Sunday, 28 August 2016

New Site - Nirleka, an Indonesian history & prehistory blog

    I've started a new blog specifically about Indonesia. It's called Nirleka, and I'll be migrating some of the posts from this site over there over the course of the next few weeks. There's more news, too! Check it out, subscribe, and I'll hopefully be able to update it fairly frequently over the course of the next year. See you over there!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Tim Hannigan's 'A Brief History of Indonesia'

I'm in two minds about Tim Hannigan's A Brief History of Indonesia (2015). Part of my brain is cruelly happy that Hannigan's book is so deficient in covering the early period of Indonesian history (which it indubitably is), because it means that the gap in the market that I'm hoping to exploit with my own book is still open. The other part is simply sad: yet another reason to consider Indonesia neglected and poorly served by history books.

Monday, 4 January 2016

2016 - Writing

      So it's now 2016 and all that, and apparently that means you've got to wrap up the previous year and make a change and so on. A change in the date seems like an arbitrary basis for major life alterations and I don't have too much to say about 2015. It's hard to summon an opinion about a block of 365 days.

      However, I do want to finish my history of ancient Indonesia before the spring. I suppose that's my resolution. I changed the plan I outlined a while ago by beginning the narrative with the Portuguese invasion of Melaka. I don't want to turn it into a Eurocentric book, but the idea is to give people who know nothing about Indo-Malaysia a handle on the issues that will come up in the text, including the Austronesian expansion, the global spice trade, Indianization, the introduction of Islam, and the spread of the Malay language across the archipelago.

      It's also an exciting place to begin, with javelins and elephants and gunfire, and it represents the end of the period under discussion anyway. I think of it like starting a history of Mesoamerica or ancient South America with the Spanish conquests.

      I'll let you know if it gets published at any point - it's my first book, so I really need to finish it before an agent will take me on. I am starting a Patreon page for this blog in the meantime, although I don't expect great returns from it. I suppose that's not the point. I'll link when it's all set up and make a dedicated post for it.

      I see in my hits that this blog is appreciated, and I'm getting a good few hits from Indonesia which is very gratifying. I want to keep producing content you want to see, so let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions.