Forthcoming Science Trade Books

What's coming from the physics and paleontology set?

Oliver Sacks
A radical departure, equal parts Borges and Barker, HeadStapler is a horror tale about a respected neurologist who suffers a severe skull injury in an auto accident, and must harvest portions of the brains of his friends and colleagues to reclaim lost memories. One of 29 books planned by Sacks for 2000.

Steven Pinker
Secrets of Mind Control
Pinker's new book offers practical applications of his earlier work on linguistics and the science of mind. Topics range from getting out of bar fights to installing a dictatorship. Applying his own techniques, Pinker negotiated a royalty rate in excess of the purchase price of the book. Very readable.

Richard Feynman
Stick It In, Mr. Feynman
Expanded from the 1978 edition. One of the century's great physicists offers insight into the quanta, the possibilities of molecular machines, and raw, dirty, get-it-now-cuz-it's-wet-and-good humping. Foreward by the lustful ghost of Erwin Schrödinger.

Steven Hawking
If I Can't Toke Up in Heaven, I'm Glad Heaven Doesn't Exist: Selected Conversations with Carl Sagan
Hawking's surprising book is light on physics but high on life, detailing the love for both cosmology and experimental drug use he shared with Carl Sagan, and relating their pot-fueled dialogues exactly:

Sagan: "The universe is so big."

Hawking: (Synthesized) "Yeah, but how big?"

Sagan: "So big. There are more Triscuits. In the pantry."

Hawking: (Inhaling through trachea, then breathing out) "But it's small, too."

Sagan: (Laughing) "Hey."

Hawking: (Synthesized) "Yeah, but how big?"

Sagan: "So big. There are more Triscuits. In the pantry."

Hawking: (Inhaling through trachea, then breathing out) "But it's small, too."

Sagan: (Laughing) "Hey."

300 pages of the same shines a human light into the stratospheric thinking of these two scientists.

Steven Jay Gould
The Coiled Yak in the Basket
Applying the logic of evolution, Gould connects the shape of the long-haired Yak's exocrine system to the width of the sloth's jaw, then describes a relation between boar trotters and race profiling. The book concludes with a natural history of giblets. With special foreward by Martin Gardner, "Why I am Cranky."

Douglas Hofstadter
mu-loop: block 1: begin
Hofstadter's indefinable foray into absolutely everything is written entirely in FlooP, the computer language he introduced in 1979's landmark Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. The included CD-ROM features an uncompilable FlooP interpreter programmed in Donald Knuth's MIX pseudocode. Illustrated throughout with meaningless squiggles.

Carl Djerassi
I Got Laid So Much After I Invented the Pill, it Was Ridiculous
Handsome, bearded Djerassi's remarkable memoir of the swingin' late 50s and early 60s. After leading us through arduous nights of "product testing," he describes trips to swingers' clubs with Crick, Watson, and the Kingston Trio. Features obligatory scientist's trip of self-discovery to Tibet.

Noam Chomsky
Noam's Big Book of Nonsense
After taking the world by storm with "colorless green ideas sleep furiously," MIT's own Merry Gnome of Wordplay is back with more fairy-dust-coated linguist's delights. Also includes "The Ochs Family in Hell," a long poem about East Timor.




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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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