The Man in the Cistern
The Man in the Cistern
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The Man in the Cistern

Last updated on 2015-10-10

About the Book

The Man in the Cistern

Set about ten years after the conclusion of the full-length novel In a Milk and Honeyed Land, this short story follows Damariel and Nepheret, seers and priests of the town of Kephrath, as they tackle a new challenge to the four towns. A group of migrants has set up an encampment just down the trackway towards Shalem. What are their intentions? Do they come in peace or war?

“They are more of a threat to themselves just now. But two things might happen. One is that men might join, and stay, who have some weapons and some real aggression. Then they might start to intrude on surrounding towns including this Kephrath. Or, and maybe more likely, they could bring a plague of sickness into the area. These are not men who know how to live outside, not for the most part. A few have been slaves, but most of them are workers who have always been told what to do. They are used to living in houses. The main thing that protects Kephrath is that they do not know how to act in concert as a group. They are just like a rough heap of gravel. But perhaps someone could turn them into a rock and start to pound others around them.”

About the Author

Richard Abbott
Richard Abbott

Richard Abbott lives in London, England and works professionally in IT quality assurance.

He writes in two quite different genres. First, there is historical fiction set in the Middle East at the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200BC. The second area is science fiction, set in a near-future solar system exploring issues of high-tech crime and human-machine relationships.

His first science fiction book, Far from the Spaceports, introduces Mitnash Thakur and his virtual partner Slate as they investigate financial crime in the asteroid belt.

His first book, In a Milk and Honeyed Land, explores events in the Egyptian province of Canaan at the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200BC. It follows the life, loves, and struggles of a priest in the small hill town of Kephrath.

A follow-up novel entitled Scenes from a Life begins in Egypt. It follows the journey of a scribe as he travels to discover his origins. down the Nile from Luxor and finally out into Canaan.

A third book, The Flame Before Us, is set in the middle of calamity. New settlers are arriving from the north, sacking cities and disrupting the established ways of life as they come. This story follows several different groups each trying to adjust to the new situation.

Author readings from both In a Milk and Honeyed Land and Scenes from a Life are available online as YouTube videos.

See the website http://www.kephrath.com for more details and background information.

When not writing words or computer code, he enjoys spending time with family, walking, and wildlife, ideally combining all three pursuits in the English Lake District.

Table of Contents

  • The Man in the Cistern
  • Richard Abbott
  • Copyright
  • Preface
  • Feedback for In a Milk and Honeyed Land
  • Maps
  • The region
  • Kephrath in the time of In a Milk and Honeyed Land
  • The Man in the Cistern
  • In Kephrath
  • The scout’s report
  • The camp
  • Ramoth Hurriy
  • In Kephrath
  • About the author
  • About Matteh Publications
  • Background and Glossary
  • Specific glossary for this story
  • The background
  • Short glossary of words and customs
  • Poetry
  • Towns
  • Later history of the Gibeonites

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