100 years…

April 14th, 2012

It’s 11.22pm in Sydney. I’m about to hit the sack. I’ve been waiting for this day, on and off, since 1998. Well, not so much waiting as thinking about it. I spent almost 10 years planning and writing The Company of the Dead. A lot of that time was focused on April 14, 1912. A lot of that time thinking about all those people and their last moments on that cold, cold night. Something moved me then and something moves me now.

I’ll leave the rest to Darren Morgan; Historian, coward, time traveller…

“I’ve been fascinated by the Titanic for as long as I can remember. I could never get my head around it. All so important and all so senseless at the same time. It was our first modern fable. A cautionary tale that belonged to everyone. It was our century’s fall. Our departure from the Eden of the Industrial Age. Our casting into the wilderness. Boys who’d read about it, seizing newspapers from street vendors, lay buried in mud two years later on the fields of France.
“In 1991 I interviewed some of the Titanic’s survivors and members of their families. There was this one woman; she hadn’t sailed, but her father and uncle were lost that night. She told me that a few days after the disaster, they’d been seated around the table for breakfast. Her mother had held a newspaper in front of her and said, ‘Your father won’t be coming home, dears.’
“The survivor list hadn’t been printed yet, so the girl had asked, ‘How do you know, mother?’” Morgan’s mouth was dry. He wet his lips with the bourbon, and continued, hoarsely, “Her mother told her, ‘This morning’s paper says that some children were lost. Your father would never leave a child behind, no matter what happened.’”
Kennedy gazed at him with shining eyes.
Morgan said, “It’s strange. Here we are with complete knowledge of what will happen in two days time, and we’re the ones at a disadvantage.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Everyone else aboard will act in accordance with their own sense of pride, or honour, of hope, desire, fear, despair… Some will be lucky, some will be practical. Some will be downright evil. Most will suffer briefly but terribly.” Morgan shrugged. “We’re trapped by legend. We’ve entered mythology and it’s is a strange place. It bears only the smallest resemblance to actual events.”


Top 5 Titanic Conspiracy theories…

March 10th, 2012

It’s said that if you accept one conspiracy, you’re more likely to accept others. It’s also said that people who accept one conspiracy are more likely to accept others, even if they are contradictory.


Here’s 5 for you.

1. The Coal fire

Some records suggest that the Titanic set off from Southampton with a fire in Coal Bunker 6. Such fires were common aboard coal-fired ships. The theory is that the constant heat may have weakened the ship’s bulkhead making it vulnerable to any icy encounters. The other suggestion is that the ship itself was a floating time-bomb while the fire raged.

2. The Mummy

There is no evidence that any sarcophogus was ever shipped aboard the Titanic, but for quite a while it was suggested that the mummy of a priestess of Amen-Ra, wreaked her final curse on April 14, 1912. This mummy, whose lid is currently displayed in the British Museum, as opposed to the Atlantic floor, caused a lot of trouble for its various owners. Allegedly purchased by William Stead, a self-styled mystic who makes his own dire predictions in The Company of the Dead, it was supposedly smuggled aboard the ocean liner the night before her departure. Matt Forbeck’s Carpathia has vampires roaming through the wreckage of the Titanic. (Can’t wait to read it.) I am hanging out for a tale regarding a mummy shambling through the sinking ship.

3. U-Boat dead ahead

In Company, the results of 1912 lead to a different outcome of the First World War. The proximity of that event, with the sinking, led some people to theorise that the Titanic’s sinking was no accident at all. They propose that the German navy, wanting to test their new U-boat designs, took a shot at the Titanic as it safely nudged its way past the iceberg.


4. The Riddle of the Titanic (I like this one!)

I read Gardiner’s book, while preparing my own. The theories are a stretch, but well outlined. He examines several events and coincidences that occurred in the months, days, and hours leading up to the sinking of the Titanic. His conclusion, the Titanic never sank. It was her sister ship, the Olympic, already damaged from a previous collision but terribly expensive to repair as the Royal navy wouldn’t pay up, that was scuttled in the ultimate insurance scam.

5. The world we live in is the result of a time travelers intervention aboard the ship.

This is my own contribution. And the details of this little theory can be found elsewhere.

Granted, it’s a little wilder that the idea of a coal fire, or rabid U-boats. It lacks the mystique of a Mummy’s rampage and the nasty manipulation of evil businessmen in the White Star Line. But I guarantee you. It’s the truth. Possibly.



March 10th, 2012

Folks, I ain’t much of a blogger but I’m here to help.

I will be posting stuff I hope is relevant, from time to time. Feel free to comment or drop me a line if you feel inspired.