Fossil Frauds

A new twist to whodunnit in science's famous Piltdown Man hoax

Piltdown Man… not!

I enjoy plugging prehistoric animals–mammals more than dinosaurs–into my Bell Mountain books. It’s just plain fun.

However, I’ve avoided the slight temptation to ring in prehistoric critters that have turned out to be deliberately faked fossils (https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/archaeology/g3051/fake-fossils/).

The most famous fossil fraud is, of course, Piltdown Man. Discovered in Britain in 1912 and ballyhooed as the Missing Link between apes and man, Piltdown Man took England’s scientific establishment by storm–although scientists elsewhere had their doubts. The fraud was not exposed until 1953… after appearing in textbooks all over the world.

More recently, China produced “Archaeoraptor,” supposedly a flying dinosaur. That one turned out to have been manufactured by Chinese peasants using parts from other fossils.

And from Russia we got “Alyoshenka,” supposedly the fossil remains of an extraterrestrial UFO voyager stranded on the earth. It’s hard to see how this could have fooled anyone.

I’m not counting honest scientific mistakes, like “Nebraska Man,” based on the tooth of a prehistoric pig, or confusing, possibly fake, but just possibly real, examples like the super-dinosaur “Amphicoelias,” whose briefly famous nine-foot leg bone somehow got lost and can’t be studied anymore.

We shouldn’t be surprised that fraud exists within the sciences: people are people, and people are sinners.

So don’t hold your breath waiting for Piltdown Man or the Cardiff Giant to be guest starring in any of my stories.

Ask the Author! ‘Bell Mountain’ SAQ

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) - Kindle edition by Duigon, Lee. Religion  & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Wait a minute–what does “SAQ” mean?

It means “Seldom Asked Questions.” I might even say “Never Asked Questions.” But that would miss the point.

I’m opening the door to any and all questions about my Bell Mountain books–how they got written, where my ideas come from: anything at all except “How long did it take you to write it?”

I thought it’d be kind of neat to ask a question of any author whose books I’ve enjoyed. Then it hit me: we have the Internet now, we have this blog. We can do that very thing.

Seriously–whatever you want to know about the world of Bell Mountain, its people, their stories, the weird animals, the total absence of robo-calls: just drop me a line and ask. Specifically, drop it here, on this page, where everybody can read it.

Come on now–when do you ever do this? You could never ask the writers of Perry Mason about the pizza delivery guy breaking down in the courtroom and admitting he was the murderer. But me you can ask.

Go ahead, ask me anything. We’ll have fun.

My Next Book

WindHeaven

The Wind from Heaven is almost ready for publication. Typesetting is all done, and final proofreading is in progress. And after that comes Behold! That should be ready sometime next year.

Ah! But spring is almost here, which means it’s almost time to start writing another one. I’m happy to say I’ve already been given two key pieces of it–one of which has solved a major problem with the plot. There’s stuff going on in Durmurot, and in Lintum Forest, that has to be addressed.

In writing a series of any kind, the writer has to beware of repeating himself. Edgar Rice Burroughs got bogged down with Tarzan and ran off a dozen or more books featuring lost cities. People enjoyed them anyway, but sheesh! You couldn’t throw a brick in Africa without breaking a window in a lost city. I don’t want to do anything like that.

But the new stuff excites me, and I hope it excites my readers, too. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a catchy title. Sometimes I get badly stuck for a title.

What new stuff? Well, I can’t tell you that, can I?

 

Talkin’ My Books (with Jon Dykstra)

The Last Banquet (Bell Mountain, #4) by Lee Duigon

Jon Dykstra, of Reformed Perspective, did a wonderful job of interweaving some of my blog posts and some of my answers to his questions into a seamless, easy-flowing article. It first appeared in 2017.

After Lewis and Tolkien

I’ve also been asked why I bother writing fantasy while America is being eaten alive by Democrats; but that question doesn’t come up in this article. I’ll have to answer that another time.

For now, Mr. Dykstra’s editorial skills still have me going “Wow!”

I hope he makes you want to read my books.

 

My Newswithviews Column, March 11 (‘History and… Fantasy’)

My new “Bell Mountain” book, The Wind from Heaven, ought to be coming out sometime this spring. But between now and then there’s a lot of nooze to cover: sort of like wading through a pestilential swamp.

So this week I’ve written about my books.

History… and Fantasy

Sometimes, by the end of the day, all I want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. The monsters are out there, ravaging our country. But you don’t win battles that way, and you certainly don’t win wars: and like it or not, we are in a war with Far Left Crazy–a war for the survival of our country, our freedom, and our way of life. They mean to take it all away from us.

Just now it seems we have nothing left but our prayers. They’ve nullified our votes, censored us off the social media. But if all we have is our prayers, then let’s use them. Pray often! Pray hard!

Where Will God Take Us from Here?

The Bell Mountain Series - Reformed Reviews

I’m tired of writing about the nooze. Tired of watching Democrats murder my country by inches. Nevertheless, I have to write for Newswithviews this week; and I think I’ll write about my books–because there’s a lesson in here somewhere, if I can dig it out.

When Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out last year, a few readers said the series had gone on too long and it was time to put it to bed: grant the good guys final victory and let them all go home, to live happily ever after. Like, it’s a fantasy series, you should be able to do that. Why not? Tolkien did.

In my series, the characters plod ahead through good times and bad, enduring one crisis after another, doing their best to serve God, although the world seems to fight them every step of the way. This pattern is also known as “history.” We don’t get a final victory, just a lot of little ones–and that’s if we’re lucky.

Was World War II a final victory? Hardly. The Cold War took its place. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East. To say nothing of the domestic crises each and every nation must endure. But that’s history. It doesn’t stop. When the Byzantine Empire finally defeated the Sassanian Persian Empire after some 300 years of war, the same emperor was still in office when Islam broke forth from the deserts of Arabia and crashed against the walls of Constantinople.

As Christians we believe in final victory. We can read all about it in the Bible. Jesus Christ has won it for us. Ultimately Christ shall reign forever and ever.

But we don’t know when. We just keep working. We don’t get to see God’s calendar. It would be a terrible mistake to show it to us, and God doesn’t make mistakes. We get a glimpse, in the Book of Revelation, of what Christ’s final victory will look like. And then, as C.S. Lewis hinted, the story really begins. We can’t even imagine what’s in store for us then.

God rules history. From time to time He intervenes in it. We have no idea what our history will be like after the restoration of all things. How could we? God has the whole universe at His disposal.

There’s no telling where He will take us from there.

 

‘Well, Then, Should I Just Change My Value System?’ (2014)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) by [Lee Duigon]

We never have to wait very long for this to come up–attacks on Christianity by worldly folks who think they know better than the Bible. So I re-run this post every now and then.

Well, Then, Should I Just Change My Value System?

The damnedest thing is that they actually do think they can get us to give up our Christian faith, as if pleasing them were more important than pleasing God. And they think they’re tempting us by offering us STDs, atheism, race riots, an all-devouring government, and all the rest of their Far Left Crazy menu–and those are just the goodies.

God protect us.

 

Exit February

BTS-Cellar

(The girl who looks just like Ellayne!)

Still plenty of snow on the ground, expensive car repairs looming, no one here is in the best of health, our country is being murdered by inches, right before our eyes–but I know that spring’s around the corner.

And Bell Mountain No. 15, whatever it winds up being called, is waiting for me to climb into the ring and wrestle with it. I hope I can get myself up for the match. It’s like Gorilla Monsoon is in there waiting for me.

When No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out, there was some talk that Bell Mountain had gone on long enough, time to put the series to bed, sayonara, nice knowin’ ya, etc. I don’t know. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a couple dozen Tarzan books. I haven’t counted the number of books in Walter R. Brooks’ Freddy the Pig series. Or Hal Goodwin’s Rick Brant. To say nothing of Hercule Poirot, Inspector Ghote, or Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, with its 54 books. If I thought my Bell Mountain books were no longer worth reading, I wouldn’t write any more of them. But I don’t think that

Writing is hard! Unless you’re one of the chosen few allowed to stand on the tip of the pyramid and get your grocery list published, you just never know if your work has any merit.

But spring is in the air, Gorilla Monsoon is waiting, and it’ll soon be time to rassle…

 

‘So Where Do I Get the Funny Names?’ (2014)

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1) by [Lee Duigon]

My mother wasn’t the only one who was put off fantasy by the names of the characters. My wife felt that way, too–and a pretty odd way to feel, I thought, for someone who likes Russian novels.

Where do my Bell Mountain characters’ names come from?

So Where Do I Get the Funny Names?

Admit it–if you were reading a novel set in Japan, you’d expect the characters to have Japanese names. You wouldn’t expect them to be called Frank McGlothlin, Suzanne Jones, Reggie Smythe, etc., etc.

I need those funny names when I’m writing about the world of Bell Mountain. But I have tried to keep from going overboard with it.

I’ve Got Bell Mountain Fever

Image result for images of lawn chairs buried in snow

My writer’s chair is buried under snow and ice, it’s dead cold outside, and there’s more snow in the forecast–

But spring is in the air.

I know this because I’ve received an inspiration for my next Bell Mountain book, which I can’t even begin to write until spring is really here. Suddenly a really thorny plot problem has been bulldozed out of the way. Thank you, Lord!

For those of you who are new here, this blog was originally set up to generate interest in my books, and that’s still part of its mission. (If you’re really new, click “Books” and see all the covers.) This unwritten, untitled book will be the 15th in the series. We are expecting No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, to be published sometime this spring. After that comes No. 14, Behold!

Some readers have complained that this series has gone on too long. Others have said they hope it never ends. What can I say? I love writing these books, and I’ll never live long enough to match the number of books in series by my favorite authors. Did Edgar Rice Burroughs write too many Tarzan books? He thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed. Did Agatha Christie write too many books featuring Hercule Poirot? She thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed.

Whatever the case, there is now a really cool miracle waiting to become the centerpiece of No. 15, and it will truly be a pleasure to start the work.