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BobOswald.com - the official website of author, technial writer, web designer and graphic artist Bob Oswald

 

 

Discovering Runes
September 2008
Publisher: Regency House Publishing Ltd, UK
Distributors: Chartwell Books Inc in USA, Bookmart Ltd in UK
Stiff back    8x8ins (200x200mm) format    
256 pages     full colour     260 illustrations

Status: Out of print but still widely available

Description
I worked on this book about runes off-and-on over a period of 2 years. I wanted to publish something that would be useful to both experienced runesters and to novices in a down to earth and friendly style and without getting too technical.

Many of the books for novices that I have read are written like school text books - dry and boring. And many of those aimed at experienced users seem to make wide assumptions about what the reader already knows. I mean, it is possible to be an experienced diviner without having read all the associated runelore, or without learning all the verses of the Edda. But every other book I pick up seems to assume I know what they are talking about whatever the subject.

So now I have written Discovering Runes which I hope will be an entertaining read as well as a vital reference book for everyone.  It is distributed by Bookmart in UK and Chartwell Books in the USA. It is widely available but the signed first editions you might find on eBay were only ever available directly from this and other Runemaker Group websites.

The book is bound with a vinyl coated flexi cover (tougher than paperback, but not as stiff as a hardback) and is luxuriously illustrated throughout with high quality photographs and my own artwork.

In Chapter 1 I have advanced some of my own ideas about the origin of the rune characters and the development of runic divination in ancient times.

In the chapter about rune meanings I have expanded considerably on the subjects discussed on my websites and enlarged the rune meanings section to 112 pages, allowing more thorough illustration and discussion of interpretation and associations for each rune. I have described the methods for several more rune spreads and random casting methods.

There are also chapters on the runic pendulum, bindrunes, Gandr magic, runic transcription, rune graphics, a key word index and a very thorough selected bibliography.

Readers comments

I love your book. I keep it as a coffee table book because [of] its color and charm but it's really my favorite quick reference guide to the runes. Never a rune set is made without reflecting on the pictures and text in your book. So deep thanks from a happy reader - for your book AND website. I'm sure there are many others like me who have benefited from your knowledge, commitment and willingness to pass it on. M. McW - of Austin TX, USA - December 2011

I have received your magnificent rune book a week ago and the voyage of discovery is a real pleasure! Great book with excellent text and illustrations. It arrived promptly and safely. It combines a sound academic approach with very sensitive and beautiful illustrations. It is a joy to browse! I do recommend a second edition, so many would benefit from it. I am an old fan of your website. CKR, of London, UK - Jun 2011

I wanted to dash to the keyboard and write to let you know that the book has arrived. I ripped open the bag and was so totally impressed with the quality and beauty of this published work. I don't think I have ever seen a more beautifully done book. I mean it is fantastic quality and with your expertise the content matches. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and talent. G.K. of Grefrath, Germany - Jan 2011

The book is so very beautiful. Discovering Runes I feel is so apt a name as while journeying through the pages it feels like hidden among the wonderful photographs of our earth you are then presented with the image of a rune and the information relating to it. Then feel encouraged to continue that journey onto the next page, the next beautiful photograph, the next rune image. I am looking forward to a quiet time when your book and I will share the journey.
A.F. of Sunderland UK - Jan 2011

I have now finished reading your amazing book, and it’s the best I ever read (and I read lots), it is truly well researched. I love the nature connection that you make with the runes and the intuitive approach that you make, it is all very connected. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us by writing this beautiful book that I am joyfully reading. A.S. of Enfield, UK - Apr 2010

Just to let you know that we received your book this morning. We both thought it is a beautifully produced book, you should be very proud. I have just read the first chapter and already know that I'm going to find it very interesting.
M & J.M. of Kelso, Scotland - Apr 2009

I just received my copy of your book "Discovering Runes" today. What a joy! The full color photographs, and the (as usual) wonderful writing - it truly is a joy to spend time with . . . You have gifted the world with a stunning resource! Blessings B. C. of Shelton WA, USA - Oct 15 2008

