Islands from Shells

A study just published in PLOS One sheds new light on the Calusa tribe of southern Florida and how they used their discards. A hunter-gatherer tribe who subsisted primarily on seafood, the Calusa used the discarded shells from shellfish to form habitable islands.

Mound Key was the capital of the South Florida Calusa when the Spanish first interacted with them in the 1500s. Thompson et al. ran a series of radiocarbon dating tests on the midden (or discarded trash) on Mound Key and discovered that the island was deliberately formed and shaped from discarded shells and bones, an early form of landscape engineering.



Victor D. Thompson, William H. Marquardt, Alexander Cherkinsky, Amanda D. Roberts Thompson, Karen J. Walker, Lee A. Newsom, Michael Savarese. From Shell Midden to Midden-Mound: The Geoarchaeology of Mound Key, an Anthropogenic Island in Southwest Florida, USA. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (4): e0154611 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154611

Shadow’s Blade by David Coe

Happy upcoming Book Birthday to David Coe! The third installment in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, Shadow’s Blade, will be released Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016. The series begun in Spell Blind and continued in His Father’s Eyes follows the adventures of Justis Fearsson, a private investigator and runemyste. The full moon robs him of his ability to use his magic just like his father who eventually went mad.  Will Justis follow his father into insanity? Head over to David Coe’s site for more information.


I read once that one of the best ways to get a following for your blog is to focus on one topic. Explore that topic in depth and post regularly. That’s what I should do, so of course I won’t.

I do intend to post on a regular basis, but I’m interested in too many different subjects to stick to just one.  As a writer, I get to research whatever strikes my fancy, and I’ve discovered that my writer friends all seem to share a love of learning random things. Who knows what’s going to spark an idea or trigger a solution for a sticky plot point? So besides book reviews and thoughts on writing or conventions, I will post random bits of history or information I find interesting.

I have a deep love of science but discovered I lack the obsessive nature necessary to be a good research scientist. I don’t have that ability to hyperfocus on one area and be passionate about it for years, but I do enjoy reading science and discussing it. I know a great many scientists and hope to use this page to communicate interesting findings I run across or share work from my friends who are researchers if they want another platform to post on.

Why Story Currents? I wanted a title that would reflect my interest  in literature especially science fiction and fantasy writing plus science, history, and the fluid way that everything in the world interacts. So visit for the book reviews, science tidbits, or musings about current events. I’ll try to keep things mixed up and maybe help generate a few more stories along the way.

Oh — and because the Internet runs on cats, random cat pics will happen. I’ll try to keep them under control.