Deer bone flute

by stephenpalmersf

When I read about the lunar theme to the new Eibonvale Press anthology The Once & Future Moon – tales either ancient or futuristic – I knew at once that I’d write a prehistoric story. Regular readers of this blog will know of my great interest in all matters of human evolution, and the meaning of the Moon to our early forebears was central in their mental frameworks. Although interpretation is difficult, there is evidence to suggest that lunar calendars were kept – bones with 28 or 29 scratches on, for instance. I decided to use this as a foundation for my tale ‘White Face Tribe.’

One of the difficulties in writing prehistoric literature is keeping all historic concepts out of it: urban life, stone apart from tools, and any thought processes involving separation from nature. But the aspect of prehistoric mentality which interested me most was the automatic self-centred viewpoint. The payoff to my tale is how the main character perceives herself and the reasons underlying her actions, which very few modern readers would consider plausible…

Readers of this blog will also know of my music and perhaps the collection of instruments I’ve built up over the last quarter century or so. One of the most recent acquisitions is a deer bone flute, made by a friend who specialises in Anglo-Saxon instruments, so I decided to use that also in my story. The flute is a beautiful little thing which plays sweetly: here it is being used in some music I recorded a while back.

The Once & Future Moon is available now from all the usual places.

deer bone flute