The Fell Gard Codices

Archive for the ‘Historical Musings’ category

Another Thought on Gibbon

April 9th, 2013

I mentioned I’d been reading Gibbon lately. Here’s a great aside he had, after describing the convoluted attempts by the Byzantine Empire to smuggle silk worms out of China and develop a silk industry of their own: I am not insensible of the benefits of elegant luxury; yet I reflect with some pain that, if […]

Zero Surprises

January 11th, 2013

I’ve started reading Charles C. Mann’s book 1491. I’m really just a few pages into it, but so far it’s quite well-written. I came across a mention of something that surprised me: in discussing the Olmecs and their accomplishments, Mann mentions that the idea of “0” (zero) as a number didn’t reach Europe until the […]

A Thought, However Tentative

January 5th, 2013

So I’ve begun slowly reading The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a classic Chinese historical novel. It triggered a thought, which I expect I’ll be considering more as I read further. That thought is this: modern western fantasy frequently seems to imagine a setting in some ways much more like historical China (and Chinese fantasies […]

The Rewards of Research

November 10th, 2012

I’ve mentioned here that as part of my process for Fell Gard I’m researching the Middle Ages. It’s ongoing open-ended research; the Middle Ages are a vast topic, even if I restrict my main focus to Britain and France. What I find, though, is that there’s a specific joy that comes with the research, and […]

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