ISSUE 14, July 2005

The King and the Craft
Quarterly Communication: Speech of the Grand Master and Speech of the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principle and Report of the Committee of General Purposes Grand Lodge dues: Message from the President of the Board of General Purposes
    Masonic Housing: Major changes Finance: Choosing an investment manager Travel: Tantalising Tunisia Goose and Gridiron: Historic Masonic unveiling Extravaganza: Hollywood comes to Grand Lodge Masonic Events: Day of Fun and Medical, University and Legal Lodges' Festival Education: Sheffield Masonic Library and Forthcoming events and The Entered Apprentice Specialist Lodges: Revving up to success and where eagles dare International: The horror of Phuket and Grand Charity team visit disaster area Library and Museum: Fraternal societies Masonic Charities: NMSF and RMBI and RMTGB and Grand Charity
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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    Did You Know This, Too? By Reverend Neville Barker Cryer, Lewis Masonic (01455 254450), £9.99. ISBN 0-85318-241-8.

The third in a series of short talks about aspects of Freemasonry, the author is a good storyteller and for that “daily advancement in Masonic knowledge” this, like its two predecessors, is easy reading for the novice as well as experienced Mason.
    It includes chapters on two controversial topics – the involvement of the churches with Freemasonry and women and the Craft, and a fascinating look at the differences between Scottish and English masonry.
    The author also has a very informative chapter on the Royal Arch – it is good to see this wonderful Order receiving the coverage it richly deserves in the minds of all Freemasons. Perhaps it will encourage more to join!
    Finally, there is a chapter entitled “Is there anything more to research?” The answer, of course, is “yes”. But the author’s twist in the tail is that the reader needs to do his own research. This entertaining little volume shows how to do it well.
    John Jackson

Ray Hammond – Author of the Quarter

What prompted you to write the novel Extinction?

I always set my stories in the future and I decided that I wanted to try and envision the world 50 years from now. I decided that global warming is probably going to be the most pressing issue of the time, and so I developed an apocalyptic thriller in which a series of cataclysmic events stem from mankind’s failure to tackle climate change. I took my ideas further and produced a form of Armageddon that has a distinctly biblical metaphor.

How did you research the book?

Apart from the usual copious amounts of reading of scientific tomes and background material, I actually went to the South Pacific to see for myself the effects of climate change. On Samoa and other islands in the South Seas, village elders took me to the water’s edge and pointed out to sea, to show me where the shoreline had been when they were children. I was left in no doubt that the oceans have risen dramatically.

Did the results of this research surprise you?

Yes – I discovered that while experts in the developed world argue about the extent of climate change and how much of it is natural and how much man-made, millions of people are already suffering its effects. The situation was far worse than I imagined.
What is your next project?

I’ve already completed my next novel. It’s called The Cloud and is set in 2066. Thirty years after unmistakable radio signals from extra-terrestrials were first received on Earth, astronomers discover that a giant cloud of space gas is heading towards the solar system at high speed. At first the cloud is no more than a curiosity, but then it becomes apparent that it is on a heading that will cause it to collide with Earth. If it were to do so, it would strip all of the atmosphere away from the planet. `

When writing a book, have you got a preferred place of work and a favoured writing routine?

I can jot down plot ideas or fragments of language anywhere, but when I am in mainstream production I need to be at my own desk between 9am-12.30pm and 2pm-`3.30pm everyday.

How do you relax between projects?

Tennis, swimming, theatre and socialising.

Who is your favourite author?

Gregory Benford.

What are you reading at the moment?

In The Rose Garden of The Martyrs by Christopher de Bellaigue – its research for my next book, Angels of Death, in which my leading characters are Muslim.

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