Monday, February 28, 2011

How Would We Be Perceived to the Iceman?

Very free reconstructions of equipment said to...Image via Wikipedia
Oetzi the Iceman, the famous middle aged man frozen into a glacier more than 5,000 years ago, and found in the Alps in northern Italy in 1991, stood about 5 feet tall, or about 1.6 meters. Oetzi weighed a little more than 100 pounds, or about 50 kilogrammes, at his death. Experts tell us he was average for his time. Five thousand to 10,000 years ago the earth warmed and civilizations began to form. For the descendants of Indo-European culture, this was the period that our early vocabulary was created, myths were created and repeated around evening fires and the serious rumblings of spirituality and civic organizations began to be conceived.

In fantasy fiction and cinema, adventurers from modern times sometimes find themselves somehow transported back in time to this period. What is not often addressed is that we would be giants to average folks back then. In my fantasy novel, Gettysburg Passage, an Amazon ebook, Rick Reynolds, a key character, is being drawn to action that takes place somewhat earlier than Oetzi the Iceman's time. If Rick could go back in time, given his modern size, intelligence, experience and wisdom, might earlier inhabitants be tempted to worship him as a god among men, or be tempted to at least make him king?

Check out the many positive reviews for Gettysburg Passage from Amazon, sample a few chapters, or download the book, only $2.99. Find the book summary, reviews and other key information at :

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Moment of Decision Shared: Revolution and Fantasy Fiction

EGYPT-LIBYA BORDER, LIBYA - FEBRUARY 24:  A Li...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Across the Middle East and North Africa many have made individual, often painful and always risky decisions to join protests against autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Iran and Syria. They lost sleep, discussed risks with loved ones, asked opinions of friends and family and then made the decision to act or not.

For hundreds of thousands of people, the decision to march, to demonstrate, "to be counted," has been a positive, affirming decision with few negative consequences. Governments have fallen. But for several thousand brave but unfortunate young men and women, the decision to be counted has carried a painful cost. In Egypt, hundreds died. In Iran, many are detained. In Libya, perhaps thousands of innocent citizens are dying.

The lonely decision of one person, or maybe a few friends, to act, to help, to right a wrong, to make the world a better place, is the central dilemma in my fantasy novel, Gettysburg Passage, by John Callahan, a Kindle ebook from Amazon. The people who stand up for something better, who decide "to be counted" have a name in any society: heroes. They are all ages and come from all walks of life. In Gettysburg Passage they are Rick Reynolds and his friends, about 30 years old, employed, well educated. They are successful, comfortable and content. Why rock the boat?

Because a lost people need their help and it is the right thing to do. Gettysburg Passage, perhaps a civilization will be saved. Just $2.99, from Amazon. Read book reviews here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures at an Exhibition, or Just Fantasy?

Viktor Hartmann, Paris Catacombs. People pictu...Image via Wikipedia
Recently a man living near Washington, D.C., experienced an unwelcome and alarming vision. Friends laughed it off and dismissed it as a dream, perhaps a fantasy or an illusion. The vision was clear: good people were in danger and needed his help. He and perhaps his friends were somehow destined to get involved. The appeal came through a discovered artifact -- ancient and very valuable. The artifact created clues and led to glimpses of places lost and people long dead, including war heroes, statesmen and jurists. The main character, and maybe his friends, are compelled to follow unmistakable signs leading to a burning cave situated near the famous Gettysburg battlefield park north of the American capital.

More than 100 years earlier, in Russia, a flawed yet gifted and not quite famous composer grasped a similar vision. He was Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, in poor health and suffering from depression, alcoholism and delirium. Yet in just a few weeks Mussorgsky composed the immortal "Pictures from an Exhibition – A Remembrance of Viktor Hartmann", in memory of a dead artist friend. Most of Hartmann's paintings -- the pictures which inspired the musical composition -- are now lost to history, particularly one mysterious pastel that Mussorgsky was obsessed with to his last days, a work depicting an abandoned cave, raging with suppressed fire, with furious armies clashing at its base. If you looked closely into the cave, it was said you had the illusion of looking into a lost world, perhaps a parallel universe....the painting was last spotted in the black market Istanbul in 1933....and said to be purchased by a fabulously wealthy Syrian collector...

