After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

Logo wood the original carbon fibre

Wood. The original carbon fibre composite. And still the best. Low energy, clean, green, recyclable, simple to work with and beautiful. Everything to like and universally available. A few years ago I happened across an old book, "Woodland Crafts in Britain" by an H. L. Edlin. Published just after the end of WW2 it chronicles … Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

Ffestiniog Railway - c1900

Following on from my little rant in the last couple of posts - too many 'Whys'?? - about our culture's obsession with speed, at the price of quality of life and experience, I thought I would start a series of articles on what I imagine post-apocalyptic life and technology might look like, starting with travel … Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

Italian Inspiration Part 3

Venice gondolas

I wanted a close, almost claustrophobic, setting for my alt. history world in 'Renaissance'. I needed a space in which it was normal that people who wished to be discreet might disguise themselves, as a matter of course, as a response to societal oppression. I turned to the example of Venice. Alley in the back … Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 3

Italian Inspiration Part 2

ponte vecchio bridge Florence

From the home of Machiavelli I have drawn the way in which an individual, without necessarily officially having power, can control the State. Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled early Renaissance Florence through a mixture of patronage, place men, rigged ballots and calculated violence. Yet he officially held no political office. Bronzino and workshop artist QS:P170,Q4233718,P?,Q7803, Lorenzo de Medici, … Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 2

Italian Inspiration Part 1

View Grand Canal Venice inspiration for part of Renaissance novel

I am fascinated by the complex history and politics of the medieval Italian city states. Their energy, enthusiasm, violence, political and economic chicanery all add up to a glorious resource on which to draw. They were a melting pot of religious fervour, economic, artistic and intellectual ingenuity at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and northern … Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 1

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4

So, after thinking these thoughts about a possible post-apocalyptic world over the three previous parts, where did I arrive and why did I pursue it as the background to my novel? I have assumed that a global pandemic has wiped out ninety plus percent of the world's population in the early second half of the … Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 2

Aworld where the majority of a generation died would not be able to support the specialist technologies, skills, or energy production required to maintain the present level of technology or our large cities. The urban population are interdependent specialists, reliant on an agricultural hinterland. That hinterland, in the case of mega-cities, is global. The highly … Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 2

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 1

Despite my pen name I am optimistic about the future and believe that people will find ways to live and thrive whatever happens. The vast majority of people aspire to a peaceful life and there is, innate in the human, a concept of justice, of fairness. This general outlook informs my view about any post-apocalyptic … Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 1