Monday, January 30, 2017

Why would the US stop an alternative Egyptologist at the airport?



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.”



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

New Kindle book poster "The GIRL and the GOD DOG"

Roy Lester Pond fiction on AMAZON KINDLE


“The best guide to finding hidden or obscured Egyptian tombs is to follow existing jackal trails...” Flinders Petrie, father of modern Egyptology.


3 Book Openings - 'THE EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY MURDERS' Trilogy


THE EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY MURDERS...
A female mummy from ancient Egypt lay outstretched inside a hospital scanning machine.
The British Museum had brought the mummy to St. Thomas’ Hospital for a non-invasive examination of the body beneath its wrappings.
“We’ll begin by doing the head and neck in two millimetre slices. I’m just relieved that nobody will have to give this patient the bad news that she’s terminal.”
The radiologist had made the joke to bridge the jarring disconnect between ancient death, wrapped up in magical spells, and the modern day machinery of medical imaging. 
The radiation scan - at a dose lethal for the living - blasted through the linen windings. It was like a penetration of sunlight warming the bones after the ache of the desert night.
The machine hummed. A spinning cylinder curved around the mummy’s head like a night sky arching over Egypt.
The sand-dry cells of the body, spread out in an undulating landscape on the CT tray, stirred in a sudden breath.
Life! Resurgent life! It eddied, thickened, mounted in force, blowing, gusting, then blasting through the mummy like a desert sand storm.

THE OBELISK PROPHECY...
Life, pulsating life! 
It came from above like a scattering of falling stars.
On the desert surface archaeologists dragged a ground penetrating radar unit in a grid pattern across the sand, passing over the exact spot where aeons before, priests had dragged a coffin on a sled.
The GPR waves pulsed down, electro-magnetic energy penetrating a subsurface structure, the cavity of a secret tomb.
The waves met a decayed wooden coffin - carved with the the head of a snarling animal with pointed ears - before scattering the waves back to the surface to be decoded in a series of wavy graphs.
Beneath the carved lid of the coffin, a mummy stirred in its rusted linen wrappings.
The life force began to trickle, wash and then gush like a wave through a dried up river course.
Nerve endings tingled like pin pricks of light.
The mummy’s awareness swirled and expanded from its single point of darkness inside the tomb, spinning out to the universe like stars in the outer arms of a spiral nebula.
From the mummy’s mouth, cracked like mud around a dried up waterhole, there issued a rattling gasp for air, then, after a lengthy silence, a dusty exhalation like the rasp of a sandstorm.
The mummy felt another wave pass through his body, this time a wave of rage.
He ripped his arms free from the wrappings.
Now he smashed the crumbling lid off his coffin, sending splinters and powder flying, just as legend told that as a baby he had ripped himself violently from his mother’s womb.


 THE EGYPTIAN EXHIBITION KILLINGS...
They moved in a slow motion dance, bearing precious gifts from ancient Egypt.
Cranes, stackers and palette trucks shifted hundreds of artefacts in orange crates into place in the British Museum’s Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery.
Banners of a crocodile-headed god and an Egyptian queen filled the space, emblazoned with the words.
TREASURES OF EGYPT’S
CROCODILE QUEEN
A new blockbuster exhibition from Cairo was just days away from opening.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RAMESES, TRUMP, self-aggrandizement, alternative facts... the familiarity of the past

Rameses towers (incidentally, Rameses may have been a redhead)

His 'alternative facts' about victory (Battle of Kadesh)... Rameses drew with the Hittites at best and humiliatingly was forced to sign the world's first peace treaty


Orange dust


Will it end the same?




Saturday, January 21, 2017

LIFE GOES ON. The busy, busy world of Little Egypt


The little mannekins of the tomb never rest
Painted wooden model brewery scene

'Egyptian Mummies' Exhibition from the British Museum

Friday, January 20, 2017

We live in an age of IMAGE-ination. E-book imagery in my Egypt Fiction.

Print publishers can't afford costs of colour imagery to enhance the fiction reading experience like this
Snapshot of  a novel with IMAGE-ination

You're looking at a cross-section of one of my novels - 'The Egyptian Mythology Murders'. (#1in the trilogy.)

For me, it's almost impossible to divorce the image from the word in ancient Egypt - and consider this, Egypt's mysterious hieroglyphs are themselves a brilliant synthesis of the two.

