July 27, 2012 @ 6:50 pm
Driving back from Cumberland Gap yesterday, mostly along secondary highways, took about 8 hours, at least 5 of which Jack and I spent listening to Escape Pod. Our playlist?
"The Observer Effect" by Tim Pratt
"The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu
"Counting Cracks" by George R. Galuaschak
"Next Time, Scales" by John Moran
"Nemesis" by Nathaniel Lee
"Hawksbill Station" by Robert Silverberg
"Asteroid Monte" by Craig DeLancey
"Revenants" by Judith Tarr
Heavy on super-heroes and Hugo nominees. I had already listened to Nancy Fulda's "Movement" twice in preparation for the interview I did with her today (super-nice lady), and some of the others we skipped for content inappropriate for a ten-year-old, in my mind. In his mind, "Hawksbill Station," despite its Cambrian Earth setting, was also inappropriate because there are no aliens and nothing happens. Don't get me wrong -- it's a good story, just heavy on character psychology and historical worldbuilding over action and comedy and cool aliens, which are what he looks for. Trilobytes are cool, but not as cool as aliens.
I only found the Visible Paleo-Earth Project because one of the Contact folks posted this about the Gliese system, where this year's shapeshifting Graxian aliens evolved, along with another race of lizardy things I don't yet have pictures for, but which would definitely have piqued the boy's interest. That let me to the University of Puerto Rico's Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, which is exactly the sort of thing that I need for my "Reforming a Large Nonmajors Biology Course" project. Although my students are harder to impress than my ten-year-old. He thought having his feet in two different states, as he straddled the Kentucky/Virginia state line, was SO cool.