Many of you aren’t shy about letting me know what you want – and I sincerely hope you never will be, because it’s easier than guessing. I’m always happy to get meaningful nudges from you. I’m even happier when I can oblige.
Sometimes, I can deliver what you request nearly instantly. Sometimes, it requires research and takes longer. There are times when what you want and what I can deliver don’t mesh – but that’s not to say circumstances won’t change. There are things I can do now that I couldn’t do then, so one never knows. The point is, you should never fail to make your desires known. Just, y’know, prepare for a possibly long wait. And I’ll try to let you know if something is completely impossible for me. Like, for instance, answering email on time. (Look, I answer nearly instantaneously on a geologic timescale, right? So if we could all just manage to live for a few billion years…)
So a few meaningful nudges have been given lately, and I do want to assure you I’m headed in many of the directions indicated.
1. Yes, there will be a Mount St. Helens book.
In fact, you’ve been reading it. For the actual book edition, o’course, I’ll add in extra stuff, clarify bits, and polish things up nicely, so don’t ever be shy about leaving comments regarding the things that pass through your mind as you read the series: questions, wishes, anything. I’ll be collecting your comments and using them as a guide for what to add to the book.
And the damn thing will bloody well be eminently affordable, too. At least, I can promise the e-book version will be. All the photos may make the dead-tree version more of a pricey option, but we’ll see when we get there.
2. Yes, there will be another Catastrophe series after Mount St. Helens is done.
Several, actually. I love this format as much as you lot seem to, and it allows for wonderful deep-dives in to some truly amazing geology. Tambora and Pelee were mentioned as possibilities, and I may very well give them the treatment someday, but there are already several excellent and affordable books on Mount Pelee, and a brand-new one coming out on Tambora that looks quite excellent (I’ll review it for everyone).
So I’ve made an executive decision and decided to ask you if you’d be happy with Thera instead. Basically a Minoan Pompeii. It’s sweet, people, and I know someone who’s worked on the remains of that volcano (which is now the lovely Greek island of Santorini), so I think we could get a good thing going.
I also plan to do one up on Barringer Meteor Crater. Yes, I know, no humans around in northern Arizona 50,000 years ago to be severely inconvenienced, but enormous rock from space going smack and leaving a mile-wide crater that still looks fresh and awesome today? Yeah, I gotta do it. I hope you’ll love it. And I know I can mount an expedition (my parents will scream for joy, they live not far from there) in order to obtain very spiffy photos.
What do you think? Sound good?
3. Yes, I am going to give the movie Pompeii a thorough geologic inspection, and likely will find it wanting.
I’ve been planning that since I first saw the trailer several weeks ago. I nearly screamed with delight. There’s nothing like a really awful volcano movie for getting the old snark muscles warmed, is there? I’ve already got a piece on Pompeii under me belt, so I feel this is a task I can undertake with confidence. And I make just enough filthy lucre from this network’s advertising revenue that I can cover the expense without having to take you up on your kind offers of paying for my ticket. It’s even going to be tax-deductible! Dang, I love this job…
4. Speaking of filthy lucre, you don’t have to worry.
Many of you expressed disappointment that you couldn’t instantly help with funding the Fundies series. It’s okay! Your needs and expenses come first, always. We’re well-funded at the moment, so relax. Besides, this is going to be a long-term project, so there will come a time when you can pitch in with a few bucks for needed materials if you wish. There are non-financial ways you can help, too: assisting with research, for instance, or tipping me off to new creationist arguments, or helping me with technical questions in your areas of expertise. Some of you have access to professional journals that I don’t, and can thus obtain papers that will be needed. This is very much going to be a group effort, because it’s a huge, sprawling topic, and I can’t do it alone. Each and every one of you will have an opportunity along the way to do important things, up to and including keeping a beady eye out for any local creationist efforts to get myths taught in science class. (Also, shoulders. You’ve got shoulders, right? There will be times I need to cry on them. Oh, my fuck, some of this stuff is agonizingly stoopid.)
This community is amazing, and I meant it when I said I couldn’t do any of this without you. All of these things above: these are you. You make them possible. You make them worth doing.
So I’m off to go do them. Laters!