Gettysburg Passage is a fantasy novel by John Callahan, available for Kindle and all e-readers from Amazon for $2.99.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, February 11, 2011

Super Wolf Packs Are Not Just The Stuff Of Fantasy Novels

Mollies Pack Wolves Baiting a BisonImage via Wikipedia
Media stories out of Russia and Europe claim that a super wolf pack numbering nearly 400 animals has recently killed more than 30 horses and is menacing the far north Verkhoyansk district in Russia, where temperatures often drop to more than -100F. Since a typical wolf pack numbers between 6 and 7 animals, naturalists are puzzled, but speculate that the harsh winter has limited natural food supplies, such as rabbits and mice. The ranchers' livestock has become easy prey.

A key action scene in my fantasy novel Gettysburg Passage involves proto wolves in a super pack that menaces a group of Americans visiting a mountain cabin for the weekend. When I wrote the scene I was worried about putting wolves in a bad light. There are many wolf defenders and I sympathize with them -- but clearly wolves are predators and should be treated with healthy respect...and at a distance!

Gettsbury Passage -- a few modern, young professionals are called upon to help save a threatened, lost civilization. Will they act, or choose to stick with their careers and comforts of home and friends. The ebook is a quick, action-packed read and on sale at Amazon for just. $2.99. To learn more, go here.

Here are wolf pack story links:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tokens Link Us Deep Into the Mists of the Ancient Past

For tens of thousands of years, humans have buried the dead with precious objects: jewels, weapons, musical instruments, amulets -- even pets. Vikings carried around Stone Age objects as good luck charms and were buried with them -- linking themselves to the dim and mysterious past of their ancestors. The custom was mentioned as being active even in Shakespeare's time and was described in Ophelia’s burial scene. In our modern age people still find lucky charms and keep them close. We act in similar ways to our ancestors from long, long ago.

In the fantasy novel, Gettysburg Passage, an ancient, precious -- possibly miraculous -- object upends the everyday existence of a group of friends. See what happens when Civil War people and places suddenly become too real, and an ancient civilization beckons for acknowledgement and assistance.

To learn more about Gettysburg Passage, go here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fantasy fiction, or do grande civilizations simply disappear?

Mozambican coat of armsImage via Wikipedia
The Grande Hotel da Beira in Mozambique in the 1950s and 1960s was considered the most glamorous hotel in all of Africa. A sun-burned, gleaming jewel on the Arabian Sea. Then Portugal, after 400 years, recognized the right of home rule, and left. A civil war ensued and the region experienced long-term war and anarchy. Today, the hotel is home to several thousand people living a life of subsistence. Trees grow out of the roof. All windows, wiring and pipes have been ripped out and sold. Only forlorn and fragmentary evidence hints of a "grande" past.

A current image of the former hotel can be found here.

A foundation of the fantasy novel, Gettysburg Passage, is that in the distant past, a "grande" civilization flourished after the great glaciers receeded. This civilization had independently worked out many of the underpinnings of Western Civilization -- before it was beset by plagues, infighting and invasion.  Somehow, this lost civilization -- through the discovery of a mysterious royal staff or mace -- extends a link through space and time to modern-day America. People are given the opportunity to get involved. Perhaps, to play a role in seeing that this ancient civilization isn't completely destroyed. Improbably, America's most sacred battlefield park, Gettsyburg, and maybe the battle itself, becomes part of the action.

Civilizations rise, like Egypt, like Babylon, like Rome, like the U.S., they are tested, and most fall. Not all are remembered. The forgotten may reach out to us -- even today. Gettysburg Passage, available on To learn more, visit here.
Enhanced by Zemanta