Category Archives: History

Heroes, Protagonists, and the Beau Ideal

Not long ago I got into a discussion about John M. Ford, who I find always worth rereading. The particular book that sparked things off is The Dragon Waiting, about which I commented that I found the main character to be … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, fantasy, historical novels, History | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Alma’s Bookshelf: Embers of Heaven

In the aftermath of what I quickly came to call my Blessed Book, “The Secrets of Jin-shei” – the one that swept the world, was quickly published in some dozen or more languages including REALLY out-there ones like Catalan, and … Continue reading

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Posted in fantasy, Genres, Historical fantasy, History, Research, Worldbuilding, Writers on Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Richard III Wins In Extra Time!

Sport is full of amazing stories. But last night Leicester City achieved one of the most amazing turnarounds in sporting history. They won the English Premier League. To put this in perspective, only four teams have won the Premier League … Continue reading

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Posted in Culture, History, Inspiration | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The Language of (folding) Fans

The idea of using fans as a semaphore system is instant story fodder for a lot of us. As a young writer I gleefully grabbed that idea and ran with it, but it wasn’t until decades later, when I wrote more … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, Culture, History | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Chicago welcomes the return of Spring: scylla in Lincoln Park

photo by Jennifer Stevenson

Scylla was planted here so long ago that it has completely naturalized. If you’ve ever planted scylla in your own yard, you know how many years it takes to make a carpet of blue like this. Continue reading

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Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Heirlooms and Lost Arts

  When I brought this home, I asked family members and some guests who happened to be over if they could identify it. Everyone agreed that it was a lamp, and a short discussion occurred over whether it was a … Continue reading

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Posted in Culture, History, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Alma’s Bookshelf: Empress

When it comes to European history, most Western readers know only the high points, know some of the names even if they can’t exactly nail down the place and the time. They know Rome, and the realms of ancient Greece; … Continue reading

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Posted in Book View Cafe, Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, fantasy, Genres, History, New Releases, Worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Women, Children and Horses First

In these days of ferry disasters and sinking cruise liners one can be forgiven for thinking that the modern captain, far from being the last to leave the ship, likes to be the first onto the lifeboat. Here’s a story … Continue reading

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Posted in History, horses, Inspiration | 1 Comment

Change is the Only Constant

In times of change it’s always useful to remember that everything is a time of change. Since the advent of print-on-demand, and then of e-books, there have been approximately 47 trillion articles written on The End of the Book As We … Continue reading

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Posted in History, Publishing | 6 Comments

Fictive history and THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS

Last month I was involved in a book discussion that sprawled over the entire landscape of literature, as they do. At one point a person began deriding the recent crop of YA steampunk-Victorians, naming some best selling authors in a … Continue reading

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Posted in Art, Books and Reading, historical novels, History, Reviews, science fiction | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments