Did Captain Cook Have a God Complex?


On Valentine’s Day in 1779, Captain Cook’s violent ways finally caught up to him. But it might have been avoided if he’d thought just a little bit less of himself.


This episode is indebted to the work of Dr. Shino Konishi of The University of Western Australia because of her excellent article on Cook’s punishments, which you can read here:



Music: “Ezekiel” by Christine Hand.

How to Kill a Vampire (In the Middle Ages)


Today we’ll look at a few more medieval vampires (including the Dog Priest of Melrose Monastery and the Hellhound of Castle Anantis) and learn the best way to kill them (should you find yourself traveling through time need to defend yourself against monsters), and then a word about why I think these monster stories are more than just campy folklore.

Marshal Law, Now Available as an Audio Book!

Wherever you listen to audio books, you can now find Marshal Law, the first book in my steampunk/fantasy series.

It’s exciting to be an indie author these days. With a few mouse clicks my hard work finds its way to just about every virtual storefront. Even library catalogs have it. People around the world have listened to my books at their local library, an image that always makes me smile. That sort of thing wasn’t possible for every author in the old days.

Interested? You can get this audio book in a lot of places, but here’s just a few:

Find out more about Marshal Law here. And if you want to get deals on future releases, sign up for the newsletter. It comes with a free story, so you can’t lose.

Quarantine Books for the Fantasy Reader

Stuck inside? Of course you are. Not to worry—I’ve found some books that will keep you company. Some new, and some not so new.

X Marks the Spot: An Anthology of Treasure and Theft edited by Lisa Mangum

“Magic pirate stories.” There’s no part of that sentence I don’t like. Bonus: the opening story is by Kristen Bickerstaff, who wrote a really fun piece in The Lost Legends. This one released just a few days ago, and it’s just in time, because I’m pretty sure mermaids and swashbuckling and treasure maps is exactly the fun you need in your life right now.

When Fire Loves Water – Part 1: The Siren by J. Suzanne Frank

Here’s another one hot off the press. If the last book about pirates and magic strikes your fancy, then you’ll want to dive into this YA tale about teenagers and mermaids. While When Fire Loves Water features teenagers caught up in a fantasy world, the strange creatures, interesting magic, and vast world-building make it like nothing you’ve ever read before. Plus, it has a really cool map. (You’re not a fantasy reader if you don’t drool over cool maps.) If you love YA and want something new, go start this series today.

Assassin’s Apprentice – The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb

I know. It’s a classic. Why bother posting about a classic? Because the illustrated edition is amazing. So far, only the first book in the series has been released in this format, but the rest are on the way and I’m obsessed with the brilliant paintings and gorgeous layout. This is how books are supposed to look.

The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius

A philosophy textbook? Ok. I realize this one is a strange choice, but bear with me. In the sixth century, poor Boethius, a very good man, was imprisoned wrongfully. Some kind of political stunt. Forever separated from his life and his family, he turned to philosophy and discovered great comfort even in his cell.

Why is it on my quarantine readings list? Because if you’re trapped at home and need a pick-me-up, you’ll be surprised what philosophy has to offer. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn The Consolation of Philosophy is blissfully short and a breeze to read. And free.

Dragon’s Lure – Legends of a New Age edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jennifer Ross, and Jeffrey Lyman

Sarah Ban Breathnach said, “It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.” (No, it wasn’t Tolkien.) If that’s the case, here’s a book full of stories that are definitely worth telling.

This one’s been around for a while, but anthologies sometimes fly under the radar. I just received a signed copy from David Coe (Thanks!) and have enjoyed every word of this collection so far. It’s amusing, diverting, and it’s about dragons—exactly the distraction I was looking for.

(I also need your book recommendations if I’m going to get through this, so bring ’em on.)

Extroverts, here’s how to help your quiet friends.

They never ask about the weather. They hide behind books in the break room (what are they scheming?) and never take their turn at karaoke. Our so-called “introverted” friends are a burden, for sure.

But don’t fret. To help you deal with the menace of quiet, thoughtful types who never interrupt, I’ve provided answers to the questions extroverts ask the most.

I think my quiet friend is broken because they aren’t participating in fun stuff. Should I drag them out in front of the others and make them have fun?

Yes. Obviously. Rip open their petals and force them to bloom! That’s what friends are for.

It’s good to disturb your friend’s happiness and make them uncomfortable. Otherwise, someone would be enjoying life in their own way instead of enjoying life exactly like you do. Conformity for the win!

My quiet friend isn’t saying much. How can I get them to open up?

Before asking your friend to open up emotionally, see if you can get yourself to open up physically by using a hammer and chisel on your skull. Your quiet friend will probably help; they’ve doubtless considered it many times.

Your friend may be quiet for several reasons. Maybe you’re a terrible conversationalist and your friend has nothing to contribute to your symposium on the verisimilitudes of The Bachelor. It’s also possible that you run your pie hole so often, and so loudly, they would rather stir their coffee than interact with your incoherent ramblings.

My quiet friend doesn’t want to go out. I think we should kidnap them, force them in my car, and drag them to a club. Am I right?

Alternatively, I recommend laying down in front of your friend’s car and having them drive forward, backward, and then forward again to finish the job.

This may surprise you, but using words like “kidnap” and “force” should be a clue that you’re a terrible person.

Have you considered that your friend can find more pleasure from reading Agatha Christie than watching you down shots to the tune of Whitesnake ballads? If not…do you really think you’re more interesting than Agatha Christie? Do you even read, bro?

Everyone at work is loud and fun, except that one quiet guy. How can I help them fit in?

Quit. Your easygoing comrade will get twice as much done when you’re gone, which will in turn help the company. Everybody wins!

But, seriously, where would the workplace be without people like you to make sure we all talk exactly the right amount?

I’m worried that my quiet friend doesn’t say anything because he hates me.

He might. You’re obsessed with his approval and are closely monitoring his behavior. This would drive anyone mad. Have you considered that you are a stalker with mental health problems?

My friends says they’re an introvert, but I saw them audition for a play. Are they lying about being introverted?

Let’s hope that’s the case. Otherwise, you’d have to question whether or not you know what the word “introverted” means. Then you’d have to look it up and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Let’s face it. We both know you’re not going to do that. Go confront your friend about their lies.

My friend is being quiet at a party, which bothers me because I can’t tell if they’re having a good time. What should I do?

The phrase you are looking for is, “Are you having a good time?” I know. I know. It’s hard to think of these things in the moment. You may want to write that one down.

I just want my shy friend to come out of their shell. Is that so bad?

How kind.

Now…some may question your sanity, as you seem to believe you are the charismatic main character on a TV show aimed at teens, but those people are just jealous that the plot always revolves around you.

As we’ve learned from our previous adventures, roughly once a week, quiet people are disturbed loners facing serious confidence issues that can be resolved with a hearty pat on the back and a dose of public humiliation.

I mean, it’s not as if anyone prefers being quiet. That’s just crazy talk. So get in their face and get crackin’, Zack Morris!

I want my quiet friend to try something new and fun. What should I do?

Leave them alone. You probably haven’t done that in a while, and they’ll love every second of it.