Star Maps: Not Just a Star Wars Thing
If you've been watching the latest Star Wars show Ahsoka, you will be aware of a plot surrounding a star map. If you haven't been watching, apologies. That was a spoiler. I'll try to refrain from dropping further. My point in mentioning this is that star maps are not unique to Star Wars. In fact, Jamie Poole's debut novel, The Isle of Osiris begins with the discovery of a star map.
Before I go further, I'll let you know the options forgetting this or any other Jamie Poole novel--autographed. We have a lot of exciting events coming up, and if you are in Nova Scotia, you're in luck as they are happening here.
How to get yours:
You can also purchase any of the Jamie Poole Books directly from the author. Arrangements can be made by emailing: JamiePooleBooks@gmail.com.
In working with Hal-Con there can be arrangements for drop off within Halifax as we are a virtual vendor. Additionally two preferred vendors can also assist you in getting the books any time of year:
Now to go further:
Here is another Maritime connection in Jamie Poole Books. While all the books are not set in Nova Scotia, Sisterhood of the Sword is. Other books have many callbacks to Nova Scotia. And one of the main characters comes from Windsor.
The Isle of Osiris contains a very strong connection to Nova Scotia and specifically Halifax and Lunenburg. You may be familiar with the St. John's
Anglican Church. You may not be familiar with the 2001 fire or the secret that fire inadvertently revealed.
The church had historical significance. And while it didn't burn entirely, it suffered severe damage. Parts of the church were saved, although the ceiling was destroyed. The parish sought to reconstruct the church as close to the original as possible, keeping parts of the floor and altar which still today show scorched marks. Other pieces of the church were also saved, but the ceiling was destroyed, and there was an important painting of stars.
The article says:
But the church didn't have a complete set of photographs of the original star pattern, so Coolen, hoping the pattern reflected the actual alignment of heavenly bodies in the night sky, sought the help of astronomer David Turner of Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
That's when the first mystery emerged.
Wishing to be correct, they collected photographs of the original ceiling and began painting. That's when things got interesting. The article further says:
"It looked like they might just simply be put up at random, but it didn't seem like someone would go to that trouble to put just random stars on the ceiling."
Coolen suggested that Turner instead look at the stars' alignment around 2,000 years ago — on Christmas Eve in the year of Jesus' birth.
Then, using software that plots the positions of heavenly bodies throughout history, Turner had a revelation: The chancel ceiling's pattern indeed reflected quite closely how the night sky would have looked from Lunenburg all those years past, when constellations appeared in somewhat different locations than today.
And while Jamie Poole Books does not contain this story, it does possess its own Star Map and its own mystery surrounding it. While I was writing The Isle of Osiris, I came upon this news article regarding the church fire. To me it made sense to drop a little Maritime spice into the story and use this story to advance Jamie's story and help her to figure out her star map. It is just the beginning of what becomes a series that spans Space and Time. And while not every book is set in Nova Scotia as I said, there is indeed much local flavour.
Here is an excerpt from The Isle of Osiris. To set the stage, Jamie and her dad and his colleague Dr. Mary Sutherland are speaking over the phone with her brother, Dr. Tom Sutherland, an astroarchaeologist. They have recently found the mysterious star map and know it means "something." They've consulted Tom to help explain what it could mean. Tom has made a discovery regarding the origin of the star map, but to explain it, he feels inclined to explain how he came to his discovery. Tom is, if nothing else, an animated speaker as you can see here:
“Aye. The image of the map you sent is gorgeous. The artist was brilliant! I mean the original artist. The forger wasn’t gormless either. From what my sister explained, this is a copy of an older document. The detail is brilliant. Did I say that already?”
He laughed at his own humor. “Without the aid of a telescope, he accurately detailed most constellations and single stars seen in the night sky from his vantage. You might imagine this was impossible before the computer age, but it’s not. Have I ever mentioned the church in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia? Now there’s an astral mystery. In 2001 St. John’s Anglican Church burned down. Arson. When they went to restore the church which had been built in 1754—such a sin that beautiful building burned!—they discovered a mystery. When they went to restore the stars that had been painted over the altar using photographs of the original interior, it occurred to them they’d been strategically painted. They began to grow suspicious there was a secret in the stars. The original designer knew the explanation, but it hadn’t been documented and had been forgotten with time. So they contacted an astronomer mate of mine at Saint Mary’s Uni in Halifax…”
Mary cleared her throat. “Tom? You’re doing it again. You’re off track…Out in the bushes…”
Burt Dalton mentioned Nova Scotia. Here it was again. I wouldn’t realize the connection for many years, but I ensured never to forget that small spot in Canada. There was a connection. From where I sat that day, I couldn’t have seen it. Later it would become obvious.
“Oh, right. Apologies. I get chuffed over details like this.”
“Can’t say I know anyone else like you.” Her eyes rolled to Dad.
“I really appreciate you giving me this assignment. To finish my story…” And here Mary sighed heavily enough Tom must have heard, but it didn’t dull his enthusiasm. “My mate determined the stars were aligned to match the constellation Perseus as it would have looked on the first Christmas Eve from outside the church. Pretty amazing, yeah? The most amazing part is the fact they would have had to calculate how stars moved over time, and in 1754 that meant calculating that by hand! One good thing to come out of a tragedy was solving this mystery. Now mind you, we all know that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th, but that’s hardly the point here. It’s the fact it was calculated accurately back to a specific date. My mate confirmed the theory using a computer. My Bethlehem Software, I might add.” He chuckled again. “Your artist has calculated a date and location perfectly too. I doff my cap to him. Or her.”
“Ho, ho, sis. It’s not like I talk to Brett every day. Anyway,” he continued when no one responded, “that gets a lot more enthusiasm from fellow astronomers. Your artist isn’t Egyptian. Or if he was, he wasn’t in Egypt when he painted this. I ran the same Bethlehem Program. Your original artist stood a few hundred miles north of me almost 1500 years ago. That’s the where and when of it. All you need is the who.”
And here concludes the excerpt.
Tom and his discovery launch Jamie into identifying a significant location on a map where something very unexpected is buried. What? I promised not to drop any further spoilers, so you'll have to get the book to find out. I hope you will, and I hope to see you at one of the events this year!