Sue BolichThis week I chat with fantasy writer Sue Bolich. During our conversation, we touch on her first novel, Firedancer, and how she was inspired to write it, the importance of fear (and facing it) in our lives, her alternate history series stemming from the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, merging fantasy and alternate history, her military background and its influence on her work, and more.

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knapweed Knapweeds
Knapweeds are thistle-like plants that are found only north of the Equator, mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere and the Middle East. They are robust, weedy and invasive species. Native to Eurasia, knapweed was accidentally introduced to the US in the 1890s in some contaminated alfalfa or hay seed.
Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692
During the summer of 1692, 19 men and women were convicted of witchcraft in the town of Salem, Mass, and hanged to death. Another man, more than 80 years old and charged with witchcraft, was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to the trials. Hundreds more were accused and many languished in jail for months while the witchcraft hysteria lasted in the Puritan community.
A World Lit Only by Fire A World Lit Only by Fire
This 1992 book by William Manchester provides an informal history of the Middle Ages in Europe. The book shares Manchester’s opinion that the Middle Ages amounted to 10 centuries of technological stagnation, short-sightedness, bloodshed, feudalism, and an oppressive Church, all taking place between two much more “golden” ages — the time of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance.
The Berlin Wall The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic, beginning on Aug. 13, 1961. The wall completely cut off West Berlin from East Berlin, as well as the surrounding East Germany. The wall was fortified with guard towers, anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” (beds of nails point upward and out), and other defenses. Ostensibly, the wall was built to protect the Eastern Bloc from fascist elements, but, in practice, served to prevent emigration and defection. The wall eventually came down in 1989. I actually own a piece of the wall. A friend of my visited Germany around 1989-1990 and brought home pieces to give to his friends.

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