A brilliant synthesis of word and images

That's why I like to include the potent mystery of Egyptian images - relics, archaeology, mythology - in some of my fiction writing.

Relics, archaeology, mythology


It makes for an even richer Egypt reading experience, I believe. 

Experience today's IMAGE-ination in Egypt fiction and see what you decide.




"EGYPT TRAP" Modern day crime mystery with a twist of ancient Egypt

Egypt mystery on Amazon Kindle



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Keep an eye on a mysteriously obsessed young wife visiting the archaeology sites of Egypt? How hard could that be?

A damaged ex-detective is hired to shadow a girl with painted eyes on a trip to Egypt…

Is she leading him step by step into a murder conspiracy and the mystery of a lost ancient Egyptian queen?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Ra virus... an Aten scourge... warnings in TEXT MESSAGES FROM ETERNITY

Amazon Kindle
An archaeological dig, a missing team member... warnings sent through the layers of time about an ancient pandemic that could spell disaster today

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The gods are in the details - BM Egyptian Mummies Exhibition in Sydney

A fine set of Canopic jars - stern little guardians of the innards
Tomb mourning scene detail
Interesting to see perfume-fat cones balanced on the heads of mummy cases - recent theory has suggested these cones were symbolic of a fragrant being and not actually worn 
Impish god Bes - frightening away evil spirits with what looks like a song-and-dance-man flourish
Charming little female-form container - girl with a lute

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

IS IAN FLEMING COMING UP TRUMPS in 2017? ’From Russia with Love', a honey-trap, a 2-way mirror, filming by agents, a former British agent...

An old fiction favourite rears into today's headlines

Fiction and Fact of another sort today...

I’m not saying that the sordid suggestions we’re hearing about Russian attempts to compromise Donald Trump is fiction (or fact), but there are some astonishing echoes of the James Bond novel and movie "From Russia with Love..."


Recall the honey-trap scene in the book... enemy operatives behind a two-way mirror secretly filming the hotel-suite liaison between Bond and the Russian beauty Tatiana Romanova... how the voyeurs were described as having the sweat trickling down inside their cheap collars as they collect their compromising evidence...

Are we back in the Fifties?


From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming (Original publication date 8th April, 1957)

New issue TEXT MESSAGES FROM ETERNITY - An adventurous Egypt read

New on Amazon Kindle


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ancient Egypt and our OBSESSION WITH THE PAST

The unpredictability of the past


There is a saying:  ‘Now, one cannot know what the past will do.’



For me, as a writer of ancient Egypt-based fiction, the past is not dead and gone, not settled dust. It’s always changing, doing things.



The past will change in our view of it, it will change our view of now, and it will change our view of tomorrow.



It can and will surprise us.



The past is a dynamic always working on us, pushing forward like a wave. While the future by comparison is the blank space ahead of the wave, theoretical potentiality, inert and, in a sense, dead.



The past has a way of doing things that nobody can guess. We make a mistake to bury it.



What does the past do for you?




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

“You mean the Egyptian exhibition has inspired a serial killer?” she said.


Excerpt from "THE EGYPTIAN EXHIBITION KILLINGS (Amazon Kindle)





