Thursday, April 30, 2015

PHARAOHS on your PHABLET iPad or Kindle... by Roy Lester Pond

Egypt inspired Fiction

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Can you spot this Egyptian Great Pyramid in the sky?

A possible inspiration?

How the boy King Tutankhamun might have looked as a grown man


Tut, the boy, grown to a man. A little imagining on my part, using photoshop
My last image of the gold mask, taken a few years ago in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo




And Goodreads Egypt Thrillers for young readers...

One of my young readers' novels written as Roy Pond. (Roy Lester Pond for adult fiction)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Was ancient Egypt's afterlife a different reality, created by a civilization’s collective unconscious and sustained by its religion?

"Do I believe in survival after death?" the independent Egyptologist asked himself...


Anson Hunter wrestles with life, death and Egypt's mysteries - The SMITING TEXTS adventure thriller

 Anson threw a glance to the columns bearing reliefs of the Vizier Mereruka.

The striding figure in profile seemed beyond time and decay. The Hittite, Greek, Persian, Roman and British empires had all come and gone while the Vizier had continued to move steadfastly through eternity.

It was a reminder that the Egyptians really believed, he thought. People were wrong to imagine that cynical priests pretended to believe and merely went through the motions when they presented offerings and prayers and burnt incense in front of this door. They believed unshakably in an afterlife. They lived in an age where humankind and gods, the living and the dead, and the forces of good and evil, existed side by side in two parts that held the universe together. In today’s age that denied god and laughed at the devil, people could not see both sides. But they needed to believe in the light and the shadow and to hold both in their minds, not least the shadow. The shadow gave things shape and form. Without it there was just blinding, unrelieved glare like the sunlit desert outside.

Was Mereruka’s afterworld a physical place? Or just a different reality, a sort of virtual world created by a civilization’s collective unconscious and sustained by its religion? Mereruka did not question its existence.

‘Do I believe in survival after death?’ Anson asked himself. ‘Perhaps not, when I think about it. But what about when I don’t think about it, but merely feel it, at a deeper level?’

Everyone knew that the Egyptians were preoccupied with the afterlife, but they took it even more seriously than many imagined. Humans, they said, were the only creatures that must live life with the knowledge that one day they’re going to die and our culture was the world of distraction we create around ourselves to shield us from this knowledge. But the Egyptians’ culture did not serve as a mere distraction to the pitiless cruelty of death. Instead their culture came to grips with death in an attempt to overcome its tyranny. This doorway and statue, the glowing underworlds of the tombs, the Books of Coming Forth By Day, or the Book of the Dead as they called these religious texts - were the results of government-funded research into the ‘first mystery’- death and the afterlife. The early pyramids were like nationally financed space-shots designed to launch the god-king pharaoh into the hereafter. The Egyptians even had maps showing the routes to the underworld painted on the bases of coffins.

The unconscious psyche believes in life after death Carl Jung asserted.

Anson recalled that the doctor and founder of analytical psychology had written of a near-death experience after a heart attack and had reported a spiritual existence outside of his body.

The images of the afterlife carved on the tomb walls around him urged Anson to believe.

But the veil of mystery remained.

Perhaps we were not meant to know the truth so that we could endure this life.





What does an Egypt thriller author name his dog?

Meet Anubis, our Bichoodle. Notice the pointy black muzzle and pricked ears... That's Red Dog of movie fame behind

 Anubis or "Newbie" is a dead ringer for the Egyptian jackal-dog of the necropolis, here with wife Brenda
Anubis digging, as a frustrated archaeologist's dog should


Anubis is one of a long line of Egyptian-named dogs.

In fact, we've had a whole dynasty of dogs... named Pharaoh, Rameses and Seti... if not in the correct regnal order.

Anubis and I adventurously exploring

Pharaohs Thutmosis l, Thutmosis ll... and osmosis... reading Kara Cooney

Hatshepsut's temple


Finally started reading Kara Cooney's 'The Woman Who Would be King'. 

Reading about Pharaohs Thutmosis l and Thutmosis ll and how the young princess Hatshepsut would have been absorbing the royal court life by osmosis, when I fell to wondering... who was Osmosis? Clearly I must have missed that pharaoh in my research...

