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"Sketch of a Ruin" in Shroud Magazine Issue #4

January 2nd, 2009

I just got my contributor copy of Shroud magazine Issue #4, which includes, in addition to my Mayan temple story “Sketch of a Ruin”, fiction by Tim Waggoner and fellow Odyssey grad Sara King. This issue was a bit delayed in production, but looks by all appearance to have been worth the wait. It’s 100+ pages, perfect-bound, magazine-sized, with a glossy color cover—very satisfying to behold. Copies are available from Shroud Publishing and Amazon.

“Sketch of a Ruin” was born sometime in early 2007, not long after the visit to the Yucatan Peninsula which yielded so many of the photographs I used to decorate The Mossy Skull (and which I blogged a fair bit about, if you care). The story features the intrepid Great White Explorers John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, and was inspired in part by Stephens’ fantastic 1841 travelogue, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan.

I shall resist nerding you people to death with the ramblings of my pre-Colombian obsession and restrict myself to transcribing here the excerpt from Edgar Allan Poe’s review of Incidents with which I open the story.

“No one can deny his personal merits as a traveller, his enthusiasm, boldness, acuteness, courage in danger, and perseverance under difficulty. … Of Central America and her antiquities Mr. Stephens may know, and no doubt does know, as much as the most learned antiquarian. Here all is darkness.”

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