Writers of historical fiction set before the advent of gas and electrical lighting should be aware of how daylight and moonlight (including sunrise and sunset times, moon phases, and the like) should affect their story.

* Writers from the southern US often forget that most of Europe and especially the UK is pretty far north compared to where they live, being more on a line with western Canada than the US. This difference doesn’t affect the weather (due to the Gulf Stream) as much as it does the balance of day and night; on 21 June in London, to give an example, dawn breaks at 2:55 AM standard time (they didn’t have daylight saving time until after electric lights existed) and the sun rises at 3:42 AM. On 21 December, on the other hand, dawn breaks at 7:23 AM and the sun rises at 8:03 AM. Days in late June are 16 ½ hours long: days in late December are less than 8 hours long. That difference affects everything from when characters breakfast and dine to when they entertain to how much they must budget for candles to how much natural light they have if they awaken in the middle of the night. The difference is starker in Scotland, Muscovy, or Scandinavia; no one in Peter the Great’s St. Petersburg who woke up at 3 AM in June had two hours to wait for dawn. At that latitude, it’s dawn all night long.

* Country activities held at night such as assemblies, political meetings, and private parties/balls were often tied to the phase of the moon, especially in autumn, winter, and spring. In Pride and Prejudice, Bingley takes possession of Netherfield on Michaelmas (29 September) and almost immediately rushes off to fetch Darcy and his sisters and brother-in-law so they can attend the Meryton Assembly the evening they arrive. This makes a beginning date for P&P of 29 September 1811 plausible, since the full moon in that year fell on 2 October. Your characters are therefore going to know what the moon phase is at all times and plan activities around it.

* They’ll also know where the moon is supposed to be in the sky, as will a large percentage of your readers. The writer who puts a rising crescent moon in the eastern sky in early evening or a full moon low at the horizon at midnight is going to disrupt suspension of disbelief for every astronomy fan who reads their book, in the same way as calling a knight or baronet “Sir Surname” will disrupt suspension of disbelief for history fans.

* Nobody in the 18th century thought eclipses were a sign of the end of the world. Eclipses were understood by this time, even by the common people.



There isn’t much to Rachel, Nevada (population: 54), the town closest to the secretive Area 51 military base. Not even a gas station. And there’s very little else to see along the Extraterrestrial Highway until you arrive here, so the lights of the Little A’Le’Inn are all that illuminate this desolate stretch of Nevada outback. 

Area 51 itself is difficult to find, as it’s not listed on maps, and the faint roads leading to its encircling barrier fences are rough and muddy. A traveler can only hope to spot something unexplained in the sky, but all we saw that day were thunderclouds carrying in a heavy rainstorm. 

I want to go to here

I have wanted to visit this town since I read about it in an X-Files book, like over 20 years ago.

Mainly to take my photo next to the town sign.




The best cover for Bruce Wayne would be dumb carefree playboy who is also Instagram Optimistic, everyday he’s posting a selfie of his smiling at his breakfast with a caption like “it’s a waffle day! #goodvibesingotham #grateful” or a picture of a sunrise with a caption that’s just “wow #blessed” 

Bruce Wayne ending up as Gotham’s favoured son because he may be an idiot, but he’s a cheerful idiot, and he donates tons to charity and genuinely loves Gotham and actually, truthfully does put a lot back into the city. And his instagram is a bright ray of sunshine, and honestly there are a lot of people in the city who get surprisingly defensive of their Dumb Carefree Playboy because, okay, sure, every month or so Bruce Wayne falls off a yacht or sleeps with a reporter or whatever. The man clearly never met a healthy coping skill even once in his life.

But as far as news regarding Gotham’s prominent citizens go, Bruce’s ‘scandals’ are so normal that it’s downright refreshing. When a headline has ‘Bruce Wayne’ in the title, you know you’re either going to read some Celebrity Gossip level non-drama, or else something to do with a charity. Maybe he’s been kidnapped again, but that’s only happened a few times. Bruce Wayne news is like the Gotham equivalent to special reports about dogs who rescue their owners from drowning, or raccoons who’ve figured out how to get past the new self-locking garbage can lids.

And there’s something weirdly reassuring about following his twitter. Like, if Bruce Wayne is tweeting about a really neat old tree he just saw, things must at least be sort of alright.

(Meanwhile, Bruce’s social media persona is 100% him flanderizing Clark.)

Special Report – Billionaire Bruce Wayne Adopts Another Orphan: “I Love Being a Dad”