  Just my mischievous mind at work... but enjoying Kara's book.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Power of Words in my Egypt thrillers.


It's rare that Thoth, in his ibis or dog-faced baboon form doesn't get a mention in my adventure and archaeology thrillers

The Egyptian God Thoth, 'Lord of Words of Power'...


"Okay," she said. "But to believe in the Stela of Thoth, you’ve got to believe in Thoth. An Egyptian god with a bird’s head."

“We don’t know who, or what, Thoth may have been,” Anson Hunter said. “But even putting aside the question of whether or not a race called the Neteru, or the gods, actually existed at some distant age, consider it a case of inspired agency. Like the Bible. Egyptian religion and mythology tells us that Thoth was the first example of the divine mind, the logos, or the ‘word’ of creation as Christians call it. He was known as the master of wisdom, writing and time, symbolised by both the sacred ibis and the dog-faced baboon.”

“A bird and a baboon as the god of wisdom?”

“Not so unexpected. Have you ever looked at an ibis? The curve of its beak echoes a crescent moon, or perhaps the rim of an eclipse. Watch the measured way an ibis strides, picking out small fish, snakes, frogs and insects like a master scribe judiciously selecting his words. Thoth was also the god of time and measurement. Picture the way the ibis strides the fields of Egypt, pace by measuring pace, like a scribal surveyor of ancient times re-measuring the land and setting boundaries after mud from the inundation covered the river banks.”

“And a baboon?”

“Before man could utter words, baboons were facing the rising sun and chattering. Look into those deep-set eyes and it’s possible to believe that you’re looking into the depths of mysterious wisdom and it was mainly in the form of a baboon that scribes revered Thoth as the ‘Lord of Script.’”

(The Ibis Apocalypse)


'The power of words' in Egypt fiction - Kindle and selected titles in paperpack.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The phenomenon of a sunrise at Egypt's Abu Simbel temple... (The Hathor Holocaust)

The Great Temple of Abu Simbel in Egyptian Nubia.



Sunrise splintered light over the rim of the earth and into the temple doorway.

Anson, Neith and her party of New Agers stood among a throng of visitors who waited in the pre-dawn chill of the Great Temple of Abu Simbel in Egyptian Nubia.

“Here it comes!” someone in the crowd whispered.

Light beams ran a gauntlet of sixty metres between a double line of eight Osiride pillars in the image of Rameses the Great bearing flails and crooks in their crossed arms, to penetrate the holy of holies, where a group of divinities sat enthroned in darkness.

There were gasps and sighs from the international assembly of visitors.

Gasp away, Anson thought. Not in awe at the mighty works of Rameses, nor in wonder at the achievement of temple axiality and the symmetry of sun and stone that for thousands of years had produced this phenomenon on just two days of the year. But rather, in dread at what the moment symbolised.

The excitement of temple-invading birds rose to fill the sacred spaces of Abu Simbel’s roof, echoing, high-pitched squeals and screeches. He imagined the sound came from the statues at the back of the sanctuary, waking from their sleep and moving stiffened joints - stone shrieking on stone.

Ptah. Amun. Rameses. Ra-Horakhty.

Over the minutes, as all watched, sunlight transmuted stone into gold - the flesh of the gods - bathing three of the images in turn, while the fourth, Ptah, a deity of darkness, remained in shadow.

Pharaoh Rameses, flanked by Amun and Ra-Horakhty, transformed in front of their eyes from stone into fire and glory. The brightness made Anson blink.

The solar drama, taking place in front of this audience, was meant to celebrate a glory beyond the earthly variety, greater even than the scenes of triumph carved on the walls of the temple that showed Rameses smiting a multitude of foes.

This was a physical enactment of divine illumination, the moment of man seizing godhood, and this event of sublime transfiguration lay at the heart of the peril that the world now faced.

The warning came back to prod him.

History will soon be made. A new dawn for humankind approaches. The beginning of the end for today’s world order is at hand as a force of hidden power will emerge and precipitate the fall. Hear this prophetic warning to all the nations. On this day, the roots of the old ideology will wither and die and a new order of the ages will commence. Rise to a new illumination.

