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The problem with writing historical science fiction, apart from the desire to be both historically accurate and also throw in some monsters, is that history has a habit of laying traps for fiction writers.

Back when I was writing History 101, my research turned up a hiccup. I was asking my parents about it, they having been children in the 1930s. "Oh, yes," says my father, "your great-cousin fought in Madrid". Luckily, I was basing my story in Barcelona and Guernica so didn't have to wonder whether to sneak my great-cousin in.

One of the first things I encountered, when researching the Boxer Rebellion was...
Capt Lewis Stratford Tollemache Halliday, who received a Victoria Cross for his actions. I particularly like his order to his men, having been shot in the shoulder and lung, to "carry on and not mind me" before wallking back unaided to the makeshift hospital. It's rather like my favourite alleged stiff-upper-lipped exchange from the Napoleonic wars in which a commander was hit: "sir, your leg's been shot off", "by gad, so it has." Anyway, Captain Halliday is not one of 'our' Hallidays although I'm sure if we go back far enough there's a connection. Apart from the fact my grandfather used to get telephone calls for him. So I'm currently wondering how and if to put him in Warring States...

Posted @ 2:14 pm on Sunday, March 21, 2004
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