Saturday, November 28, 2015

Michael Livingston

An award-winning writer and professor, Michael Livingston holds degrees in History, Medieval Studies, and English. In his academic life, he teaches at The Citadel, specializing in the Middle Ages.

Livingston's new book is The Shards of Heaven, the first in a trilogy of historical fantasy novels.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Livingston's reply:
I'm a professor specializing in the cultural history of the Middle Ages while writing a historical fantasy series set during the rise of the Roman Empire … so my reading list at any given moment is, well, diverse.

On the Roman front, I've been reading Philo of Alexandria's De vita contemplativa, the study of a sect of ascetic Jews living near Alexandria. The work has been very useful for one of the major plot elements of the sequel to The Shards of Heaven, but I can't say I'd recommend it for pure pleasure reading.

On the other hand, if pure reading pleasure is your thing, I did just finish one fun novel (John Scalzi's Redshirts) and am preparing to jump into another: Aliette de Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings. I've known Aliette's work for a very long time, and I've long been a fan. I'm incredibly anxious to get into this new novel of hers. It looks absolutely terrific.

And then there's Livingston-the-medievalist. That part of me is engaged in a reading of Simon Armitage's Death of King Arthur, a translation of one of my favorite poems of the Middle Ages: the wonderful Middle English Alliterative Morte Darthur. I'm finding that I'm pleasantly surprised at Armitage's ability to modernize a work that was, even at the time of its composition, deliberately archaic.
Visit Michael Livingston's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Shards of Heaven.

The Page 69 Test: The Shards of Heaven.

--Marshal Zeringue