Crank prophecy? Or a real threat to today’s world?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

After thousand of years... did she walk the earth again? "The Egyptian Mythology Murders"

Available on Amazon Kindle


A female mummy is taken to a hospital for a non-invasive imaging scan… so begins a mystery and a string of deaths.

An ancient cycle unfolds in modern day London - and a search for love across aeons.

Can  a young trainee museum curator and a police antiquities unit detective stop the killings in time before a terrible culmination of events? 


click here: "The Egyptian Mythology Murders" - on Amazon Kindle 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

They were on the eastern side of the step pyramid sprinting alongside the heb sed court... 'The God Dig'


The step pyramid, designed by Imhotep


Chapter 1

Egyptian tour guides will tell you that it’s good luck to walk in a complete circle around the Step Pyramid of Saqqara.

It’s even luckier if you’re able to run, Anson Hunter thought after two bullets in quick succession spat dust from the ground at his feet.

The independent Egyptologist felt his skin tingling in shock like the effects of a close lightning strike.

“What was that?” the girl said.

“Gunshots.”

He swept the courtyard and sandy perimeter of the monument. The pagan mass in stone was already twisting in the early morning heat.

The place was empty of visitors today, except for the girl. It looked like an abandoned building site with scaffolding clinging in places to the pyramid’s sides, evidence of uncompleted restoration work on the crumbling outer blocks, but somebody unseen was out there and had fired at them.

A guard? Why? It made no sense. Besides there were no guards in evidence today.

Some extremist taking pot shots at visitors?

The shots had been a little too carefully placed perhaps.

The question in his mind: was it meant to send them running? Or was it an instruction to stop?

He grabbed the girl’s hand and broke into a zigzag run, tugging her after him.

They were on the eastern side of the pyramid sprinting alongside the heb sed court.

A dark irony, he thought.

The heb sed court was a ceremonial running course that by tradition the reigning pharaoh had to complete at a Jubilee held every thirty years in order to prove his agility and his continued fitness for office. In an earlier epoch, failure to complete the run successfully saw the old king murdered.

Now they were running a circuit of survival too, not around a course with pre-set stone markers, but around the world’s first stone pyramid, a protest against death and a monumental stake in the sand for the belief in an eternal afterlife.

He flicked a glance at the girl he’d only met minutes earlier.

Her dark hair was flying and the anger in her face said: ‘it’s happening again…’

Persephone. Named after the daughter of Zeus and the Greek queen of the underworld by her Greek-Egyptian father.

“Per-seph-o-ne.” He’d toyed with the syllables of her name on hearing it. 

She came as a complete surprise. He had no idea that the Alexandrian scholar had a daughter and assistant researcher.

But then Anson had only shared theory with Philip Kalliris, not Facebook status.

“My father was a great admirer of your work, Anson,” she had said at the beginning of this arranged meeting following her phone call. “Your support was everything to him. His work was totally ignored before you.”

“He deserved more recognition.”

“It was a conspiracy of silence.”

“Probably just neglect by the archaeological fraternity.”

She fired up.

“No, it was a conspiracy to deny him his place in the world of scholarship.”

“Scholars are comfortable with the status quo. Any new theory has a very distracting ripple effect on their elaborate constructions. Like an unwanted extra piece in a jigsaw puzzle.”

“It’s more than that. They closed ranks against him. Egyptology. Historians. Religions. Intelligence services. The Egyptian government. What if they all conspired to be rid of him?”

He shrugged.

“Interesting theory. I’m just sad that I did him no favours by drawing attention to his work. He attracted the wrong kind of interest in the end.”

“After years of being ignored, attention was what he craved. He was excited about the documentary being planned, about receiving recognition at last. Even an Al Jazeera journalist came to interview him before he died. Then this. His enemies murdered him!”

Anson had felt relieved that she was directing her fire at others and not him. But it did little to assuage his sense of guilt.

With the shock attack on her father, the young woman had gone to ground in Alexandria, not emerging until this hastily arranged meeting with Anson today at Saqqara.

