I’ve written print and web features, reported pieces, essays and criticism, mostly about books (nearsighted bookworm), science (geology degree), and nerd stuff (raging nerd). For the determined Internet stalker, find a more comprehensive list of articles here.
Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer, The New York Times Book Review, 12/3/19
Three Dystopian Novels, The New York Times Book Review, 9/5/19
The Curious World of Seaweed by Josie Iselin, Bay Nature, 8/29/19
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, The Believer, June/July 2019
Rising by Elizabeth Rush, Bay Nature, 6/11/19
Adele by Leila Slimani, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/19
Eager by Ben Goldfarb, Bay Nature, 12/7/18
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung, The Rumpus, 11/14/18
Timefulness by Marcia Bjornerud, Bay Nature, 10/12/18
There There by Tommy Orange, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/6/18
Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles, Los Angeles Review of Books, 3/29/18
Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead, The Rumpus, 3/28/18
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, The Rumpus, 2/14/18
Eternal Life by Dara Horn and How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, Los Angeles Review of Books, 2/10/18
Daphne, by Will Boast, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/9/18
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/19/18
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas, The Rumpus, 10/17/17
The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/6/17
Sourdough by Robin Sloan, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/7/17
Caesar’s Last Breath by Sam Kean, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/28/17
Bleaker House by Nell Stevens, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/25/17
Since December 2018, I’ve been a reviewer for Kirkus, contributing unsigned, bi-weekly reviews of upcoming fiction releases.
The New York Times for Kids
“The Body Issue“: The December 2019 section included a four-page, nearly life-sized spread dedicated to how kids’ bodies work, annotated with blurbs that Nick St. Fleur and I wrote. (Look for the part where I explain what sex and spontaneous erections are to children!) I also wrote about parts of the brain on page 2 (“What’s Going On in Your Head”).
“A Charred, Juicy, Meaty Burger, Made of Plants,” November 2019
“So Many Phobias“: For the October 2019 section (Halloween-themed!), I wrote a story cataloging more than 40 phobias, both strange and common.
“The Cameras Are Watching, and They Know Who You Are,” August 2019
“It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Immunity!” April 2019
“Silly Science for the Win,” March 2019
“A 1,000-Mile Race for Very Good Sled Dogs,” February 2019
“Explosions, Duct Tape and Fire-Extinguisher Jet Packs: ‘MythBusters Jr.,’” December 2018
“How Scientists Made the New Flu Shot,” November 2018
“Welcome to the Body Farm,” October 2018
“Record-Breaking Wildfires,” September 2018
“Food Fiiiiight!,” August 2018
“A Worldwide Tour of Water Parks,” July 2018
“The Skateboarding Superstar,” June 2018
“Ooooh! Ahhhh! The Science of Fireworks,” June 2018
“How A Hollywood Trainer Turns Animals Into Actors,” April 2018
“CRISPR Will Change the World“: For the November 2017 kids section, I wrote a cover-story explainer of how CRISPR works, complete with a prediction matrix and a how-to guide.
“Making the Best Paper Airplane, Thanks to NASA,” May 2017
“Know Your Meat—and Bugs. Introducing the Periodic Table of Protein.” For WIRED’s August 2016 food issue, I trawled through the USDA’s nutritional database to create a full-spread periodic table of proteins, categorizing everything from Nutella to Soylent by protein content. (Designed by Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis.)
“Built to Blast: Behind the Scenes as NASA Tests the Most Powerful Rocket Ever,” December 2017. A photo essay for which French photographer Vincent Fournier got exclusive access to take pictures of the Space Launch System, the rocket NASA is building to eventually take people to Mars (they hope). I wrote all the words.
“Meet the Heroes Fueling the New American Space Boom,” November 2016. For WIRED’s Obama-edited issue, I interviewed seven inspiring, diverse workers in the new space industry about their jobs and what they see as the future of spaceflight. Photographed by Dan Winters.
“‘Circe’ Shows Us How Storytelling Is Power—And How That Power Can Be Seized,” Electric Literature
“Looking Up,” University of Chicago Magazine: An essay in which I wax sentimental about the summer I spent hunting gargoyles at my alma mater.