Nick Harkaway

Harkaway’s fiction occupies an extraordinary space between evocative sci-fi dystopia and Hollywood action-adventure—in other words, it is completely irresistible.

Merchants of Doubt

Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway

An important and infuriating book. The authors describe in detail the methods by which a few scientists successfully manipulated public opinion about tobacco, DDT, the ozone hole, global warming, and more.

Open City

Teju Cole

Teju Cole’s first novel is uneventful, but don’t let that deter you.

The Manual of Detection

Jedediah Berry

A playful novel, part Kafka, part Borges. Reminded me of Terry Gilliam’s films (in the best possible way).


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie skewers racism and sexism in America in a story that is both affecting and hilarious.


J. M. Ledgard

Escaping into Ledgard’s language is itself a kind of submergence—the book has a vaguely liquid quality as it moves between its characters and between the surface and the lower depths.

A genetic code

On The Sixth Extinction and Lilith’s Brood

Lilith’s Brood

Octavia E. Butler

In Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz argues that humans will need to build cities on the Moon and elsewhere if we are to survive. Octavia Butler’s fiction repeatedly turns to that potential future, and nowhere more provacatively than in this collection of novels.


Thoughts on GitHub, discrimination, and language.

You keep using that word

A close look at the origins and evolution of the word “meritocracy,” and the politics that our language reveals.


On The Sixth Extinction and The Once and Future World

The Once and Future World

J. B. MacKinnon

MacKinnon calls for a “rewilding,” bringing the wild back into our lives rather than carving out a separate place for it. A compelling and beautiful read.

The Sixth Extinction

Elizabeth Kolbert

From frogs to bats to megafauna and the Great Barrier Reef, Kolbert’s tale is a terrifying and fascinating travelogue.