Just thought i would say thanks, your book is beautiful! Very well thought out and beautifully illustrated. Many thanks M.G.D. of Huntingdon UK - Oct 13, 2008

I received your book in the post this morning. Thank you very much for the speedy delivery. I must congratulate you on putting together such a beautiful book on runes . . . the snippets that I have read so far have been refreshing and wonderfully written and I have been in total awe at some of the beautiful and inspirational photographs. May I say well done and thank you. Blessings, Love and Light. J.G. of Hull UK - Oct 09, 2008

The book arrived yesterday and I am not disappointed! It is absolutely superb. The photography is stunning, and I just cannot understand how you have produced this volume for so little. . . . You may be sure I will be spending some time studying . . . Thank you once again. W.S. of Runcorn UK - Oct 08, 2008


Casting the Runes
1996-2007   Runemaker Publications UK
Paperback 8½x6ins (210x150mm) format
64 pages    full colour    80 illustrations

Status: not in print. Withdrawn on publication of Discovering Runes

Description
This was my first hard copy book on runes. It went into production as a "print-on-demand" book. In eight chapters it dealt with the origins of the runes, preparations for casting, spreads and casting methods. The rune meanings and interpretations were covered in 24 pages each dealing with a single rune of the Futhark.

I was obliged to withdraw the hard copy version of Casting the Runes when Discovering Runes was published because - although the latter is more comprehensive and much expanded - some of the same material appears in both books.

The Ancient Pagan Runes - a Short Introduction
1996-2008   Runemaker Publications UK
Paperback 6x4ins (150x100mm) format
32 pages    spot colour    40 illustrations

Status: Available by print-on-demand

Description
This little booklet was originally designed and produced to accompany my boxed rune sets and eventually went into production as a "print-on-demand" book. In six chapters it summarizes the origins of the runes, casting and spreads, interpretations, and the brief one-line rune meanings are presented in the form of a single page table.

It is now more popularly available as an e-book for download and for that version it was thoroughly revised and updated with many new illustrations in 2010.

It's very basic, but might still be considered a useful introduction for newcomers to runes. The extensive bibliography does point the reader to the most useful published works on the runes and associated history, language, magic, mythology, natural history and closely related subjects.

Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing a hard copy of The Ancient Pagan Runes. Or you can purchase the PDF version on the E-Books page.

There were a couple of other hard-copy publications very early in my career. The first two were "novellas" which is a posh name for a short novel or long story. They appeared in pulp paperbacks known in those days as "penny dreadfuls" although by the time my two efforts appeared they were selling for about one shilling and sixpence. That's 7½ pence or 15 cents in modern money, and believe me, that's about all they were worth!

There was a pulp novella entitled Garradora which was a fantasy based in a future world recovering from nuclear holocaust. The plot centred around the struggle for supremacy between magicians with psychic powers and mutant people with normal perceptions. When the editor had finished with it I thought it was rather gruesome and sensationalist. I was never proud of it and glad it hasn't been available for more than 40 years.

There was a space opera novella about escaping convicts overcoming alien invaders entitled Flight from Carthia (I was rather prone in those days to making up exotic place names). The plot was inspired by the writings of such masters of SF as Robert Heinlein and Eric Frank Russell - but regrettably written without their flair or mastery. It sank without trace after a single printing and I don't think they sold all of those despite the garish cover illustration. I was paid 30 British pounds for 6 months work - that was about 100 bucks back then.

I gave up on science fiction after that, accepting that I was no Heinlein. I still read a lot of the genre though, the sense of wonder is with me yet.

Until the rune publications came along there was just one more book. It was a technical manual entitled The Quality Pilot intended for use by small firms who wanted to become certified to the British quality standard by doing it themselves rather than hiring expensive consultants. It was quite a thick tome of about three hundred pages, but it didn't sell.

At the time I was quite pleased with it but heartbroken when new standards legislation came into force rendering the book obsolete only a few months after publication. The publisher went broke before I got paid as well.

 

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