A Well-Wisher has spotted Advance Proofs of A (Very) Short History at the Chicken and Frog Bookshop in Brentwood, Essex, UK. They'll be stocking the book. Support Your Local Independent Bookshop!
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
The most popular pre-order option for A (Very) Short History of Life On Earth appears to be the audiobook version from Audible.
I have to say you are all very trusting, as I haven't recorded it yet. There are one or two technical hurdles to overcome, but all being well I have blocked out a week in July during which I shall read the whole thing. I'll be doing it at my home studio, Flabbey Road, where -- thanks to lockdown -- I have become quite adept at home recording. Over the past year I have produced two albums of my own here, and one in collaboration with your friendly neighbourhood guitar god, Adrian Thomas of the Voodoo Sheiks.
I'm hoping to add some music to the audiobook, with the help of Flabbey Road's latest acquisition, a Korg Nautilus workstation. This rather remarkable piece of kit will generate all sorts of cinematic backdrops and sound effects to keep you awake, despite the seemingly endless drone of my own voice.
Friday, June 25, 2021
The advance proofs of A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth are out from Picador. If you'd like to receive advance proofs, please email Ravi Mirchandani or Hope Ndaba at Picador. The author (that's me) doesn't expect anything in return.... other than that you
-> tell all your friends how good it is;
-> encourage them to pre-order a copy (see the choices of outlets above);
-> exhort them to tell all their friends to do the same;
-> write good things on the Book's Facebook Page, Amazon, Goodreads and so on.
You know what to do.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
This is the story of life on our planet, from its birth four and a half billion years ago, to beyond its end, a billion years hence.
During its history, our planet has been a ball of molten lava; a world of water; a jungle from pole to pole; and covered with ice miles thick.
The planet is restless.
Cracks open in the crust, spewing lava and poison gas. Asteroids fall from outer space, with catastrophic consequences. Yet life always emerges from each disaster more resilient than before.
This book offers a panoramic vista of how life began and evolved.
How the first animals crawled onto land to meet the first forests; of dynasties of dinosaurs that flew, and magnificent mammals, and even the unlikely story of ourselves.
How the human species was almost wiped out only to survive and thrive. So much so that humanity is changing this planet’s face.
But life will roll on even when humanity is gone. Yet nothing lasts forever. In a billion years’ time, life will face its greatest challenge: a combination of increasing heat from the Sun and decreasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
It will respond by fusing into a single, planet-wide super-organism. And it will fail.
The message, however, is one of hope.
Even though the human tenancy of the planet is fleeting, it is a noble thing to leave the planet in as fine a state as we found it.
For Earth abides, and Life is living yet.
‘This is now the best book available about the huge changes in our planet and its living creatures, over the billions of years of the Earth’s existence. Continents have merged and broken up; massive volcanic eruptions have repeatedly reset the clock of evolution; temperatures, atmospheric gases, and sea levels have undergone big swings; and new ways of life have evolved. Henry Gee makes this kaleidoscopically changing canvas of life understandable and exciting. Who will enjoy reading this book? Everybody!’
— Jared Diamond, Pulitzer-prizewinning Author of Guns Germs and Steel and Collapse
‘Don’t miss this delightful, concise, sweeping masterpiece! Gee brilliantly condenses the entire, improbable, astonishing history of life on earth—all 5 billion years—into a charming, zippy and scientifically accurate yarn. I honestly couldn’t put this book down, and you won’t either.’
—Daniel E. Lieberman, author of The Story of the Human Body
‘A scintillating, fast-paced waltz through four billion years of evolution, from one of our leading science writers. As a senior editor at Nature, Henry Gee has had a front-row seat to the most important fossil discoveries of the last quarter century. His poetic prose animates the history of life, from the first bacteria to trilobites to dinosaurs to us.’
—Steve Brusatte, author of The Rise And Fall Of The Dinosaurs