The six-stepped superstructure of the pyramid erupted into the sky beside them, built by the first and greatest known architect in ancient history, the genius Imhotep, who later became a god.

The girl’s father, radical scholar Philip Kalliris, believed that all three book-based religions had their roots in ancient Egypt, also that Abraham and Imhotep were one and the same and that Abraham brought the idea of its shape from the ziggurat in Mesopotamian Ur, a structure with three levels and temple on top, but which he transformed into the idea of a sublime mortuary monument, influenced by Egypt’s powerful ideas on the afterlife.

And the rest was alternative history…

Maybe…

Kalliris wasn’t right about everything.

A stairway to the heavens for his pharaoh Djoser, but this mound was no escape for them. Unless they clambered up the scaffolding.

The tiered mountain turned abstract eternity into the monumentality of stone, and yet the niched outer walls of the complex were designed in the shape of delicate woven mats hanging from wooden frames, and inner courts had elegant engaged columns that echoed the perishable shapes of bundled plant stems and papyrus stalks with blossom capitals.

Were they better off out here in the open, or in there? They’d strolled past the entrance colonnade earlier.

Better to be out here and see what was coming. They risked being trapped inside the structure.

Keep going.

Ancient builders had built fourteen doors into the outer walls of the pyramid complex, but only one real door. The rest were false doors.

False hopes. Built to allow the king’s ka to come and go in the afterlife. They offered no escape, yet lying beneath the pyramid was an underworld maze of galleries and chambers six miles in length that could hide an army.

Their running footfalls pounded the sand as they fled along the east side of the structure.

Were the attackers the same ones who had killed her father?

They reached the northern corner and the serdab court.

Inside a walled vault, punctured by two eyeholes, sat the stone image of king Djoser, his face partly smashed, giving him a frightening aspect. It wasn’t the original statue of Djoser behind the peepholes, but a replica. The original sat in the Cairo museum.

Through the peepholes Djoser could see the imperishable northern stars in the sky and could also observe the daily ceremonies and offerings of the priests, as well as inhale the fragrance of burning incense from the land of Punt.

The peepholes made Anson think of rifle sights. Someone had taken a long shot at them, several. That could mean they were too far off to give chase.

Are we safe now?

Or are there others closer, on foot?

As if in answer to his question, three men stepped out from behind a low, sand-strewn stone wall and brought the two running figures to a halt.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting inside ancient Egypt. Why fiction readers find it so consuming...


Getting inside ancient Egypt - a Great Pyramid visit

Ancient Egypt is certainly consuming, and in a book by Michael Rice and Sally MacDonald, called 'Consuming Egypt', a research study on consumer attitudes to ancient Egypt gives many fascinating insights.
Most intriguing for me, as I have long suspected, they don't think of ancient Egypt as a place or a time, but more of a bubble in time, a self-contained concept that is endlessly satisfing to them.  
In this bubble float pyramids, Cleopatra, Tutankhamun and of course golden treasures.
Consumers, particularly younger ones, believe that tombs were built with tomb traps inside purely as some kind of 'dare' to intruders to try to find the pharaoh's hidden treasure. Rather like a computer game.

In short, ancient Egypt to readers is a world of endless possibility for adventure.

It's also that for me as the writer of an ancient Egypt series of adventure thrillers (The Smiting Texts etc) and other Egypt-based mystery adventure novels such as The Egyptian Mythology Murders.

Buy them here on Amazon. I hope you'll find them endlessly satisfying too.

Friday, April 10, 2015

DIG HERE with your iPad, Smart Phone, or e-Reader to uncover Egypt's enthralling mysteries in fiction

DIG, DELVE, DISCOVER ancient Egypt archaeology adventure secrets in this mystery adventure fiction collection (Amazon Kindle and paperback)



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pyramid facts not fiction

Great Sphinx and Pyramid (Khafre)







FACT NOT FICTION:
The ancient Egyptian word for the pyramid means to ascend… ascend to the sky.

FACT NOT FICTION:
Nobody knows what unimaginable treasure was once stashed within the mute, granite-lined walls of the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Khufu – totally empty for millennia.

