A few months ago I read Nicky Jenner's excellent book 4th Rock from the Sun: The Story of Mars. It's a detailed look at all aspects of the red planet, including the science and history of the place, the missions we have sent to visit and stay, the planet's influence on pop culture and our future… Continue reading Interview with science writer Nicky Jenner
I read two essays by Philip Pullman this morning, from his collection Daemon Voices. The essays were 'Soft Beulah's Night', about William Blake and the importance of magic, and 'Writing Fantasy Realistically', about how fantasy is 'a load of old cobblers' unless it serves the purpose of realism. Reading these two essays, back to back,… Continue reading Science is a really, really good story
You may or may not know that I am studying for a second degree. I also have a full-time job as a freelance editor, which means I'm studying in my spare time. If all goes well, it should take me 6 years to complete my degree. If your first question is, 'How on earth do… Continue reading How to study in your spare time
Books, TV shows, podcasts, movies, music - there has been so much good stuff to enjoy this year, so I thought I'd share my 2019 favourites with you (so far). These things aren't necessarily new this year, but they are new to me, and they all give my heart a little flip when I think… Continue reading My 2019 favourites (so far)
Something strange happens when people talk about Pluto. This small, distant object probably inspires more widespread debate, and emotion, than anything else in our solar system - and all because it was reclassified from a planet to a dwarf planet. People were outraged when Pluto was 'downgraded', and this feeling has lingered. Even now, when… Continue reading The strange nostalgia of Pluto
In light of the first ever picture of a black hole being released, it seems that space is is a bit of a hot topic at the moment - and that suits me! So I thought I'd jump on this bandwagon and share with you four of my favourite space facts 🙂 1. There is a library… Continue reading 4 cool space facts!
Educated by Tara Westover was one of the biggest books of last year, so I'm a little late to the party with this one, but oh boy is it brilliant. This is Tara's memoir of her life growing up in a Mormon survivalist cult on a mountain in rural Idaho. Tara is the youngest of seven… Continue reading The importance of an education
The first book I read this year was Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. It's the first in a trilogy about human colonisers on Mars, and it's an absolute beast at more than 650 pages. It took me most of January to read, and I loved it. Probably the most impressive thing about Red Mars is that very rarely during… Continue reading To green or not to green? Terraforming in ‘Red Mars’
I have a T-shirt with the NASA logo on it (standard get-up for a space lover), and every time I wear it and catch myself in the mirror, I wonder whether the stars in the background are meant to represent particular constellations. Maybe they're just a random scattering of stars, but the people at NASA… Continue reading What are the stars in the NASA logo?
Well, here it is, my first post on clarediston.com! It's not my first post ever - in fact, I've been doing this for quite a few years, over at my old blog 50ayear.com. That blog was all about books - I started it in 2012, and I read and reviewed fifty books a year. I started… Continue reading My favourite books of the last 7 years