Bryn  Hammond

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Bryn Hammond

Goodreads Author


Born
in Chavey Down, The United Kingdom
May 23, 1964

Website

Twitter

Genre

Influences
Beowulf, T.H. White, Dostoyevsky, James Tiptree Jr.

Member Since
December 2011

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I have been fascinated by steppe cultures from a young age, although I wrote more SF/F when young. In the vast world of fiction, I’ve liked nothing better than works of the medieval imagination – folk epic and romance. So when I made the earnest acquaintance of The Secret History of the Mongols – late enough in life to feel equipped for a major task – I felt the stars had aligned for my writing.

About me, I never have much to say. The quieter your life, the more time you have to read and write. Not that I don’t live wildly now and then. I’m Australian, ex-British. I enjoy tea, scotch I can’t afford, walks by the sea, and my bookshelves: I have the industrial pipe look in charcoal, and I have French pot stands, which are curly metal racks.

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Bryn Hammond Chosen for its cuteness. No story attached I'm afraid. Except that I did want to tell the world, 'how cute is this Mongol name?'

I am a serious name…more
Chosen for its cuteness. No story attached I'm afraid. Except that I did want to tell the world, 'how cute is this Mongol name?'

I am a serious name fan. Names are such a thing with me I flick through novels to see whether the author & I have similar ideas on what's a great name, and if we don't... I figure I mightn't like the novel either.

Temujin, Jamuqa. Toqtoa, Tarqutai. Khabul, Daritai. Ambaghai, Bultachu. There was almost no name that turned up in his story, which I didn't have a strong urge to seize upon and use. Yes, this was a significant factor in my choice of story.

Cheers for the question. (less)
Bryn Hammond At first I thought ‘bah, humbug’ when Goodreads asked me this question, because 1) I’ve been in an anti-romantic mood for several years, and 2) it’s a…moreAt first I thought ‘bah, humbug’ when Goodreads asked me this question, because 1) I’ve been in an anti-romantic mood for several years, and 2) it’s a question from the establishment, not from a reader. But other writers’ answers have been such fun that my hard heart went to butter, as the Mongols say.

Other writers are entirely right to quote as one of their favourites a couple of their own. We write out our idea and our ideal of love, whatever that may be. Mine is extreme, and that’s because I grew up on medieval love, when they went at it with a religious intensity. As I wondered who on earth to answer with, I contemplated Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan and Isolde, as an exemplar of the medieval European state of love. Then there’s the medieval love traditions in Persian and Arabic of which you can say the same: religious intensity, extreme ethic. I don’t believe people invented romantic love in the 12th century, that’s a nonsense, but they made a cult of it. There’s a question as to how far this was an cultural cult, just fiction – how often practiced in real life and not by poets. But we live by fiction, and you can bet people took this artistic fashion seriously.

My favourite lover is Lancelot. As Malory gives his elegy:

“A, Launcelot!” he sayd, “thou were hede of al Crysten knightes. And now I dare say,” sayd Syr Ector, “thou Sir Launcelot, there thou lyest, that thou were never matched of erthely knightes hande; and thou were the curtest knighte [this means ‘most courteous’] that ever bare shelde; and thou were the truest frende to thy lovar that ever bestrad hors; and thou were the truest lover, of a synful man, that ever loved woman; and thou were the kyndest man that ever strake with swerde; and thou were the godelyest persone that ever cam emonge press of knightes; and thou was the mekest man and the jentyllest that ever ete in hall emong ladyes; and thou were the sternest knyght to thy mortal foo that ever put spere in the reeste.”

My next favourite lover is Don Quixote, who dragged knightship into the early modern world at the cost of great ridicule. To be ridiculed for love was a martyrdom in love’s heyday from Aquitaine to Baghdad.(less)
Average rating: 4.07 · 72 ratings · 30 reviews · 7 distinct worksSimilar authors
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When I am King (Amgalant #2)

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More books by Bryn Hammond…

Another quick post. I am moved to share this New Year’s statement about What Anthropology Is. Why? As a novelist, seeking to give my readers a lived experience of a culture strange to them (let’s be ‘participant observers’ together), whose main aim, often, is to make the unfamiliar seem familiar, reasonable, and, yes, right: and so to expand our knowledge of ways of being human, our sense of po...

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Of Battles Past When I am King Me and Atrocity The Sheep from the Goats
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Bryn’s Recent Updates

March 2018 Group Read

They voted for: Joan of Arc
Technicians of the Sacred by Jerome Rothenberg
"this is an amazing poetry resource. More of an anthropological account than a critical study of various schools, it opens your mind to early formations, rituals and motifs in poetry. i spent about 3 months with this book during July of last summer..." Read more of this review »
The Ends of the Earth by Robert D. Kaplan
"Despite disagreeing with some of his politics, I generally really enjoy Robert Kaplan's travel books. At their best, they are like a historical tour of the world that gives both a grounding in contemporary politics and a taste of what daily life i..." Read more of this review »
Bryn Hammond rated a book did not like it
Justice and Revenge in Contemporary American Crime Fiction by Stuart Sim
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Bryn Hammond made a comment in the group Historical FictionistasMarch Group Read Nominations topic
" I'll second Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
... which I've meant to read for ages.
"
Bryn Hammond rated a book it was amazing
Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition by Samuel England
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2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
“Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”
Arthur C. Clarke
Bryn Hammond wants to read
The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance by Edward Muir
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Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition by Samuel England
" From my wonderful sister for Christmas, to help me prep for a novel with a court poet this year. I adore that they have clay puppets on the cover. "
Bryn Hammond started reading
Medieval Empires and the Culture of Competition by Samuel England
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More of Bryn's books…
“Our children aren't here to fix our mistakes, but to have lives, lives we can't guess at.”
Bryn Hammond, Amgalant One: The Old Ideal

“If I laid a wager on which was to panic first, a block of granite or Jamuqa, I'd go the granite.”
Bryn Hammond, Amgalant Two: Tribal Brawls

“Temujin: "You are hard to get a plan past, my wife the queen."
Borte: "Indeed; that is what your wife the queen is for.”
Bryn Hammond, Amgalant Two: Tribal Brawls

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Topics Mentioning This Author

“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
I am human, and think nothing human alien to me.”
Terence

“No, I am that I am, and they that level
At my abuses, reckon up their own;
I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel.

--Sonnet 121”
William Shakespeare

“I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!”
Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

“They accuse me--Me--the present writer of
The present poem--of--I know not what,--
A tendency to under-rate and scoff
At human power and virtue, and all that;
And this they say in language rather rough.
Good God! I wonder what they would be at!
I say no more than has been said in Dante's
Verse, and by Solomon and by Cervantes;

By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault;
By Fenelon, by Luther and by Plato;
By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau,
Who knew this life was not worth a potato.
'Tis not their fault, nor mine, if this be so--
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato,
Nor even Diogenes.--We live and die,
But which is best, you know no more than I.”
George Gordon Byron, Don Juan

“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.”
Howard Nemerov

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4)    post a comment »
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Arkadagy Saparshy Thanks for Great Steppe's list :)


message 2: by Steve

Steve Evans Hey Bryn hope all is well in your world...have you ever heard of this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env... aka the voynich document? What do you think?


message 3: by Bryn

Bryn Hammond Steve wrote: "...have you ever heard of this?

No... not until your blog. I'll go read about it there.


message 4: by Bryn

Bryn Hammond Me too you. Right back. :)


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