“You mean the exhibition has inspired a serial killer?” she said.
“I told you the poster was unsettling.”
“And you of course have a theory.”
“I do. Whose mummy is at the centre of this exhibition?”
Why was he asking?
“The Middle Kingdom Queen Sobekneferu, a queen who came to rule as a pharaoh. The discovery of her tomb near the oasis city near Crocodilopolis recently made world headlines and this is a special touring exhibition to boost Egyptian tourism.”
“Yes, but she’s famous for something else.”
“Okay. She extended the lost labyrinth of her father Amenemhat III in the Faiyum Oasis area. She also had a unique affiliation with the crocodile god Sobek. In fact her name, Sobekneferu, means ‘Beauty of Sobek’.”
“Correct. And what was it about the crocodile god Sobek?”
“Jon, you have the coaching air of a professor. I’m the Egyptologist, you’re the gifted amateur,” she said to the stolen antiquities detective.
“Go with me on this.”
“Sobek, the crocodile god, was a zoomorphic god depicted with a human body and a crocodile’s head. Like the violent Nile crocodile, he was the ferocious protector of the pharaoh.”
“Exactly. Now someone, or something, is killing people around the British Museum where the Crocodile Queen Exhibition is about to open.”
“Hang on, this happened around here? I’ve heard nothing about it.”
“No, it’s been kept quiet. The killings happened beneath the museum. In the sewers nearby, in fact. There’s been an electrician killed, a fibre optic cable worker, a sewer maintenance worker. That we know of. And a growing list of people have gone missing.”
“Attacked by a crocodile?”
He swayed in uncertainty.
“Well, let’s just say the remains showed the marks of a crocodile’s teeth. Skulls crushed in by powerful jaws. Protective hard hats crushed like eggshells.”
“But how could a crocodile get down into the sewer?”
“Ah, but is it a crocodile?” he said.
“What else? A serial killer with a croc’s head? Maybe I should have a go at the impossible for a change,” she said. “Let’s see. The killer is actually the ancient Egyptian god Sobek, half man, half crocodile and he’s been dormant all these years. Maybe some amateur archaeologist brought him here from Egypt when the sewers were first built and then decided to get rid of him. But now the mummy of Queen Sobekneferu pops up in London, so the crocodile god has suddenly come awake and he’s mad as hell and creating havoc. Doing his job of protecting the female pharaoh...”
Jon gulped his coffee.
“Where do you get this stuff from, Jennefer?”
She kicked him under the table.
“The unadorned facts, please...”

Third novel in THE EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY MURDERS Trilogy

Sunday, January 1, 2017

'THE GIRL and the GOD DOG'. An Anson Hunter Egyptology novella

New cover edition on Amazon Kindle

Renegade Egyptologist and theorist Anson Hunter is dealing with two black dogs in his life.
The first black dog keeps appearing on a riverside walk, straining on a lead behind a young woman... a girl he recognizes as a famous Oxford Egyptologist and documentary television presenter.
Is she trying to attract his attention?
The other dog is a bad bout of the ‘black dog of depression’, something that has plagued him for most of his life, not helped by his rejection by mainstream Egyptology.
Which dog will lead Anson into greater peril in this mystery that reaches its climax in a forbidden sanctuary in Egypt?



(Excerpt from THE GIRL and the GOD DOG) 

The black dog came along the Thames riverside walk, tugging the girl.

Neck arching, the sharp snout and ears gave the straining animal the look of a spiky cog winching a chain.

Anson had seen the pair for several mornings in a row as he sat on a bench beside the quiet tributary in Oxford, hoping the sunlight on the water would burn off the darkness of depression of the night before. Yet reeds at the water’s edge always looked twisted and choking and ducks paddling by, serene on the surface, worked grimly underneath, spreading frowns across the water.

He recalled the ancient Egyptian tale of The Doomed Prince. At the birth of the prince, oracular goddesses known as the Seven Hathors pronounced three alternative fates for the child.

‘He will die as a result of a dog, a crocodile or a snake.’

To protect him from his fate, his father built him a fortress. One day while on the rooftop, the prince spied a man and his dog below. “What creature is that?” he asked a servant.

“A dog, Your Highness.”

With the fateful turn of folktales, the prince became obsessed with the idea of owning his own dog. The king eventually succumbed to the youth’s pleading. “Let the boy have a coursing hound.”

“I cannot avoid my fate forever,” he told the king when he came of age.

He set off into the world to face his future, the dog at his heels. After various adventures he duly came up against a snake and a crocodile - yet survived the encounters. What happened next? Maddeningly, the only surviving record of the prince’s story suffered damage in an accident after discovery, leaving the prince’s fate and the reader of the story hanging by a papyrus thread.

Did the snake or the crocodile come back into the story to kill the prince? Or did the pet dog finally kill his master?

Anson guessed which creature had brought doom upon the prince.

‘And it might be the same with me in the end,’ he thought.

The black dog.

Not the one in the story, or a real dog like the one approaching on the path. Instead, he was thinking of the so-called ‘black dog of depression’. He’d had a bad case of it since returning from Egypt and the black shadow was dogging his footsteps more closely than ever before in his life.

The real dog and the girl were almost level now.

Get thee onwards, Anubis, into the underworld of Amenti, onwards, onwards,’ words from the Pyramid Texts sprang into his mind.

“Slow down a bit, Anubis,” the girl said to the dog as it came up ahead of her.

“Anubis?”

Anson couldn’t help giving a grim chuckle.
“Something amusing?” the girl said, stopping...