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June 29th, 2009

Star of Bethlehem

 It's nearly the 4th of July; what better time to think about the Star of Bethlehem?

My agent (who solicited and sold God's Mechanics) has been after me for years to write a "Star of Bethlehem" book. I can think of a couple of things such a book could have:

1. a definitive retelling of the canonical legend, with references to the various (mostly medieval) sources from which we get the names of the magi, etc... in other words, the bit that I would actually enjoy reading myself.

2. a discussion of all the possible theories that people have suggested over the years, including an explanation of the science behind those theories (what is a supernova? How come planets are in conjunction, and how often does it happen?)... in other words, the only part that I would actually be qualified to write.

The last thing in the world I would want to do would be to come up with yet another theory (there are too many already) or to make any definitive judgments among them (though I do have my favorites, I am afraid the rabid adherents of those I might choose against would probably find some way of getting past the Swiss Guards to attack me in my sleep). 

It would be fun, of course, to illustrate it with various artistic interpretations from over the years. And an idea I had this morning (when I was half awake) was to solicit new short stories on the topic from all my friends who write fantasy for a living. Of course, that would mean coming up with a budget to pay them...

Any other ideas?

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