After a four-year-long process of researching, writing, editing, and editing some more, Written in Stone will finally hit shelves in about two weeks. I’m happy to say that the book is already picking up a bit of momentum thanks to positive reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and others, and interviews with me about the book have also started to pop up:
Dan Schneider asks me about dinosaurs, the “Bone Wars” of the 19th century, and life as a paleo nerd in an extensive interview (~27,000 words, holy shit!) on Cosmoetica.
Marissa Bell Toffoli of Words With Writers asks me about when, where, why, and how I write.
The publication of Written in Stone is obviously the biggest news for me this fall, but I am still working on publishing academic papers and popular-audience articles, too. Yesterday Smithsonian magazine published my story on the natural history of zombies – including killer fossil fungus, mind-controlled ants, and parasitic worms – and just a few weeks ago the Geological Society of London finally released my review of Thomas Henry Huxley’s hypothesis about the origin of birds from prehistoric reptiles. If you have been told that Huxley precisely anticipated our present understanding that birds are living dinosaurs, you need to check out this paper. As is often the case with the history of science, the true story is far more complex and involves Huxley’s peculiar ideas about the nature of the fossil record. The paper is part of the Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective special publication, and I am indebted to Mike Taylor, Jerry Harris, Eric Buffetaut, Darren Naish, and Richard Moody for their help, support, and encouragement in writing what was my first formal contribution to the paleo literature. (My paper on Darwinius, while published first, was written second.)
More good news is on the way. Stay tuned.