Hope & Glory: Number the Brave is now available

The second novellette in a wonderful setting, Hope & Glory is getting more and more interesting!

Karavansara

I told you there would not be long to wait: Number the Brave, the second novelette in the Hope & Glory series is out and about on DriveThroughRPG, where you’ll get the epub, the mobi and the gorgeous pdf version in a single neat bundle.

If Glass Houses, the first Hope & Glory story, was an espionage thriller set in a steampunkish Indian Raj, Number the Brave is a war story set in that same universe, but in Northern Africa1.
It owes a debt both to old Foreign Legion pulp stories, and to Zulu, one of my favorite war movies, but it turns the premise on its head: what if the besieged defenders are African warriors, surrounded by an overwhelming force of ruthless, savage Europeans?

All the stories in the Hope & Glory series are self-contained and stand-alone, and can be read (and, hopefully, enjoyed)…

View original post 93 more words

Six years after

WordPress just reminded me that today this blog gets its anniversary. I came aboard six years ago, after other experiences on LiveJournal and on Virgilio (an Italian blog platform), looking for a better service and a way to go on with blogging. Well, this happened. WordPress is still going strong and even a small-time blog like mine is working like a charm, without any problem at all.

It’s a good time to say a loud “thank you!” to my followers, to the fellows who commented here and to all the people who shared my post in the social media, not to mention those who shared my stuff on their blogs. People, you rock!

Continue reading

Writing in a storm

Image by Tom Coates

Image by Tom Coates

Well, it’s been a while since the last post. Let’s be honest, a lot more than a while. This happens when life is running faster and the days flows away like water, leaving my mind awash with the pressure of what’s going on and what will happen in the next few months.

Relax, it’s about working more. No real problem. I’m more than a bit anxious about getting stuff done in a proper way than other people and sometimes a 48 hours looks like a very nice idea. I think that everybody ’round here knows the feeling. Been there, done that, no more on the subject.

Continue reading

Planning a Silk Road adventure with (and without) Google Maps

You may be cool, but you will never be cool as an adventurer who travels in a FIAT Panda.

Karavansara

I chanced on one of those things that happen on Facebook, a guy asking his followers

If you cold go on a big adventure, what would it be?

Or something to that effect.
Now I don’t have to think a lot about it – granted, it’s a big world and there’s adventures everywhere, but my first, instinctive response is the usual

From Paris to Shanghai by car, following the Silk Road

If you’re here, you know I love the Silk Road, its history, its stories – going along the old road, driving leisurely in my car, would be a dream come true. Stop to look at the landscape, take a few photos, eat a bite…

Fiat_panda_1_v_sstAnd when I say car, I’d mean my old reliable Panda – a tin can on wheels if ever there was one, so basic and stripped down it did not even come with a radio…

View original post 775 more words

On a country hike with Alfred Watkins

Try a different way to look at the landscape, it will be worth your time.

Karavansara

watkinsToday is Easter monday, and traditionally it is the day dedicated to field trips and picnics.
With my brother, we are planning a short hike across the hills here where we live – a matter of a few miles, following dirt paths through the vineyards.
We’ll take a few photos, taking our time and enjoying the quiet, and make it to a place where we will find ice cream.
Because that’s our goal – ice cream!
Once our ice cream raid is done, we’ll walk back.
And I’ll be carrying in my small rucksack, my copy of Alfred Watkin’s The Ley Hunter’s Manual from 1927.
That is a bogus sort of pamphlet, and scandalised my old colleagues back in the days of fieldwork for the university, but it’s a fun thing anyway, and perfect for such a hike.

View original post 738 more words

The folk horror of Piedmontese Neogothic

Karavansara

Folk Horror.
Apparently the tag was coined by Mark Gatiss in 2010, and used to describe a certain genre of very British horror movies that focused on the countryside, its people and its folklore, its legends and superstitions.

sands1008The three movies that form the core of the genre are Michael Reeves’ historically accurate nightmare Witchfinder General (1968), Piers Haggard’s delicately-titled The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) and Robin Hardy’s classic The Wicker Man (1973). A lot of stuff follows, including some of the things that creeped me out the most when I was a kid, to wit Children of the Stones, a rather scary 1977 occult serial from ITV. It was supposed to be kid’s entertainment, but boy was it the stuff of nightmares.
But hey, even The Persuaders had a folk horror episode!

Now I am usually wary of labels when it comes to fiction – they make…

View original post 868 more words

The Czar, the Sultan and the Uncle Sam

As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.

Continue reading