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Guy Gavriel Kay Shares His Secrets For Turning Real-Life History Into Fantasy

Guy Gavriel Kay has carved out a unique niche, writing fantasy novels that take real-life historical settings and transforming them into something new and different. His latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, takes place in a version of 16th century Europe that’s under threat from a version of the Ottoman Empire, and includes a fictionalized version of real-life Croatian bandits called the Ushoks, who stole from the Venetians and the Ottomans for justice. We talked to Kay about just how he manages to turn real-life history into a world all his own.


Gallipoli: How The Most Daring Plan Of WWI Turned Into A Military Disaster

Gallipoli was an audacious attempt by the Entente to break the European deadlock with a master stroke. Instead, it quickly turned into a hellish ordeal and a resounding defeat. Here’s why Gallipoli seemed like a good idea at the time — and why it was doomed to fail.


Listen To A Song That Hasn't Been Heard For A Thousand Years

An ancient song repertory lost since the 11th century has been reconstructed by researchers from the University of Cambridge.


Why Time Is One Of Humanity's Greatest And Most Important Inventions

Without the pendulum clock, the Industrial Revolution doesn’t happen. Without the quartz clock, the technology in the digital revolution doesn’t happen. It’s time, weirdly enough, that advanced our world. How?


Exquisitely Preserved 17th Century Dress Recovered From Shipwreck

Marine archaeologists working off the coast of Holland have recovered a remarkable trove of well-preserved artefacts from a ship that sank nearly 400 years ago. Among the items is a beautiful silken gown that likely belonged to royalty.


Truly Interesting Animation Breaks Down The Story Behind Zero And Why It's So Important

Video: The story of the history of maths and how zero came to be is actually quite fascinating! They should have taught us that instead of actual maths in high school, if you ask me. Thankfully, Hannah Fry tells us in the animation below all we need to know. There’s fascinating bits about how the number system (and zero) was resisted by the Romans, and why it’s very important to calculus and things like the binary system.


10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore

Today’s genre books are full of future dystopias, which only have one weakness: teenagers. And everybody knows that most dystopias are kind of contrived. But here are 10 lessons from real-life rebellions against repressive regimes, that we wish the creators of fictional dystopias would pay attention to.


11 Secret Weapons Developed By Japan During World War II

Normally, it’s the Western Powers who are remembered for developing some of the most innovative and conceptual weapons of the Second World War. But when it came to experimental military technologies, Japan suffered from no shortage of ideas. Here are 11 you should know about.


Ancient Warrior Found Buried With Ritualistic Spears Stabbed Into His Body

Archaeologists working at the Pocklington burial site in Yorkshire have discovered the 2500-year-old skeletal remains of a high ranking warrior who was buried alongside his sword — and who had a half-dozen spears thrust into him in ritualistic fashion.


Rediscovered Manuscript Shows How Isaac Newton Dabbled In Alchemy

The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury — a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold.


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