About &
Archives

Looking Down – New Short Story

Looking Down, another tiny short story of mine, was published today in the third and last book of the “Something to read…” charity anthology: Something to Take on the Trip.

Something To Take On The Trip

You can find it on Amazon (US, UK, IT) and it’s a bargain. For less than 3$/£/€ you get 40 short stories. If the trend continues, with the second book vastly better than the first, this one should be fantastic (now, there’s a fundamental problem with anthologies, but this one is nice because each story is around 1,000 characters, meaning you can read it in its entirety in around 10 minutes, making the collection perfect for commutes).

Looking Down dwells a bit in my darker mood, the one that tends to manifest itself in most of my short stories. Works of this length are perfect for introspection.

The cover looks to be made for women (at least to me), but did you know that ~65% of readers are female?

Enjoy!

White Dwarf One – New Cover

Two months to go, five rounds of revision done, and I even have a new cover for White Dwarf One, which I have designed myself. I believe the result is slightly better than the previous, which shall be vanished from existence and only live for a limited time in Google’s cache.

White Dwarf One

I took inspiration from actual mission emblems. They tend to be somewhat rhetoric and that’s why one fits the cover very well. The road to heaven (or was it hell?) is paved with good intentions and not a small amount of hypocrisy. The White Dwarf One mission begins just like that – with pompous words and high hopes…

This new cover is also ready for a nice 6×9 paperback at CreateSpace, which I also plan to publish. As much as I don’t find paper books practical, a lot of people do. It doesn’t cost me anything but a couple hours of work, so why not? (If I must be completely honest, being able to hold your work in your hands is unique, so I guess I’ll order a few copies just for myself, just to feel it.)

Don’t forget that I have a little newsletter that you can subscribe to to get updates on my work. If you subscribe you also get a free copy of Not Even Half A Dozen (Short Stories).

My Computer Thinks I’m Monomaniac

I noticed a very strange phenomenon across Twitter and Google. It is immediately obvious that they are trying to guess my (your) interest and adjust their estimations over time. How nice of them.

The problem is that they get it wrong most of the time. For example, Google keeps nagging me with photography books on Google Play because (I think) I once downloaded a mostly-useless free eBook on Android photography. Twitter, on the other hand, probably because I follow Uber and car2go, keeps promoting tweets from car makers on my timeline.

As you may have guessed, I don’t give a damn about those things. Social knowledge graphs still have a long way to go, but I admit that accuracy varies in different context and sometimes it’s very high.

Google is particularly apt at serving ads and I must say that, those few times I notice them, they are in-topic. Other times they just throw a curve ball hoping I’ll catch it, like for Google Play suggestions.

Twitter is also rather good at suggesting new people to follow and potentially interesting tweets, but those mails always end up being deleted unread.

Wave Goodbye To Your Bitcoins

It had to happen, sooner or later.

Bitcoin [exchange] MtGox appears to have pulled the plug entirely in the wake of sustained DDOS attacks and the “transaction malleability”problem [...] the Tokyo-based company lost over 744,000 bitcoins (worth around $350 million) in a malleability-related theft that went on for years.

Via Ars Technica.

And don’t try to dismiss this as a minor glitch. 350 fucking million dollars. The idea that a single entity can handle my money without any kind of external or regulatory control frightens me and, I would guess, a lot of people. At the risk of sounding a bit naive, I’d argue a real bank cannot just disappear like that, in a blink and without warning. Yes, banks go bankrupt all the time, sometimes without warning, but in most cases, at least in Europe, states fill the gap. That’s because money can be traced. Who owes what to whom is relatively simple to ascertain. A bit of national debt and creditors are (at least partially) repaid (yes, I’m oversimplifying).

Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies will never allow that unless they are treated and processed as any other currency, and that would kind of defeat the main purpose of cryptocurrencies: being anonymous and untraceable.

All right, we can now all go back to our good old credit cards and banknotes and coins. Now prove me wrong.

Newsletter

I’ve set up a newsletter*, very much like professionals seem to do. Apparently, social media is not enough to engage readers. I’ll use this medium to notify new works I publish, and specifically White Dwarf One.

If you sign up, you get a free copy of Not Even Half a Dozen (Short Stories) right away, but I will most probably add more giveaways over time – you just have to let me think something up.

* I’ve used the wonderful Mad Mimi.