Constantine embraces Christianity — no good comes of it.

Constantine delayed his actual baptism until he was on his deathbed — a practice followed by many in his time, who wanted to continue sinning as long as possible before taking advantage of the one-time-only guaranteed means of forgiveness for past sins.

The bishops railed against this practice but couldn’t find a theological rationale or a workable process for prohibiting it.


Source — Edward Gibbon.



Constantine has just reunited the Roman Empire under a single head and is now expanding his new seat in Byzantium into what will become Constantinople.  At this stage of Roman civilization he can’t find artists capable of making suitable statues so he plunders Greece for its old ones.


Source — Edward Gibbon.



Gibbon’s great work presents a staggering parade of crimes and horrors throughout the “civilized” world over the course of a thousand years or so.  It makes the crimes and horrors of ISIL seem mild and contained by contrast — but also gives a harrowing preview of what the world could easily become again if fanaticism and negotiation through unrestrained violence take the upper hand.  Throw in the crimes and horrors that will ensue from the effects of global warming, and The History Of the Decline and Fall Of the Roman Empire becomes essential reading to prepare ourselves for a new millennium of ubiquitous human catastrophe.


You and I will see only the beginning of this epoch of catastrophe, but it will go harder with ours than with later generations because we will remember a time before the calamity became irreversible.



Edgar Allan Poe had a good death.  He was found lying in a gutter in Baltimore, wearing someone else’s clothes, too delirious to explain how he’d gotten there in that condition.  He died in a hospital four days later, never recovering sufficiently to explain the course of his latter days.  He kept crying out for “Reynolds”, a person whose identity has never been established.

If you’ve got to go, that’s the way to do it.



Fun, weird, wonderful

Really fun! A highly entertaining story which starts off pretty funny and then grabs you by the throat! Mr. Fonvielle is clearly in his element here, which is good news for the rest of us. His detective fiction is every bit as strange, moving, sweet, scary and resonant as his Westerns. A whopping good tale with characters that kick around in your head for a while, and which you know you’re going to miss when it’s all over. I wanted to inhabit the story a little while longer, maybe hang out at The Shipwreck, order a beer, and ask everybody, “What did you guys think of that? Pretty wild, huh?” Instead, I’ll just have to wait and hope the writer sends more stuff like this our way.

For the review and book details go here — Black Pearl.



. . . on Amazon for the Kindle (or just about any computer or portable device with the free Kindle reading apps you can get here.)

Black Pearl is a lurid pulp thriller with a supernatural edge, set in the South Pacific and New York City. Harry Jakes, an ex private eye from Manhattan, is running a cheap but charming bar on a remote Pacific island and thinks he’s left his gumshoe days behind—until a shady figure walks into his dive in the middle of a typhoon and sets in motion a fantastical chain of events that will embroil him and his two best friends in a web of uncanny terror and suspense. At the heart of it is a mysterious young Polynesian woman who may or may not be a ghost and a priceless black pearl that any number of people are willing to kill for. A spooky, sexy novella from the author of Bloodbath.

Buy it here for only $2.99.