History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Have You Checked out Scenes from a Quiet Apocalypse Yet?

Posted By on March 22, 2018

Cover art for Scenes from a Quiet ApocalypseScenes from a Quiet Apocalypse has been out for about a month and a half now, and I’m still curious to hear what people think of it. That’s typically the case whenever I write something, but with this book, it’s extra heightened because I put it together in such a different way from my normal writing. I talked about the process for this book here.

With my friends from one of the role-playing games I’m in talking about the major arcana of the tarot deck and which ones correspond to which characters in the game, Scenes from a Quiet Apocalypse and its structure are on my mind again. The structure of our game has nothing to do with the major arcana, but one of the players has figured out characters (either PCs or NPCs) who fit each card. So it’s a fun other way to look at tarot cards.


Book Recommendation: Rites & Desires

Posted By on March 21, 2018

Cover art for Rites & DesiresIf you’re looking for a book with a slightly wicked protagonist, check out Amanda Cherry’s debut novel, Rites & Desires, which is out as of yesterday from DefCon One Publishing!

I won’t be reviewing this book, because I’m the book’s editor, but I can definitely say that I was so delighted when I got to read this book. Ruby Killingsworth, the protagonist, was a character that Amanda named when I was looking for an evil record executive to be the nemesis for a character I was developing. From there, she appeared in Cobalt City Christmas 2: Christmas Harder, and now in Rites & Desires.

“Tarnish” at Mirror Dance

Posted By on March 20, 2018

My story, “Tarnish,” is now available in the Spring 2018 issue of Mirror Dance, found on their website. I’m thrilled with the image they found to go with my story, too. It’s PERFECT!

“Tarnish” is one of my several King in Yellow stories, this one with a late nineteenth century pageant backdrop in St. Louis. It’s an unusual place for a Mythos story, but if you know anything about the Veiled Prophet, it totally fits. You can read a little about the inspiration for the story at Mirror Dance, or you can check it out in Unfixed Timelines, where I go into more detail about late nineteenth century pageantry and the Veiled Prophet specifically.

Travel to Recharge

Posted By on March 19, 2018

One way streets intersectWe’ve just gotten back from our vacation with friends in Philadelphia. And while sometimes when I travel, I come back with ideas, this was not one of those trips. I got way behind on things I needed to work on, and spent most of the time just relaxing.

And that’s the kind of vacation I needed–one designed to recharge my brain, rather than to use my brain. I overbook myself in terms of writing and other activities, so it’s nice every once in a while to get a chance to just relax and not worry about deadlines for a little while.

Granted, it does mean that looking at this week makes the deadlines loom large, and that I’ve got a lot to do. But I’m getting back into it with a recharged brain, so I’ll be able to use some of that extra brain energy to get things done.

Fun for Friday: Eponyms

Posted By on March 16, 2018

Ambrose Burnside, from whom "sideburns" derive their name

Ambrose Burnside, from whom “sideburns” derive their name

I talked about contronyms a couple of weeks ago, and today, I’m talking about eponyms! According to Wikipedia, an eponym “is a person, place, or thing after whom or after which something is named, or believed to be named.” Historical eras and scientific innovations often receive eponymous designations, but sometimes, they can be a little more fun.

Take, for example, the case of Ambrose Burnside, bearer of some serious facial hair. In his day and age, this was a unique style, and his facial hair configuration was originally referred to as “burnsides.” But later on down the line, the syllables were reversed, giving us today’s “sideburns.” Well done, Ambrose Burnside! You started a trend!Though most folks these days tend to keep their sideburns a bit more separate from the rest of their facial hair…



Brass & Glass 2 coming soon!

Posted By on March 15, 2018

Cover for Brass & Glass Book OneLast week, I turned in my second round of edits on the Brass & Glass 2 manuscript to my editors at Razorgirl Press, which means that we’re well on our way to having a book! We’re shooting to have it out by the end of May, but I don’t have a release date to announce just yet. (We’re still working on the title, cover art, and, of course, the final round of edits and copyediting.)

It’s exciting to get the second book in this series out into the world, especially since I’m going to start writing the third and final book of the trilogy in a few weeks! That one won’t be out until 2019, but it will be great to wrap up the adventures of Svetlana and crew… or at least this set of adventures. I suspect they’ve got other, smaller adventures in them still!

