MEMBER LOGIN

DON'T HAVE AN ACCOUNT?

Register & Login HERE

Here at AUTHORSdB we've formed the only database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today's mine-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers.

We are a dedicated website that helps authors for free.

Author Blogs

Syndicated blogs on AUTHORSdb

Imps & Minions anthology is out!


I am pleased to announce that the anthology Imps & Minions, edited by David F. Shultz, Don Miaesek and K.M. McKenzie is now available for purchase both in ebook and as a paperback via Amazon . A hefty 500+ pages book, the volume collects 34 short stories about imps and other unusual critters in the service of powerful masters, and includes my short story Bottled Up. If you are looking for some insight in the day-to-day lives of those who serve the evil overlords and carry out the nefarious errands of the black sorcerers… well, now you know what you need to read. Original link
0
  62 Hits

Killer Crisis – an idea for a story I’ll inflict on my Patrons


When I was young and foolish, I used to write short stories based on a picture, a photograph or a song, as a form of exercise. I would hammer the story out on my mother’s Olivetti typewriter, and see what I was able to put together. I had read somewhere that pulp writers in the days of the magazines often wrote stories to the cover (typical example, Fritz Leiber’s Schylla’s Daughter), and I thought it would help me develop my writer skills. The first story I actually finished was based on an illustration by Boris Vallejo (hey, it was the 80s! I was 16! Give me some slack!) This one, to be precise… Sometimes I still do, in a way: I use photo references and a soundtrack for my stories. But a s...
Continue reading
0
  62 Hits

“A bland book most suitable for female readers”


The Tar-Aiym Krang was a great way to spend a couple of afternoons reading old science fiction: adventure, intrigue, strange aliens, mysterious technology, a surprisingly sympathetic protagonist that manages not to be irritating despite being so damn good at everything… great. Also, it was like making an acquaintance again with an old friend. Two, actually, both Pip and Flinx. The idea at this point was to go through another Alan Dean Foster book recovered from one of my emergency stacks, but then something interesting happened. Well, interesting… When I picked a few books from my box, together with three Alan Dean Foster books I also picked a terribly second hand copy of Robert Silverberg’s...
Continue reading
0
  69 Hits

Maureen O’Hara’s Birthday


Yeah, I know, I said I’d take the weekend off and not post, but then, stuff keeps happening. And today it’s the birthday of beautiful, spirited and talented Maureen O’Hara, Miss Technicolor herself, and one of the part-time muses of Karavansara as she is the one that coined the term Tits & Sand. So tonight I think I’ll watch Sinbad the Sailor one more time. Original link
0
  60 Hits

Barry Hughart, 1924-2019


I have just learned of the death, at the age of 95, of American writer Barry Hughart, whose Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox is easily one of the series of books that had the strongest impact on me as a reader, as a writer (for what I am worth) and as an individual. Looking back, I can see the roots of a lot of my interests and passions to the first meeting with the wonderful strangeness of Bridge of Birds, the fist Chronicle of Master Li. With its strange mixture of fantasy and history, its roots in folklore and legend, it sometimes science-fictional twists, and it humor, Bridge of Birds remains one of my favorite fantasies, and it’s the sort of thing I have in mind when I start wr...
Continue reading
0
  65 Hits

Just like when I was in high school – a long reading weekend


Back when I was in high-school I spent a lot of time reading, and the summer was a particularly intense time. Indeed, I started reading in English because books in English lasted longer, and I had been reading through all of the readily available fantasy and science fiction on the bookstore shelves. My teenage summers were filled with stories by Jack Vance, Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson, C.J. Cherryh, Tanith Lee and Anne McCaffrey – to name just a few, that I still read and enjoy today. Then, this morning, I chanced upon a conversation on Facebook about the literary merits of Alan Dean Foster – another staple of my young diet as a reader. These days Foster is known in my country mostly be...
Continue reading
0
  64 Hits

We’re taking a short break


Karavansara will be operating on full automatic for the rest of the week, as I sit back and enjoy a few days reading a few books in the shade in this ghost town I live in, and I plan a few new things for the autumn. Occasional unexpected posts might still happen. Expect the unexpected, but don’t rely on it. Original link
0
  44 Hits

One from the Frontier


My Patrons – lucky guys! – have just received their copy of Shadow of the Ephemeral, a short story in the ongoing Tales from the Frontier, my somewhat Talbot Mundi-esque loose series of short tales set on the border between not-exactly-India and China-but-yet-again-not. In the story, we meet the exalted Rakhshan Hortonho Bakkar, warrior-poet of Mangtani, Lord of the Spice Islands, Most Favored by the Heavens, as he leaves the Court of the Rani behind and travels to the mountain to pursue the Ephemeral that is the true meaning of life. You can imagine the rest. Or maybe not. The story is available to all my supporters in the Five Bucks Brigade (or above), because you know what they say, it is...
Continue reading
0
  67 Hits

No chainmail bikini


I am quite curious to see how this turns out. It’s good to have a sword & sorcery heroine that’s not wearing a chainmail bikini. Original link
0
  64 Hits

