Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Friday, August 8, 2014

The 100th Anniversary of the Beginning of World War I and a Memorable Bicycle Journey through the Killing Fields.

 The Bones of War: Skeletons of soldiers killed in the Battle of Verdun lie visible an impressive ossuary that sits atop the battlefield.

 Some thirty years ago, or so, I had a summer on my hands. My wife and I were living in Europe--had recently moved there from Iceland, in fact--and I was thirsty for some sort of small adventure. A bicycle trip across Europe from Germany to Paris seemed just the thing and so I bought a nice new Peugeot machine and set off by myself to experience the Continent first hand. What I hadn't counted on were my encounters with the ghosts of war. You can read more about this in my essay about my trip in The Prague Revue:

When it comes to war, one can take the high road of cynicism (humanity deserves the horrors brought on by its animal instincts) or the lower, more realistic road (in this case the road I traveled on my bicycle that summer) which lead me though the settings of bloody old battles that are now green pastures, farms and forests and peaceful farming villages. This lower road suggests that we humans are infinitely complex animals that seem to be making very, very slow progress towards some sort of improved version of ourselves.

Death in the trenches: The Battlefield at Verdun

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