Weapons That Changed the Course of History (And My Fiction), Part 2

February 28, 2013 in General Topics

We’ve come to the second and final part of this miniseries on weapons that changed the course of history. In my first post, I covered two real-world weapons, and then one near-world weapon that appeared in The Tyrant Strategy: Revenant Man (and will, of course, show up in the later books in the series).

Today we’ll tackle three more, including the deadliest, most human event-affecting weapon of all time.

Historical Weapon: The Horse

Horses. Courtesy Wikipedia.

These guys. Courtesy: Wikipedia.

Am I going too primitive? I think not. When thinking of mobile warfare, it was the horse that kicked everything off.

Four hooves, plus some training, plus some gear, plus about twenty five-thousand calories a day, got a warrior an animal capable of making them taller, faster, stronger, and more mobile. Environments like the Mongolian Steppe–these “oceans without water” gave us the greatest cavalry forces of all time. And without the horse, they would have been a pale shadow of what they actually achieved. Read the rest of this entry →

Weapons That Changed the Course of History (And My Fiction), Part 1

December 21, 2012 in General Topics

Many of my books feature transformative technology–items whose creation and use reshaped the worlds they populate. This synchronizes nicely with my study of history.

I think understanding history really helps me write effective genre fiction. I have to keep an eye ever-focused on “what-if”? You could say that history is, in large part, a study of powers wielding–or reacting to–unexpected technological advances, and you’d be very accurate. In the same way, my fiction often takes place after those technological leaps, and almost always imagines nations unprepared for those changes. The human element is more important than the actual tech.

Today, I’m going to explain how certain weapons in human history impacted civilization, and we’ll have a little fun applying the same lens to items that appear in some of my own books. I’m not going for the obvious choices, either (did you really want to read another article on nuclear weapons? I think not). Let’s have more fun than that.

So, here we go! Read the rest of this entry →

Five Great Historical Battles, Part 3

August 9, 2012 in General Topics

We’ve finally come to the last post in this series. We’ve seen a wide variety of conflicts, spanning multiple theatres and time periods, from medieval Japanese shores to the frontiers of Colonial America. And we’re going out with a bang. I’m pleased to bring you not one, but two final conflicts that are worth covering.

That’s what I do, here, folks – always deliver a little more than you expect.

Once more into the breach! Read the rest of this entry →

Five Great Historical Battles, Part 2

August 2, 2012 in General Topics

Well, look who’s back. Obviously you didn’t get enough military history discussion in our first blog post on great historical battles, and you want Part II. Very well, my friend, I’m glad to oblige.

As a reminder, we’re focusing on battles that meet your humble author’s three criteria: historical significance, amazing combat, and epic scope.

Now reload, and let’s hit the front.

Kursk, 1943

The Battle of Kursk, 1943

Speaking of fronts, Hitler’s great gamble on the Eastern Front in WWII didn’t go the way he claimed it would. Envisioning a Soviet debacle-in-the-making, and selling the invasion of Russia as simply “kicking the door in”, Hitler directed vast numbers of well-trained troops — in three huge army groups — across Soviet borders in 1941. For a time, the Germans found great success.

For a time.
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Five Great Historical Battles (Blog Series)

July 25, 2012 in General Topics

A Samurai WarriorToday, I’m sharing the first of five historical battles that stand out, from my perspective, as exceptional for their scope, impact on history, and flat-out epic combat. If you’re getting the impression that your humble author is a student of history, you’re definitely following the right trench.

Fix bayonets. Here we go.

Read the rest of this entry →