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Governments can’t stop terrorism any more than lions can stop flea-bites.

July 16, 2016

When a single man can kill eighty-four with a truck, it’s time to let go of the illusion that governments can keep us safe from political violence. Lone-wolf terrorist attacks have become part of modern life, and no one can change that. We should accept it and at the same time recognize that we Westerners still live far safer lives than any people in the history of the world. Instead of sacrificing civil rights in favor of persecuting suspected minorities — in a doomed attempt to stop lone wolf terrorists — we should focus on preventing the most devastating attacks, by denying terrorists access to nuclear power plants, airports, and weapons of mass destruction. Read more…

King Tut’s Dagger Was Made from “Iron of the Sky”: a Metorite

June 4, 2016

This is cool: CNN article and video about King Tut’s dagger.

LitPick Interview

May 12, 2016

I recently did an interview with LitPick.com about my writing, particularly The Jericho River — and you can read it at LitPick’s author page. Read more…

Kobo Top 50: The Jericho River!

March 13, 2016

Kobo has listed The Jericho River as one of its top 50, in sci-fi/fantasy!

BookBub Feature & Discount, Jericho River E-books

March 12, 2016

BookBub has chosen The Jericho River as a featured title! That’s flattering recognition, and it also means you can buy an e-book at a discount, from today through March 19.

In case you don’t know BookBub: members get notices about e-books the staff thinks they’ll enjoy, after a competitive selection process. The members also get a limited-time discount. But you can take advantage of the discount even if you’re not a member, at most or all retailers in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and India …

March 12-19, 2016: The Jericho River, A Novel About the History of Western Civilization, U.S. list price $6.99limited time discount:*

I’m excited that BookBub chose The Jericho River. Please spread the word about the discount opportunity, particularly to anyone who enjoys fantasy, history, or unusual fiction. Thanks!

JR.banner-map -- smallerA fantasy novel that’s also a history, The Jericho River has won multiple awards. It’s a magical adventure story that explores the history of Western Civilization, from its roots in the ancient Middle East to the modern world. It’s also a remarkable, light, fun way to learn, for both teens and adults. And it’s an exciting ride for anyone who enjoys stories like Tolkien’s work — or thinking out of the box.

* Prices may vary outside the United States.

An Amateur Historian Imagines a Trump Presidency

March 3, 2016

If Donald Trump were President, and if he kept his campaign promises … Read more…

Thoughtful, Enthusiastic Review for The Jericho River

February 2, 2016

The Jericho River continues to receive unusually thoughtful reviews. Click here for a new one from CJ Leger.

And here are some highlights:

  • The creation of strange creatures and mythical environments is extremely creative and portrays a talented David Tollen with an imagination worthy of the silver screen. The book is also fast-paced and action-packed from start to finish
  • …a must read for history buffs everywhere who will receive great joy in coming across contextual adventures they’ll surely be familiar with.  

The book is The Jericho River, A Novel About the History of Western Civilization

Star Wars and History: Samurai and Nazis

January 26, 2016

~ This is the last of a six-post series called Star Wars and History. ~

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Samurai with faceplate

Star Wars draws on history for its look and feel as much as for its plot choices. In particular, the samurai of Medieval and early modern Japan contribute their style both to good guys and bad buys. Darth Vader’s armor looks like a night black, plastic version of samurai armor, and the Jedi’s robes have medieval Japanese feel too. Read more…

Star Wars and History: Divine Conception in Myth

January 23, 2016

~ This is the fifth of a six-post series called Star Wars and History. (See below for a list of the six titles.) ~

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Perseus’ mother, Danae, and the golden rain

In The Phantom Menace, we learn that the Force conceived Anakin Skywalker in his mother’s womb, without a father. That divine conception puts him in company with the Buddha, according to some stories, and of course with Jesus Christ, along with a long list of pagan heroes. For instance, in The Secret History of the Mongols, a radiant being descends through the roof of a lady’s yurt and fathers Bodonchar Munkhag, founder of Genghis Khan’s dynasty. And in Greco-Roman myth, Zeus conceives the hero-king Perseus by descending on a virgin as golden rain — while Mars conceives Rome’s Romulus and Remus when his phallus emerges from a sacred fire tended by a virgin priestess. Read more…

Star Wars and History: Father vs. Son in Myth

January 22, 2016

~ This is the fourth of a six-post series called Star Wars and History. (See below for the six posts’ titles.) ~

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Mordred and King Arthur

In The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker fights his father, Darth Vader. Revenge of the Sith repeats this father vs. son theme when Darth Sidious (Palpatine) reveals that Sith apprentices often kill their masters: their figurative fathers. That aligns Star Wars with a common theme from myth. Many mythic heroes confront and kill their fathers. Mordred, for instance, kills his father, King Arthur (and is killed by him). And of course, the Greeks’ Oedipus kills his father and takes his place as king of Thebes. Gods battle their fathers too, including the titan Cronus, who overthrows — and castrates — his father, Ouranos, the sky god. But a similar fate awaits Cronus; he’s later overthrown by Zeus, his own son. Read more…