Category Archives: research

The Year of the (dead) Goat: astrology and inner Asian sports

Chinese Astrology follows a twelve-year cycle of animals who represent the character of the year ahead, and may have an influence over individuals, based on their own astrological animal, (and all kinds of other factors).  The Wall Street Journal welcomed … Continue reading

Posted in essays, history, Mongolia, research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Bones of the Magi

In my Dark Apostle series about medieval medicine and magic, my secret society of witches refers to themselves as “Magi,” (singular:  magus)  from the Persian word for one with knowledge of Oriental magic and astrology (according to my OED).  Interestingly, … Continue reading

Posted in history, magic, medieval, relics, religion, research, The Dark Apostle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Astrology and Astronomy were One

One of the areas I did not delve deeply into for the Dark Apostle books was that of astrology. Certainly much of the educated medicine of the 14th century (and for a long time before and after) began with knowing … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, historical medicine, history, medieval, research, The Dark Apostle | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Technology in Medieval Fantasy, thanks to Steampunk

I have just returned from the World Fantasy Convention, held this year in Arlington, VA, where I got to hang out with many other authors and readers, sharing our knowledge and celebrating the realm of fantasy writing. One of my … Continue reading

Posted in conventions, fantasy, fiction, history, medieval, medieval technology, research, technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Ancient Dead: A Brief History of Barrows in England

One of the things I love about Ordnance Survey Maps is all the little details of history that pop out when you examine them. England features a high concentration of man-made structures, spanning thousands of years, and Ordnance Survey strives … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, fiction, history, research, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Little House in the City–London, that is

One of the best parts of my job is claiming tax deductions on trips to England for research. The first time I went, I specifically needed to know what it felt like in a 14th century house. I wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in Elisha Barber, fiction, history, medieval, research, Uncategorized, worldbuilding | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Deleted Settings: The Traitors’ Gate

The Tower of London, built by William the Conqueror to dominate his new capital, has a long and fascinating history well worth reading up on. As I approached The Dark Apostle series, and especially the second book, Elisha Magus, it … Continue reading

Posted in Deleted scenes and settings, Elisha Magus, history, medieval, research, The Dark Apostle | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment