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Planets

I spent February 2001 working out of The Economist’s San Francisco office, and while I was there I recorded an interview with Moira Gunn which aired on her NPR show, Tech Nation. The main subject of the interview was The Neptune File, but Moira also asked me to explain the common strand that links my first two books together, and extends into my forthcoming third book. I talk much too fast and ramble, as usual, but all in all it’s a pretty decent summary of what I’m trying to say in my books about the modern-day lessons we can learn from the history of science and technology. The interview aired on March 27th; click here to listen to it. (Streaming RealAudio format, 30 minutes.)

My new book, The Neptune File, which links the 1846 discovery of Neptune with modern discoveries of extrasolar planets, is now available on both sides of the Atlantic. Unlike The Victorian Internet, which was a rag-bag of telegraph anecdotes, the Neptune book has more of a conventional quest narrative, with a hero, a sort-of-villain, what screenwriters call a story arc, and so forth. Arthur C. Clarke has declared the book “fascinating”, and New Scientist has already published a favourable review.

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