FACT NOT FICTION:
There was once a large timber frame in the King’s Chamber, as though the precious contents were carefully crated up for transportation… where to? And how? The low entrance to the chamber is only 3 ½ feet high. The chamber itself lies sequestered within a mountain of limestone blocks – over million of them, weighing from two to seventy tons each.

FACT NOT FICTION:
The early proto-pyramids, the mastabas, contained all the possessions the king would need for his journey to the afterlife, thousands of jars, food, wine… where are the signs of these in the pyramids?

FACT NOT FICTION:
The future survival of the pharaoh and his joining the gods was a collective salvation… which explains why the Egyptians worked with such a ‘superhuman’ will to construct the pyramids.

FACT NOT FICTION:
Some great heat, pulse or explosion seems to have taken place in the pyramid in ancient times, revealed in the King’s Chamber by cracks in the ceiling and the heat darkened stone, especially the coffer, changing from rose granite to a coffee coloured tone. The ceiling cracks cannot be the result of an earthquake, since no similar damage appears in the epicentre galleries of the pyramid.

FACT NOT FICTION:
The Great Pyramid is unique. No other pyramid has such an elaborate interior structure and dizzying numbers. The level of workmanship puts it in a stratosphere of its own. The Great Pyramid has companions, yet stands alone

 

"The Forbidden Glyphs". Trigger for a dangerous new age.

Mystery adventure in the Anson Hunter series

Sunday, April 5, 2015

"The Smiting Texts". If you've ever been to Egypt, read this. If you've never been to Egypt, read this

Begin No #1 in a 7-book 'binge read'..



































['BEST OPENINGS' 2010]

Chapter 1



THEY INTERCEPTED him as he came out of Baltimore-Washington Airport, two men wearing suits and an air of officialdom like a brisk cologne.

“Mr Anson Hunter, the British Egyptologist?”

Egyptologist? That sounded good. Very establishment. Anson stood a bit taller, which placed his beanstalk elevation a few inches above theirs. The man could have said independent, renegade Egyptologist and phenomenologist, lecturer at out-of-town halls and auditoriums, writer, blogger and alternative theorist as well as leader of occasional, fringe tour groups to Egypt. But instead the man had said ‘Egyptologist’.

“Who wants to know?”

“You are invited to Johns Hopkins University. They want to hear you speak.”

Anson goggled just a little. Johns Hopkins and Anson Hunter? His moment of elation quickly faded. They didn’t belong in the same sentence.

“A nice thought, gentlemen, but venerable institutions like Johns Hopkins don’t want people like me to speak. They would prefer us not to breathe.”

Anson had arrived to give a lecture on ancient Egyptian ritual smiting power and execration texts at a hired Masonic hall that evening.

He tried to move past, but the men blocked his way, smiling with steely politeness.

“Please come with us, Sir.”

“There must be some mistake.”

The spokesman frowned and reached inside his coat. Hell, Anson thought, what is this? Has mainstream Egyptology finally sent a hit squad? The hand came out of the coat. Anson resumed the business of breathing. The man flipped open a wallet, by way of introduction. Anson glimpsed a crest – an eagle inside a circle and the words:





U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Also a name, Browning. He was a broad-faced man with steady eyes.

Why me?

Anson’s ex-wife May had always said that he had the burning eyes of fanatic. Had they picked him out as a likely threat to the US homeland? This Johns Hopkins stuff was just a cover for an arrest.

He suddenly felt very alien.

“I’ve been a mild threat to conventional Egyptology for years,” he said, “but I hardly rate as a security risk.”

“We need your help, Mr Hunter.”

The other man relieved him of his suitcase and also took his briefcase containing his laptop.

“Careful, there’s an explosive PowerPoint presentation in there,” Anson said.

Browning flicked a glance towards Anson’s briefcase, but a sense of humour overtook his instinct to protect the homeland. He allowed himself a flinty smile.

“Ah, yes. Almost had me going there.”

“Would you please explain why Johns Hopkins Near Eastern Studies Department would be even faintly interested in my theories?”

The man lowered his voice.

