Scurrilous Cartoons in Ancient Egypt

It has been quite a week for the cartoon industry. Seems like everyone either insists they are Charlie, or wants to murder them. I checked out the Charlie Hebdo covers published by The Huffington Post and found them adolescent and poorly drawn, sometimes obscene but never particularly funny. Certainly not worth the effort of killing […]

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Copper, Germs, and Ancient Egypt

In the process of writing historical fiction, the challenge is often to integrate research about the period into a story that captivates the reader. In my novel The Throne in the Heart of the Sea and its sequel, The Stars in their Courses, one of my characters becomes a physician, so I first had to […]

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The Hurricane Headed for Cuba

Cuba has been big news this week. What I’ve gathered from the papers, including readers’ comments, is there seem to be three points of view: 1) Most Americans are happy about the prospect of normal relations between the U.S. and that island nation. 2) A handful of aging anti-Communist exiles, and their Republican supporters, are […]

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Assyrian Empire: Blood at the Banquet

This week the big news in the U.S. has been about torture, as conducted by the C.I.A. after 9/11. I’ve spent some time with the comments section in my hometown newspaper: the majority of readers are outraged, while some defend the practice. Some even seem naïve enough to be shocked. However, most ruling elites, ours […]

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Blood Sacrifice in Israel

Thirty years ago I visited Israel for the first time, partly to do research for my novels about Jezebel. In Jerusalem I passed a store window with small but colorful posters—artistic imaginings—of the ancient Temple, supposedly built by Solomon. The storefront was the information center of a religious group that wanted to tear down the […]

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Medusa Coils mentions Stars in their Courses

Martha’s The Stars in their Courses was mentioned in Medusa Coils. “I have started reading Martha Shelley’s latest novel, The Stars in their Courses. I hope to have a full review in a month or so after I have recovered from carpal tunnel syndrome. But I wanted to let you know that if what I’ve […]

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