Monday, December 21, 2009

Music in Bronze Age Canaan


Just a quick update on my work in progress, since I haven't blogged about it in a while:

In the course of doing research on Middle and Late Bronze Age Canaan, I came across Joachim Braun's excellent Music in Ancient Israel / Palestine: Archaeological, Written, and Comparative Sources.

As it turns out, Canaan during the Bronze Age was quite musically advanced. This is creditable to its intermediary position between the main centers of civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Aegean. [You can write that same sentence about quite a few elements of Canaan's development at this time.] As a result, although I had originally decided to set this novel in Bronze Age Jerusalem, I have decided to shift it to Jericho. If you take Braun's work together with the Old Testament account of the fall of Jericho, the imagery basically writes itself.

Writing material with historical elements is to some extent a big cheat. The research will often just tell you what to write, and your creativity [such as it is] can take the day off. But what the hell, I'm not proud.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Observations from Sci-Fi Films


In WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, at the facility where they are building the spaceship to try to escape from Earth before the other planet hits, written on the wall is the motto "Waste anything, but not Time."

This makes a nice bookend to ON THE BEACH, where there is a banner hanging in the city square that reads, "There Is Still Time". Even when there no longer is.