2001 A Space Odyssey is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s the perfect marriage of gorgeous and profound, with some of my favorite tropes (AIs and space madness, first contact, scientific realism, etc) by one of my favorite directors, and I am beyond delighted to have been able to write about it, albeit in an oblique way. I will forever plug Michael Benson’s phenomenal Space Odyssey about the making of it. I didn’t think it was possible for me to love that movie any more than I already did, but Benson managed to increase my fondness exponentially. The next Tor column will cover Arthur C. Clarke and the cracking of the genetic code, and I also got to throw in a very relevant shout out to Fred Sanger, who’s inventiveness is the grandfather of my specific biotech niche (so I can thank him for paying my bills), so I was a very happy camper researching this one.
The last one, if you missed it, went up a few weeks back on Isaac Asimov and the discovery of messenger RNA. Jacques Monod was an absolute madman and I deeply enjoyed the logic in Asimov’s books (and memoir). I once again lament someone who seemed so affable was also a serial ass grabber of women. ::long sigh:: In any case, you can find that post here.
Not too much to report on other writing fronts, except to say I have found over the past year that I deeply enjoy writing nonfiction. It scratches the itch of my atrophied academic past self, and I have gotten to read a lot of science fiction, biographies and histories I wouldn’t have otherwise. I love finding the strange connections between things, and exploring both histories in parallel has really colored my perspective on history in the last century and a half. Even past the expiration date of the column, you can bet I’ll find other things to jump into to write about (maybe ones that don’t require quite so much reading – I’ve read 20 books so far this year and February’s barely half over).
On the life front, I’m doing quite well. I’ve got some personal goals of being able to run a sub 30 minute 5k, leave the country again, get competent at my new day job (which I love so far), level up my cooking game, and start getting some fiction back into circulation. The first four I’m already working on, and my upcoming pilgrimage to Cascadia and the annual Rainforest Writers Retreat should help with the last of those, and since the latest column is in the can, I am very much looking forward to focusing on just fiction for a week. See, I’ve had some novelette/novella length projects that have had to take a back seat to all the research and writing of the column, and are at least three medium/long stories and a novel trilogy stuck up in my head – all kind of dark, hopefully funny, and chocked full of science. I look forward to having some of those see the light of day hopefully in the next few years.
No playlist this month, but instead I encourage you to check out the latest albums by Jeff Tweedy (WARM), Sharon Van Etten (Remind Me Tomorrow), and Hop Along (Bark Your Head Off, Dog), which have all been in my heavy rotation lately.
In the meantime, please enjoy this hole to another universe that is definitely NOT a tiny bathroom monolith.