Glasgow based science writer Duncan Lunan has signed two new book contracts with international publishers, Springer Science & Business Media. Recently he signed another contract with Mutus Liber of Edinburgh for “Children from the Sky”, an investigation of the mediaeval mystery of the Green Children of Woolpit.
One of the new signings is “The Stones and the Stars: A New Stone Circle for Scotland”. Duncan Lunan was the Manager of the Glasgow Parks Department Astronomy Project, 1978-79, which built the first astronomically aligned stone circle in the UK for 3000 years (unfinished to date) The book tells the story of the project in the wider context of ancient astronomy and of our place in the Solar System and the Galaxy.
The second book is “Incoming Asteroid!: What Could We Do About It?”, the results of a discussion project, started in 2002, in which experts and amateurs have tried to answer the question:- If we knew there was going to be a big impact in ten years’ time, what could we do about it? What would we do?
Duncan Lunan has written three previous books on space research, edited the first anthology of science fiction by Scottish writers, contributed to 19 other fiction and non-fiction books, and published 30 short stories and over 700 articles.
“Incoming Asteroid!” and “Children from the Sky” will be illustrated by Sydney Jordan from Dundee, the creator of Jeff Hawke, the world’s longest-running science fiction strip cartoon which appeared worldwide in 1954-1988.
Children from the Sky (cover illustrated above) should be available on Amazon this month. Green Children merchandise is available on the website. www.childrenfromthesky.com
Duncan said: ‘Just like buses, you wait 20 years for a publisher and then three come at once! I’ve put ten years’ work into the mediaeval mystery, and waited six years after that to find the right publisher for it. The megalith book has been hanging fire even longer, since 1982. But now that I have a publisher for that one, I think it’s important to have the Sighthill stone circle completed so that the final improved version can be in the book. Then it can be the visitor attraction that was originally intended.’
by Lynsay Keough, photos Stuart Maxwell
A local amateur astronomer, Duncan Lunan, held an illustrated talk recently at St. Aloysius Church on his work constructing a stone circle in Sighthill Park. The talk, on 21 June, the summer solstice, was followed by a walk to the circle to watch the sun go down.
Duncan organised the construction of the stone circle over 30 years ago, when he was manager of the Glasgow Parks department’s astronomy project. The project’s goal was to accurately mirror the rise and fall of the sun and moon over the city. However, due to funding cuts at the time, four stones were left unplaced. Duncan now hopes to secure funding due to renewed interest. He explained: ‘Two stones were planned to be due east and west, marking the sunrise and sunset at the equinoxes. What we would like to do with the other two is put a plaque on them to explain why they are there, who built the circle and who it is dedicated to.’ He would also like to restore the original work and put in a path for wheelchair access.
The circle was built in honour of four Glasgow University academics who promoted the understanding of megalithic astronomy: Professor Archie Roy, Dr Ewan McKay, Professor Alexander Thom and his son, Dr Archie Thom. The cost of the new work to complete the project, is estimated at around £30,000.