Tuesday, September 18, 2007

wild stories

I've just sent off the first third of the manuscript for my next book, so I'll use this milestone as an excuse to reveal a little bit about it.

It is essentially a remix of my favourite science stories from the last 14 years. In the words of my proposal:

"Science is fun! After seven years as a hobby reporter, and another seven as a full-time free-lance science writer, I have accumulated dozens of stories which I still remember fondly, because they were so much fun to write (and hopefully just as much fun to read). These are the stories that still tempt me to waste my time rereading them for the n-th time if I stumble across them in my archives. These are the stories that I have used and reused over the years, cited as examples or attached to my CV. These are the stories that -- in my eyes, at least -- demonstrate that science is a cultural activity just as rich and varied as literature and music, and just as rewarding."

In fact, I've been carrying around the idea of a "wild stories" collection for a while, but could never quite think of a good excuse to actually indulge in this. This spring, I sprang into action for two reasons:

1) I attached my all-time favourite story title to the project, on the grounds that it would be crazy not to make a book with this title (which I'm not revealing yet)

2) I realised that, if I failed to sell the project (quite a likely outcome, as many publishers don't like potpourri volumes), I could always run the collection as a series on my blog, so the effort would not go to waste.

But fortunately it did work out, so I'm now fixing up the manuscript for publication next May.

More news in 3 weeks time when I will hopefully have finished the second third.

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