9th century: Gunpowder was invented in China by alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality, which is ironic considering it’s often used by murderers as an elixir of death.
10th century: The first firearm was invented in China, too, as part of the ongoing defense against the encroaching Mongol hordes along the northern Chinese border. (They built the Great Wall of China for the same reason, starting around 50 BC and continuing for more than twelve centuries.) These early weapons were crude but generally effective, such as the fire-spear, a bamboo pipe filled with shrapnel and gunpowder, used as a sort of combination flamethrower and grenade launcher.
12th century: The Chinese proved under attack to be quick learners. Before the end of the century, they’d altered the gunpowder mix to turn it from a raw explosive to an explosive propellant. They’d also changed their shrapnel bits to solid cannonballs, and instead of mounting bamboo pipes on the ends of spears, they invented the metal barrel. Thus was created the first cannon, and the invention spread through the Middle East to Europe, ironically driven mainly by the Mongols after they overran China.
14th century: Early artillery arrived in the Middle East, brought by invading Mongols. Those guys got around.
Hope you enjoyed it, even if the info is completely esoteric (meaning generally useless). I promise there's some serious meat packed in there for writers seeking details to flesh out their mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense, and lots of other genres. How does it feel when a beginning shooter fires a large caliber pistol for the first time? Which weapon would win a long-distance firefight--a pistol, a rifle, or a shotgun? How about a close-range fight? Why does a submachine gun or machine pistol kick so much harder than a revolver or semi-auto? And what the heck's the difference between all those things, in any case? All these questions are answered in Ballistic Basics, my soon-to-be-released writer's primer, plus many more.
Now, here's the Sweet List for the week--let's click and read. Cheers,
1. J. Gunnar Grey, just about everything but ballistics this week
2. Kay Springsteen Regency/Contemporary (surprise!)
3. Lindsay Downs-Mystery
4. Patricia Kiyono, romance
5. Rachel Rossano - fantasy/romance
6. Sarah Ballance (sensual romantic suspense)
7. Joselyn Vaughn ~ contemporary romance
8. Jennifer Comeaux ~ Contemporary Romance
9. Carrie-Anne Brownian ~ 1960s historical fiction
10. Leah Sanders - sweet historical romance
11. Marsha Ward~Westerns with Heart & Grit
12. Rachel Van Dyken - Romance
13. Jean Joachim, Sensual Contemporary romance
14. Jenna Jaxon~Historical Romance
15. S.G. Rogers - Fantasy Adventure 16. Dianne Hartsock-paranormal thriller
17. Lisa Beth Darling~Adult Chiller/Romance
18. Lacey Wolfe - Sensual Contemporary Romance
19. Sharon Cullen - Paranormal Romance
20. Tmonique Stephens -- Paranormal Romance
21. Beth Trissel Historical/Paranormal Romance
22. J. F. Jenkins Fantasy
23. Gwendolyn Gage ~ Christian Historical Romance
24. Elaine Cantrell, Christian romance
25. Kim Bowman, Regency romance