Welcome to Trogholm, a planet all its own, a little bit homey, a little bit alien.  Anything that catches my interest might appear here, but most of it will have to do with history and with the ways in which our collective reality changes through time.


The Dance of the Visions.  For many years, I have been developing a theory that human history has been shaped by a succession of visions of the nature of existence.  This is my best attempt to lay out the basics of that theory in concise form.  More on the subject can be found at my blog.

A Merritt and the Soul of the Twentieth Century.  Merritt's The Moon Pool (1919) has exercised a great unacknowledged influence on science fiction to this day, and it was one of the first stories to set forth many of the themes that our culture has been wrestling with for the last century.

The Paleolithic Indo-Europeans.  The distribution of the world's major language families seems in general to present a snapshot of human expansion towards the end of the last ice age, but the languages of Europe are conventionally thought to have arrived in their historical locations much more recently.  Here I argue for an alternative theory.


Worlds of Wonder   The more I learn about the past, the more convinced I become that our own world and its history are as strange and magical as anything to be found in fantasy or science fiction -- and it is only the residual prejudices of the 20th century that blind us to the marvels around us.

The Secret History of the Twentieth Century   When viewed from the proper angle, recent history can appear as full of dark corners and unplumbed mysteries as the remote past.  Certain things have been concealed or cosmetically altered for political reasons, others because we find it difficult to acknowledge just how alien our parents and grandparents were to present-day ways of thinking.  But we are living in the Twenty-first Century now, and it is more than time for the secrets of the Twentieth Century to be revealed.

The Geek History of the Universe   From the start of human history, there have been geeks, patiently designing the infrastructure of the world we know today.  Paleolithic geeks explored the mysteries of fire and water and the subtle properties of stone.  Neolithic geeks made friends with plants and animals, invented pottery and metallurgy, and charted the movements of the sun and stars.  Geeks designed the pyramids and the great cathedrals.  Their engineering talents made possible the Roman Empire and the repeated discoveries of America.  Geeks have revolutionized the world over and over again but have never been given proper credit.

Genealogy   Where I embarked upon my first attempt at a a website, back in the 90s, I began with family history.  This section is a little out of date in places -- watch out for dead links! -- but it contains years of research on ancestors and distant cousins, including many colonial New England, New York, and Pennsylvania families, along with single-family studies of the descendents of John and Hannah Padgett of Oxford, NY and John and Agnis Scott of Blandford, MA.

Dormant Projects

The Cycles.  Over the course of history, particular styles of clothing have followed one another in a regular sequence.  This is one aspect of the succession of historical visions that I have been discussing at my blog, but it has some unusual features of its own.  This is the start of an attempt to lay out the characteristics of that sequence.

Speculations on the Tarot.  The cards of the Tarot feature images that appear to derive from a range of mythologies stretching from Egypt to India, but that were brought together by some unknown genius to create a unified whole.  

Trogholm the Blog

Most of my writing is now done at my blog, which is also called Trogholm. Since 2009, I have been laying out a theory of history as a succession of visions of the nature of reality, with a particular focus on the prehistoric past, the 20th century, and current events.

Here is a complete listing of all entries to date.  I generally add a new entry every 1-3 weeks and announce them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.

Family Business

The Abyss of Wonder   My husband Alexei Panshin's section of this website.  Reflections on story, personal narratives, songs, and some favorite artwork.

The Game Master: A Guide to the Art and Theory of Roleplaying is a book by my son Tobiah which is available either for purchase in print form or as a free-to-download pdf.  You can also download it here in a variety of ebook formats.

The Game Master

Photo by Thomas Edge

Please send any comments to Cory Panshin


Photograph by Thomas Edge

Drawing of the Game Master by A.M. Thompson

Background courtesy of FreeLance