In the meantime, if you want to be up to speed when book 2 comes out, you can check out book 1 now!

Off for an adventure!

Posted By on March 14, 2018

Philadelphia nighttime skylineWe’re off to have an adventure for a few days with some of my dearest friends. I’ve got posts set up so you can be entertained while I’m otherwise occupied. I doubt I’ll get much writing done, but it’ll be nice to give my brain a few days of recharging!

My Norwescon Schedule!

Posted By on March 13, 2018

Norwescon 41For the first time, I’m a panelist at Norwescon! I’ve been attending this convention most years since I moved to Seattle, where I’ve sold crafts, books, some combination of the two, and done some of the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Readings. And a lot of cosplay. But this year, I’ll be sitting on panels as an expert! Super exciting!

Here’s my panel schedule. If you’ll be at Norwescon (March 29-April 1), I’d love to see you! Stop by my panels, readings, autograph session, or in the Dealer’s Room at the DefCon One table, where I’ll be selling books when I’m not on panels!


The New, New Doctor

2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Cascade 7 & 8

Dawn Vogel (M), Kat Marier, William Sadorous, Kathy

Reading: Dawn Vogel

5:30pm – 6:00pm @ Cascade 4

Dawn Vogel (M)

Never Mind the Bollocks: – Punk in SF

6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 10

Alexandra Renwick (M), Dawn Vogel, Cory Skerry, Jon Lasser



Comic Book Adaptations

10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 9

Dawn Vogel (M), Dylan Templar, Joseph Brassey

SF/F Battle Royale

3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 9

Erik Scott de Bie (M), Dawn Vogel, Brian D. Oberquell

Anthologies Joy

7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Cascade 11

K.G. Anderson (M), Jennifer Brozek, Jaym Gates, Dawn Vogel


Star Wars’ Ever Expanding Universe

1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Evergreen 3 & 4

Dawn Vogel (M), Donna Prior, Patrick Hurley

Autograph Session 2

3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Grand 2

Chris Pramas, Galen Dara, Ken Liu, Matthew Wedel, Nicole Lindroos, Barth Anderson, Tina Connolly, Fonda Lee, G. Willow Wilson, Joseph Carriker, Kat Richardson, Nancy Kress, Sandra M. Odell, Tanya D., Curtis C. Chen, Dawn Vogel, Nisi Shawl, E. Lily Yu, Eva L. Elasigue, Jack Skillingstead, Joseph Brassey, K. C. Alexander, Lee Moyer, Meg Elison, Pat MacEwen, Patrick Swenson, Rhiannon Held, Scott James Magner, Dean Wells

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

8:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 12

Marta Murvosh (M), Dawn Vogel, Amanda Cherry, Jude-Marie Green, J Tullos Hennig, Janka Hobbs, Tina LeCount Myers, Chrysoula Tzavelas

Writing Good Villains

Posted By on March 12, 2018

Stereotypical villainHow do you make your villain not a cardboard cutout, stereotypical villain like the guy pictured to the right?

Monica M. Clark has a great article at the Write Practice about how Killmonger from Black Panther is a masterful example of a good villain, and breaks down the points about the character that make him so wonderful as the villain of the movie. You probably don’t want to read the article if you haven’t seen the movie yet, as there are some spoilers. But if you’ve seen the movie already, the advice is solid if you’re interested in improving your villain writing!


Fun for Friday: Language Complexity vs. Language Size

Posted By on March 9, 2018

Thank you in a number of languagesA recent study suggests that languages with a larger vocabulary size tend to be less complex and easier to learn than those with a smaller vocabulary size, which necessitates a number of grammatical rules. The examples that they give of languages with a larger vocabulary size are English and Mandarin. And while I’d argue that English is NOT an easy language to learn for non-native speakers, it is a language spoken by a large number of people, as is Mandarin. And the scientists involved in the study say that the large number of speakers of these languages with sizable vocabularies is also key to the ease of learning the language. In that respect, it makes some sense, as there are a larger number of available teachers, either active or passive, who can pass on the language, while languages with not as many speakers and a smaller linguistic vocabulary have a harder time spreading that language.

Then, too, perhaps English’s sometimes confusing grammatical rules are a result of it stealing chunks of other languages wholesale, and thus importing some of their more complicated grammatical rules!