Category Archives: history

What’s Your Sign? Ophiuchus!

It’s not the first time I’ve written about the conjunction between astronomy and astrology–for a long time, they were considered to be essentially the same thing. The only reason to study the stars was to understand how they governed those … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Jews in China

Continuing my inadvertent series about surprising cultural connections (and my ruminations on the fact that history so often repeats itself), I recently came across this article in the New York Times about the clampdown on public practice of Judaism in … Continue reading

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The Medieval Engineers of Islam

Many of my historical projects have delved into the technology of the Middle Ages, and it’s a topic I enjoy researching. I am always discovering cool things–sometimes things I’m not, alas, in a position to use.  One fantastic example is … Continue reading

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The Problem of Plagues. . .and other Medieval Usage Issues

I am working my way through my editor’s notes on Elisha Mancer, book four in The Dark Apostle series, and encountering the difficulty of words.  Words are, in a novel, the primary tool for delivering the story.  In a historical … Continue reading

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Anti-technology Fantasy and the Author’s War Experience

This past weekend, I was delighted to spend at Readercon in their new location in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is the description of one of the panels that got me thinking: If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can’t … Continue reading

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The Literary Dwarf, Tyrion’s Historical Forbears

Over on the Tales After Tolkien Society blog, after an entry about a particular Game of Thrones episode, someone asked about placing Tyrion into the context of the appearance of dwarf characters in medieval narratives, in particular Arthuriana.  Not long … Continue reading

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Historical Scenes and Settings: Trier, the Roman Capital of Germany

Not long ago, I did a profile of Aachen, Germany, Charlemagne’s capital city, and one of the unused settings I research for Elisha Mancer, book 4 in The Dark Apostle series.  Today, I’m going further back in time, to a … Continue reading

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