So I wrote this book, called The Turtle and the Universe.
I wanted to show how all science is one thing. As a kid I read lots of science books, and immediately the writer became an authority for me. I worried, though, what if all these authorities disagreed with one another? What if the astronomy authorities disagreed with the biology authorities, who disagreed with the geology authorities? Were these authorities all filling my head with contradictory ideas?
I think a big part of my science self-education was convincing myself that this was not the case, that in fact all of modern science held together in an elegant and self-consistent way. I wanted to show that with The Turtle and the Universe.
I realized that I could tell this amazing story using, not humans and human-centered things, but rather using sea turtles. Not only are sea turtles (like us) made of stardust, but they are ancient and fascinating creatures that appear again and again in our mythology. In addition, like the universe itself, sea turtles take epic journeys in their lives, from their frenzied births from sand, to their journeys into an unknown ocean, to their return to that same sand to give birth to the next generation of turtles.
The book has been greeted with a deafening, overwhelming, undeniable silence. A marketing genius I’m not. It isn’t a Harlequin Romance, that’s for sure. Some of the science can be challenging, especially for the targeted age group. But I hate these books and movies that talk down to kids as if they’re little idiots. Kids are smart, they’re just less experienced. In this book I tried to give them some experience.
Oh, well. At least my local library is carrying it!