Medieval historian-turned-writer Michael Livingston talks about those little historical details that matter in fiction.Read More
Where and when did science begin? Was it in a prehistoric cave? Should we count the ancient cave paintings of Lascaux, likely created to win the favor of the spirits, as an early attempt at science? What about the agricultural innovations of the earliest city-states? Or should we begin the story of science in the [...]Read More
I’ve been a fantasy reader and Dungeons & Dragons referee all of my life, and my approach to to both has been colored by what I thought I knew about the Middle Ages, which I’ve recently discovered was not a damned thing.
It started when I picked up Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveler’s Guide to [...]
Do you like medieval weapons and armor, frickin’ katanas, art, and HBO’s Game of Thrones? Want to learn more about all of the preceding and maybe see some rarely-seen artifacts from the show and history? Then you’ll want to attend “Dressed to Kill: Arms and Armor from Medieval Knights to Game of Thrones“, a panel [...]Read More
The magical or legendary sword is a common motif in myths, legends, and fiction. Regardless of the way that it is acquired – be it found, gifted, won, or stolen – coming into the possession of a magical sword is a portentous event and almost always the beginning of the hero’s ascension into the mythic.
Forget whatever stodgy, hide-bound stereotype that might come to mind when you encounter the word “historian”: Medieval historian and author Dan Jones isn’t anything like that.
He’s the kind of guy that you wish you could have been one of your teachers: His passion for history is contagious. It’s not enough for Jones that you learn [...]
Steampunk fiction is full of fabulous devices: Airships, steam-powered armor, steam guns, you name it. What’s amazing, though, is that many of these devices have real-life historical precedents. Here are five almost unbelievable steampunk-style inventions from the forgotten corners of history.Read More
[caption id="attachment_41105" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="Wertham"][/caption] Superhero comic books are a perennial target for self-appointed moral authorities of all stripes, and not always for the best reasons. Some, like Senator Robert Hendrickson (leader of 1953’s United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency) and comic book scare-monger Fredric Wertham (author of the 1954’s infamous Seduction of the Innocent) saw them as a source of perversion, violence and moral decay. (Check out David Hadju’s The Ten Cent Plague for a history of Wertham and Hendrickson’s shenanigans and the formation of Comics Code Authority.) Priests and pastors of all sorts heard Wertham’s spurious message and followed suit with mass comic book burnings.Read More
Terry Brooks spoke freely at Norwescon 36 about the early days of Del Rey Books and the publication of The Sword of Shannara. I videotaped the interview. It is a fascinating look at the fantasy genre in 1977. Make the jump!Read More