Tag Archives: Astronomy

Hell has its Demons – my latest novel published in Print and eBook formats

My most recent novel, Hell has its Demons, is now available from all major retailers

Hell has its Demons coverHell has its Demons by Mark Lord

Volume 1 of The Sotil and Savage Adventures

Available as an eBook and in Print at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, see Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Barnes & Noble

Available as an eBook from Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords


Plunge Into A Nail Biting Historical Fantasy Novel That Will Leave You Breathless

Set in the Middle Ages, Mark Lord’s novel tells a gripping story where demons and necromancers engage in a power game with the adventurous protagonists Jake, Roger and the beautiful Isabel, who is accused of witchcraft.

Investigating an infestation of demons in the town of St Brett’s is the last thing that Jake Savage wants to do this summer. But for his master, the controversial Oxford scholar Roger Sotil, it is a chance to prove his theories about demons and avoid charges of heresy.

The Abbot of St Brett’s has called for Roger’s help to rid his town of demons. Jake owes Roger a massive debt, but St Brett’s is a town that holds dark memories for him. Who is behind this plot and what is the ultimate prize?

An Electrifying Plot That Merges Skillfully Actual Historical Events With Fantastical Elements

In Hell has its Demons a plot unfolds to use demons to take the ultimate prize of all – the crown of Edward III, King of England.

“With ‘Hell Has Its Demons’, Jake Savage finally gets a novel and it’s a good one.” – SFcrowsnest

“What I enjoy most about Mark Lord’s writing is that he manages to convey a sense of period without knocking the reader over the head with detail. His settings feel authentic without being manufactured.” – SFcrowsnest

Hell has its Demons is the first novel in a trilogy.

Click here to read Chapter 1 for free!

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Medieval Telescopes and the importance of research

Image via Wikipedia

Telescopes weren’t invented until 1608, although lenses for eyeglasses were available from the thirteenth century onwards.

This was news to me. For some reason I just sort of assumed that astronomers maybe going back to ancient times would have had some sort of telescopes available. Quite naive of me I think, but it just goes to show that when researching a historical novel, or alternative history etc, you really need to check out your assumptions.

One of the main characters of my Hell has its Demons novel is an astronomer/astrologer by the name of Roger. Currently I am working on the plan for an early chapter of the book in which we meet Roger for the first time. As this is partly and introduction to the character I wanted the reader seeing him do what he does best – looking at the stars. Initially I thought he would be able to do this using a telescope and perhaps he would have some reference material like a book (Ptolemy‘s Almagest for instance). I even found another use he could make of the telescope later in the chapter that allowed to spy on events in a nearby village.

But… I realised that actually telescopes weren’t around then and in fact wouldn’t be until 1608. So what did astronomers use? Basically their eyes. They tended to look for good observational platforms and they also had gadgets to assist them with working out where stars should be in the sky, but that was pretty much it.

The main gadget of the astronomer was actually the astrolabe. There’s a wealth of information available about this on the internet including simulation of how it worked. This TED talk video is a particularly good introduction:

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