Passing Strangeness is a project blog for an eponymously named book. About what? Well…cultures often go through bursts of religious interest, where people suddenly become interested in fitting the things they see (or think they see) into an obviously mythological context. The only differences are how that context shapes the stories they tell.
I’m a child of the 1970s, and the seventies were one of those times when the stories came to the front. But in 1970 the traditional religions were beating a retreat so the myths were clothed in weird history instead—UFOs bringing civilization to the human race, lost countries, and missing links. As a kid I ate those stories up, and while they lost their charm as I got better educated into and through the eighties, the feel of the stories never left me. Atlanteans did not found Mayan culture, kids, no matter how much I kind of wish they did.
On the other hand, real history has oodles of oddity and anachronism, but for some reason most history books focus on particular weird events and ignore many others. For example, if you get a book about misguided genius, chances are it’s about Nikola Tesla even though there are many other people like him; books about early human civilization focus on the Mesopotamian and Egyptian ones and don’t get into the odd byways that may not have led to our own modern world. So Passing Strangeness is all about telling the true (or at least “true so far as we know at the moment”) stories that tickle the same spots our brains as Bigfoot and Egyptian rocketships, mostly by virtue of being undiscussed in most history books you’ll have read.
If you’re wondering who I am, my name is Paul Drye. I’ve parlayed an obsessive historical interest into two role-playing game books and a recently completed web column about alternate history. It’s my intention to sneak up on another book, one thousand words at a time.
The image header of this blog is based on the image “Ruined castle” by Kamil Porembiński, and is used under a Creative Commons “Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Generic” license.