“It’s not that Department that wants you. Johns Hopkins is also the Centre of Excellence for a new Homeland Security Centre. Goes by the full name of the Centre for the Study of High Consequence Event Preparedness and Response. You’ll be addressing a consortium that’s studying how the nation can best prepare for and respond to a range of unexpected large-scale incidents or disasters.”

“Me?”

The only large-scale disaster he was familiar with was his own career – his failure to swing the world of Egyptology, with very few exceptions, to his alternative theories. But maybe his luck was changing. Any invitation to speak at Johns Hopkins – anywhere at Johns Hopkins, even in a restroom - was too intoxicating to pass up. Not that his abductors were giving him much choice in the matter. They led him to a waiting black sedan that purred on the kerbside He shrugged, climbed into the back with one of the Homeland men and sank into baffled acceptance. The sedan slid away into traffic.

This was the smoothest of smooth abductions. But they had his attention. He decided he quite enjoyed being whisked away into intrigue.

He was still troubled however.

“I’m not exactly sure where we’re going with this. What has US Homeland Security got to do with ancient Egypt? Or me?” The Homeland man who sat in the front beside the driver, threw a mystified look over his shoulder. “Beats me, I’m a practical man. I’ll leave it to others to explain.”

“Then there’s the small matter of my engagement. I’m booked to give a lecture tonight. Hundreds of people will be disappointed. Well, dozens.”

“Cancelled already. Just consider it a change of venue.”

It was quite a turnaround from out-of-town Masonic hall to Johns Hopkins University. A bit presumptuous of them, but he could be flexible...
 
CONTINUE ON AMAZON KINDLE

The Smiting Texts
The Hathor Holocaust
The Ibis Apocalypse
The Anubus Intervention
Egypt Eyes
The Forbidden Glyphs
The God Dig

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A cyber race for survival through an ancient Egyptian underworld "VIRTUAL ETERNITY."


EIGHT PEOPLE were running through a dusty landscape.

They moved in twilight between cliffs in a rocky desert valley, in the first hour of the twelve hours of the ancient Egyptian underworld night.

But they weren’t in Egypt.

They were totally immersed inside a new virtual reality simulator called ‘Virtual Eternity’, built by mysterious tech organization, The Sirius Research Corporation.

Each person, invited under the strictest secrecy, bore a tag – Sage, Robber, Scribe, Prophetess, Gamer, Soldier, Priest, and Neophyte.

Sage ran at the head of the party. She’d been assigned the title ‘Sage’ or ‘wise one’ as an associate professor of Egyptology specializing in mythology and funerary beliefs, despite her youth.
One of the runners out put on a spurt and caught up with Sage. It was Gamer, a compact young Korean-born game designer.

“This place is unreal, huh?” he said.

“It’s real enough for me.”

“That’s what I’m talking about. It’s so real… it is unreal. I always wanted to design an ancient Egyptian VR game, but this, hey, I can’t fathom it out. One hundred percent immersive. Three sixty-degree landscape. Perfect resolution. No lag. All sensory input and inner-ear thing of real movement. Forces on body, real muscle sense. Even sweat and fatigue.” He gave the Egyptologist a quizzical look. “You have the inside story? What is this place all about? Is this a role-playing game, or just an ancient Egyptian environment? What are we supposed to do here?”

“Just experience it and survive,” Sage said. A tall woman, Sage wore a dark blue T-shirt and light khaki trousers and archaeology boots and she cut a lithe figure, running nimbly and easily. “You heard the announcement like a god’s voice cracking over our heads at the start. We’ve got twelve hours to reach the end of the underworld before dawn, surviving the dangerous guardians, gateways and demons of the journey along the way, or we die. Virtually die, one hopes.”

“That is the beauty of game worlds,” Gamer said. “Nobody dies. You just keep coming back for more. Over and over again. You learn from your experience.”

“That’s reassuring. But in this dead and dry landscape, dying seems as real as living.”

She turned to glance over her shoulder to check on the others.

The dusk threw a mottled cast over their faces as if they had already turned into shades, the ancient Egyptians term for migrating souls...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015