Saturday, June 14, 2008

platypus book news

I'm pleased to report that there will be a German version of "The birds, the bees and the platypuses", to be published around the same time next year.

In an interview this week, I was asked the straightforward question how many books I've published, but the answer is less straightforward, it's more like a countdown.

On my shelf there are

13 different books with my name on the spine, where "different" means different looking and different ISBN. However, two of these are identical paperback reprints of the corresponding hardbacks, namely Nanoworld and Astrobiology, which brings us to

11 books with different content. Of these I'll have to discount two more, in which the new text from me is only a few pages, namely the preface in La vie extreme (translated by Véronique Receveur Bréchot), and the afterword in Life on the Edge paperback (which is otherwise a corrected reprint), leaving us with

9 books of which I have newly written (or compiled from non-book publications) substantial parts. (6 whole, 2 * 1/2, and one 1/4, so it's 7 1/4 if you calculate the fractions). Discounting from this the parallel publications in English and German, I end up with

6 different "stories". Or 4 and 2/2 if you insist on doing the fractions, so the smallest residue would be

5. But I guess I'll stick with counting the ISBN numbers with my name on the back, which means the German platypuses will be the 14th book published in 14 years, and I'm quite happy with that result. If I can stick to that speed for another 30 years or so ...

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