try and get my mind off my aches.
My brother was up with me, and a little worried, but in the end we chanced upon a strange radio program from a very local station. Vinyl Dust it’s called and no, it’s not a fetish sort of thing – it’s an all-night talk and music show in which a guy that does not know how to properly pronounce English talks about vintage records, and plays old 45s.
The show focuses on covers and alternate versions of classic songs from the 60s, weird stuff produced for the European and Italian 45 and juke-box markets. Always quirky, often bad. And my oh my, was the show we caught focusing on bad. Continue reading


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Return to the Crossroads of the World

avventurieriMy first pulp history essay, Avventurieri sul Crocevia del Mondo (Adventurers on the Crossroads of the World) hit the shelves of Amazon almost exactly two years ago.
The collection of characters and events from the Silk Road between the wars was highly successful and spawned two subsequent books, and a number of other events – lectures, games, whatever.

Now it’s high time the old Crocevia got a facelift, an update and a Second Edition.

I got a lot of feedback on the book, and I noted each constructive observation.
Now it’s time to put the good advice in practice.
And get a new cover. Continue reading


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An eye for details: Fortunino Matània

Picture No. 10933845I wonder if they ever called him ‘Nino’.

The fine gentleman in the photograph is Fortunino Matània (sometimes spelled Matania, without an accent).
He was born in Naples in 1881, but spent most of his life in London, and he worked as an illustrator – the family trade. He published in such magazines as L’Illustrazione Italiana, Illustration Francaise, The Sphere and later The Illustrated London News.
He did some editorial illustration, but today he is mostly remembered for his paintings of scenes from the Great War – he was in the field, working as a war artist (basically an artist following the troops and sketching from life scenes from the battlefield -not exactly a relaxing job).

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But if today he’s remembered for his war paintings, in hist time he really became famous after the war Continue reading


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A way point, and new projects

aquariusThe first half of the first draft of my new novel is in the hands of my editor, while I hammer out the kinks in the second half.
The going is good.
I like the story, I like the characters, and I’m writing about good ideas in a way that I like.
Nice and smooth.

As it usually happens when I’m very busy doing a lot of things, nice ideas start popping up almost everywhere, and it feels really bad to put them on the backburner, or to bury them in my tiger-striped notebook, waiting for a moment to work on them.

So, while my science fiction novel is rounding the half-way buoy and my steampunk game is getting in shape, I’m setting aside two other ideas, not knowing when I’ll be able to work on them. Continue reading