John Carter in Cinemascope


As Blondie used to sing, dreaming is free… Original link
0
  59 Hits

Faster than the speed of night


… is, in fact, a song by Jim Steinman that was recorded by Bonnie Tyler in 1983, and it also gave the title to her most popular album, that I dutifully have on vinyl because I was young and reckless once, or something. But that’s not what I want to talk about. The thing started with a movie featuring Michael Caine – an actor I like very much – and called Pulp. You can imagine I was interested in catching it (and I think I reviewed it in the past – I’m sure WordPress will put a link in the footer of this post if I did). While the movie is not very good, it has a beautiful BlueRay case illustration, and it’s always good watching Caine playing a suave anti-hero. In the movie, Caine plays a writ...
Continue reading
0
  53 Hits

Roman soldiers in Egypt


And so I said, what the heck, it’s Saturday afternoon, I’ve worked all the morning, I’ll take a break, eat some ice cream and forget about the rest for 36 hours. But then the usual fear comes – what if I waste my time and miss my deadlines… I forced myself to take it easy – it won’t be a day that will make that much of a difference, and I can use this downtime to do some minor research. So, while I was enjoying a bowl of excellent chocolate and cream ice cream I researched the vocal commands to dictate in Italian in Google Docs. Turns out that “Full stop, new line” is not “Punto e a capo” as per Italian usage, but it is “Punto, nuova riga” – a literal translation of the English. Exciting, uh...
Continue reading
0
  68 Hits

This writing thing is getting out of hand


I spent the whole day writing, clocking about 8000 words. It was not even that hard – the one true problem was the heat (we are again over 30°C with swimming-pool grade humidity and not a breath of air). I also found the time to take a little walk after sunset, and I submitted two stories. One already came back with a list of required changes. But yesterday night it was fun – we went out and met a writer friend, and spent the evening sitting out of a bar, drinking cool lemonade and talking shop. The Doobie Brothers were wrong. It’s not hiding your heart. It’s these breaks, when you spend an evening rambling about everything with an intelligent person, staying away from the PC, internet and y...
Continue reading
0
  67 Hits

Throwing tanks at Nazi supermen: Godlike RPG


This is a sort of “request post” – I have been asked a short review of Godlike, the superhero game designed by Dennis Detwiller and Greg Stolze, currently published by Arc Dream Publishing. I like the game very much, and so it is no great sacrifice writing a review. I still own and play the first edition of the handbook – the second is gorgeous, but I only have the PDF, and I prefer to have a hardcopy book at my table. So, it’s the 1930s, clouds of war are gathering on the horizon, and as a surprise move, the Nazi have developed a superman – a guy with a swastika on the chest, that actually flies. He opens Berlin’s Olimpics with a fly-by, and everything changes. Only it doesn’t. The strong p...
Continue reading
0
  75 Hits

A video essay about professionalism

With a tip of the hat to my friend Flavio that pointed this out to me. I do not agree 100% with the videomaker, but we are clearly on the same page. Original link
0
  70 Hits

4 Against Darkness: Island of (something or other)


And the second novella in the 4 Against Darkness series is done, all 18.000 words of it. Now I’ll let it rest briefly, prune it of the useless bits, and then after dinner I’ll send it along to Ganesha Games for revision, editing, and the addition of art and a meaty gaming appendix. The only thing still missing is the title. Originally I pitched it as Rock Island (like the Jethro Tull song, in keeping with my habit of naming my gaming books from songs I like). But Rock Island for this baby is lame. Then I thought about Island of Thieves, which is not bad, does not give away any detail about what actually happens in the book, but it’s intriguing, and it’s actually a thing that’s said in the st...
Continue reading
0
  75 Hits

Down the Nile on a steamboat

So it went like this. this morning, about one hour after posting the previous post in which I said I’m all out of time, overworked and juggling a lot of projects at the same time, I went and pitched a story to a magazine – and in half an hour I got a reply and a go ahead. It’s not yet a sale, but it’s a new project with very good legs on which to stand. Why did I do it if I’m so overworked? Well, because it was a perfect opportunity to write a story I’ve been sitting on for six months now. Because I know and respect the editors. Because I live with this constant fear that the money will run out, and so I take as many paid gigs as I can get. But let’s admit it – a five-lines pitch being appro...
Continue reading
0
  82 Hits

Running out of time


Both literally and metaphorically, that is. And both globally and personally, in more than one way: I have a ton of things to do, time is running out on a number of deadlines, and one of these is for a 4000-words story about… time running out, for all of us. Looks like my writing life’s become terribly meta, and all that. And it gets better (well, sort of) I have one week to write a short story about the death of our planet (or any planet, really, but I think I’ll focus on this one, for sentimental reasons). As luck would have it, at the same time a review came out about the book about apocalypse cinema that features my piece about ecological catastrophes in the movies. A very nice review, a...
Continue reading
0
  89 Hits

The best way to travel from Shanghai


Original link
0
  87 Hits

Some late night thoughts about invisibility


This post might be (and probably will be) rambling and jump all over the place. Please bear with me – it’s very late at night. I’ve been thinking about invisibility a lot, in the last few months. Now this is a good thing, one might say, for a fantasy writer: invisibility is a classic gimmick, and one that can be used to tell an exciting story while at the same time touching on a number of different themes, and thus talk about reality and truth. A good subject, invisibility, easily recognized and versatile. Indeed it can be argued that my story The Smell of Empty Places (that was published in Italian in Acheron Books’ Dark Italy, and might one of these days be published in English, too) is a ...
Continue reading
0
  77 Hits