For A Good Time In Tucson…And Then Tn Charlottesville.

[Obligatory sound track]

Way late with this post, but if any of y’all happen to be in the Tucson, AZ area this weekend, I’ll be doing a bunch of stuff at the excellent Tucson Festival of Books.  It’s truly an all-in event; just an outrageous amount of book love crammed into two days.


My own motes in this maelstrom come at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days.  On Saturday, I’ll be participating in a couple of panels, “Genius: Lives in Science” in the morning and “How We Got Here: Histories of Science” in the afternoon.  Sunday morning I’ll be doing a workshop/Q & A on science writing — how that will go will depend on who shows up and what they want to talk about — and in the afternoon we’ll be on to “Our Nearest Neighbors In The Solar System,” a chance to talk Planet Nine, Kuiper Belt Objects, those funky moons that orbit the Pluto-Charon system…and maybe just a bit about our should-be, could-be, never-was friend, Vulcan.

Some come by if you can.  And check out everything else going on — or rather, as that’s more than any one person could manage, check out what you like.

Also — an author’s plea.  If you happen to have read The Hunt for Vulcan (so nice I linked it twice) do tell your friends, and if you’re feeling extra generous, pop up a review on Amazon, or whatever social media venue floats your boat.

Also, also:  for anyone in the Charlottesville, VA vicinity next week, I’ll be talking at the Virginia Festival of the Book as part of a panel on “Mysteries of the Cosmos.”  That’ll be on Friday, March 18 at 4 p.m.  That’s another great celebration of writing, reading and the wondrousness of words; it too has an amazing line up of authors, with only yours-truly mucking up the joint; and a spring weekend spent in sight of the Blue Ridge is never wasted.

And just to broaden out the thread — how about talking about what you’re reading now.  For me, I just finished work in a genre I don’t usually read much: N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogywhich I enjoyed a lot, and to which I turned after being truly wowed by her The Fifth Season — a novel of geophysics, race, love and vengeance. I’m not sure what the next novel will be just yet.

My non-fiction jones is being fed by a dual read of Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature:  Alexander Humboldt’s New World and Humboldt’s own Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of Americaand a nightly, just-before-bed dip into Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson — which is just wonderful, a poet diving into another poet’s life and work in a bravura demonstration of criticism as high art.

What’s on your pile?

Image: Simon Luttichuijs, Vanitas still life with skull, books, prints and paintings by Rembrandt and Jan Lievens, with a reflection of the painter at workbetw. 1635-1640.

31 replies
  1. 1

    I am reading Greywalker by Kat Richardson. It is about a private detective in Seattle who dies for a couple minutes and now she can see ghosts or something, I don’t know. Quite well done. Also reading some Elmore Leonard I forget the name of. Good times.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I’m reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. It sucks.

  3. 3

    Plowing through all of Scalzi’s books while taking a break from hiking through the Elmore Leonard forest while waiting for Cronin’s ‘City of Mirrors’ to be released, all while standing in line for the Expanse books to become available at the local library.

    ETA: Highly recommend Stephenson’s ‘Seveneves’ for a big, rich, chewy serving of sci-fi, or his ‘Zodiac’ for a quick snack of a romp.

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    Balloon Juice.

    I gots no attention span anymores. Teh intertubes.

    ETA: I did, however, yesterday purchase a copy of Nathan Philbrick’s “Why Read Moby Dick?” It looks good sitting on the desk. And looks like an easier read than its subject.

    It is a slender tome.

  5. 5

    @Baud: But didn’t you hear? Nate Silver invented Bayesian analysis! That’s what I got from reading it, anyway.

  6. 6
    Baud says:


    Hi. I don’t see you around. It sucks.

  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Not you, silly. Nate!

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:


    Sorry to Bigfoot you, but I put a link up to the live feed of the meshugas in Chicago.

    Also, will you be on The Big Bang Theory?

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: You are marvelous to notice. Exercising that “constituent service” muscle.

    I’ve been kind of Trumped out. Have been lurking.

  12. 12
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No worries. B-J-ers can multitask.;-)

    Big Bang Theory? I’m more of a CMB guy myself…

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle: If you’re going to lurk, you might as well participate.

  14. 14

    @Baud: Oh thank god, I was worried I had been insufficiently angry at Hillary again for a second.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: In some circles, there’s no such thing.

  16. 16

    @Baud: As a white male in San Francisco, trust me, I know.

  17. 17
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    What is CMB?

  18. 18
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Steeplejack: Cosmic Microwave Background — a flash of light from a particular event within the big bang’s sequence.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: Betty Cracker has been speaking for me!

    Drawing better, too. And I got no chickens. Yet.

  20. 20
    debbie says:


    Please share if he provides a way to get past the first page. I’ve tried several times.

  21. 21
    chromeagnomen says:

    damnit, you better not be older than i am. i just checked that festival site and saw your mug shot. i may be in Va next week, and, if so, will try to attend.

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: I will.

    Maybe one has to start the book a few pages in and then get back to it. Billy Budd looks like a snorefest too.

    Was paging through Philbrick’s book, and he said Melville was not appreciated in his own time; that the book gained popularity as the era it depicted had passed.

    Plus, now we’re all rooting for the whales…

  23. 23
    JCT says:

    The Tucson Festival of Books is all sorts of awesome – I’ll drop by and say hi!

  24. 24
    burnspbesq says:

    Did a bunch of fiction reading on two recent cross-country trips: Walter Mosely, “Tom Clancy,” and finished the fascinating Imperial Radch sci-fi trilogy.

    Now in geek mode, reading “The Future of Law and Economics,” by Judge Guido Calabresi.

  25. 25
    Miss Bianca says:

    Oh, so the Humboldt book is good? It is on Mt To-Be-Read.

  26. 26
    Miss Bianca says:


    I always thought “Zodiac” would be a *hell* of a movie…

  27. 27
    Steeplejack says:

    I am reading Hour of the Wolf (original title: Carambole), the latest in Håkan Nesser’s excellent crime fiction series featuring Inspector Van Veeteren. Highly recommended: start with Mind’s Eye and Borkmann’s Point.

    After that I’m on to Lisa Randall’s Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. Don’t know much about it, but a reliable friend recommended it.

  28. 28
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Miss Bianca: It’s more interesting than good, to be honest. There’s lots of stuff in it that I’m happy to learn, but I can’t say that it’s a terribly gripping read, and to be yet more blunt, I think the analysis, both of history writ large and history of science in particular is not that deep. I’m learning a lot, but it’s more info than insight, if you see what I mean. Which is to say, I’m enjoying the book and it gives me stuff I value. It’s just not a book I can recommend without reservation.

  29. 29

    Applause for spelling Tucson correctly. I do get tired of the idjits who transpose the “s” and the “c.”

  30. 30
    Calliope Jane says:

    Aww, the year I’m not there. I’m sorry to miss those panels, too (especially the one on science writing). Enjoy the nice and warm Tucson weather! :)

  31. 31
    Prescott Cactus says:


    Are you doing any events / signings in Phoenix area this weekend ?

    Better late than never to ask ?


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