Posts Tagged ‘ancient history’


I’m Published!

   Posted by: Faith    in Fiction on Foccacia

For the first time ever… my name is in print, instead of disappearing behind a cloud of SEO or ghostwritten articles. Yay! Exciting! I hope it happens more often!

Emerald Tales: Winter Solstice Special Issue

Emerald Tales: Winter Solstice Special Issue

My story was picked up by the small press publisher Emerald Tales, and is available in their Winter Solstice Special Issue (scroll down to Volume One, Special Three) — which you can purchase on this page!

The story is historical fiction, though since it’s set in ancient times it got slotted into the fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal/horror issue… which I certainly don’t mind! The tagline chosen for my story is: “A priestess does what she must to save her lover”… suspense! drama! conflict! ancient Babylon! You want to read it, right? :)

But you might also be wondering… don’t I write novels? What happened to that? Well, it’s a simple explanation.

Just this past summer, I decided to try my hand at short stories, as I thought it might be a good idea to try and build at least a few credits to my name before sending out larger pieces to agents/publishers… I want to prove myself in the small markets before going for the whole gamut with a novel, as it were.

I’m not saying it’s the best route for everyone, but I felt it was something I needed to do (and need to continue to do) to not only build my resume, but also my confidence. And, it’s a great way to stretch those writing skills, because when it comes to short stories, every word must count.

So, for those of you who go ahead and clicky-click to purchase the issue of Emerald Tales, thank you so much for your support! And for those of you who aren’t able to and prefer to offer encouragement in other ways, thank you for your support and encouragement too! It’s a great feeling to see your name in print, no matter how small the press, and I wish it wholeheartedly for the rest of you as well!!!

Now… time to start racking up the rejections in 2010! We have a brand new year ahead of us, people, let’s get subbing!

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Hood - Stephen R. Lawhead (Historical Fiction)

This was the first in Lawhead’s new trilogy about Robin Hood, but it was far from being the ‘traditional’ tale as we know it today. Lawhead did an extensive amount of research concerning the beginnings of the ‘Robin Hood’ folklore (the first appearance of the legendary thief was in the 1200s!), and wove this tale from what he believes was the beginning of the Robin Hood myth. Thus, we have a hero whose story is set in Wales, away from Sherwood Forest, and a little more gritty and realistic than simply a tale of ‘merry men’. It’s set in the historical past, with real and fictional characters interwoven – similar to what Lawhead did with his Pendragon Cycle – so that you can truly begin to believe that this was something that literally occurred in history, but perhaps wasn’t retained as part of the period’s ‘official’ historical record.

I thought it was exceedingly well done, and I’m very much looking forward to the next book, Scarlet, where Will Scarlet – who else? – makes his first appearance.

Rating: 3.5 coffees out of 5

Golden Treasures of Troy: The Dream of Heinrich Schliemann - Herve Duchene (Ancient History/Archaeology/Biography)

Concise, brief, fluid… and some great photos. This was a quick look at the life of Schliemann and his contribution to archaeology, incorporating such elements as: his childhood, his training, his business ventures, his tendency toward lies, his archaeological digs & their controversy, and the basics of why archaeologists either love what he did for ancient history or wish he’d never touched a trowel.

The text is woven alongside photos and paintings from the digs, as well as treasures he found, and scans of various documents – it was very interesting to read the tale of Schliemann from beginning to end in this way, because during classes for my archaeology degree, we only heard snippets about him and his work (but mostly about the sites themselves, since my profs tended to speak of Schliemann with a bit of disdain… as it happens, this is not uncommon).

If you’re interested in the beginnings of the archaeological process in the Greek world, it’s worth the hour it’ll take you to read this 170 page book (really, there are a lot of pictures!). I got my copy from for about $5, and it was certainly worth it.

Rating: 3 coffees out of 5

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Book Review: ‘Forgotten Scripts’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

12) Forgotten Scripts: Their Ongoing History and Decipherment – Cyrus H. Gordon

Although a little dated (it was first written in 1968 – thankfully I had the revised & updated edition, which I believe was released in the 80s), I found this book enjoyable and easy to read – and I think anyone interested in the history of languages in the ancient world will probably feel the same way.

First, there is a look at the basic principles of cryptography and how it can be used to ‘unlock’ ancient unknown scripts. Then, Gordon introduces a number of the world’s ancient languages (Sumerian, Hittite, Linear B, etc.) from both a historical standpoint and linguistic overview. He breaks down the core principles of each language’s decipherment, but doesn’t include so much as to overwhelm the layperson.

I also thought the book was helpful in the sense that it traced how each language may have influenced the others, ie. potential cases of borrowing or assimilation. However, when you read this, keep in mind that 25 years of scholarship has passed since the book was updated, so there are many new discoveries/decipherments/breakthroughs on the languages that have come since then.

But, it’s a worthwhile read! And he ends it well: there are sample translations from Egyptian/Hurrian/Sumerian/etc. texts in the last chapter, from a myth to a folktale to a legal document, and so forth. It’s a good breadth of examples, and interesting to boot.

Rating: 3 coffees out of 5

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