Greg Hickey

The Friar’s Lantern – Ep 67 with Greg Hickey

You may win $1,000,000. You will judge a man of murder.
An eccentric scientist tells you he can read your mind and offers to prove it in a high-stakes wager. A respected college professor exacts impassioned, heat-of-the-moment revenge on his wife’s killer—a week after her death—and you’re on the jury. Take a Turing test with a twist, discover how your future choices might influence the past, and try your luck at Three Card Monte. And while you weigh chance, superstition, destiny, intuition and logic in making your decisions, ask yourself: are you responsible for your actions at all? Choose wisely—if you can.

Greg Hickey is a former international professional baseball player and current forensic scientist, endurance athlete, author and screenwriter. His debut novel, Our Dried Voices, was a finalist for Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Science Fiction Book of the Year Award. His latest novel, The Friar’s Lantern, is a grown-up take on interactive fiction. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.

You can find Greg on GoodReads, LinkedIn, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Lindsay McCrae

My Penguin Year – Ep 66 with Lindsay McCrae

For 337 days, award-winning wildlife cameraman Lindsay McCrae intimately followed 11,000 emperor penguins amid the singular beauty of Antarctica. This is his masterful chronicle of one penguin colony’s astonishing journey of life, death, and rebirth―and of the extraordinary human experience of living amongst them in the planet’s harshest environment.

My Penguin Year recounts McCrae’s remarkable adventure to the end of the Earth. He observed every aspect of a breeding emperor’s life, facing the inevitable sacrifices that came with living his childhood dream, and grappling with the personal obstacles that, being over 15,000km away from the comforts of home, almost proved too much. Out of that experience, he has written an unprecedented portrait of Antarctica’s most extraordinary residents.

Lindsay McCrae is an award winning television wildlife camera operator and photographer. Lindsay’s passion for wildlife began at an early age. Growing up in the rural Lake District in the north of England, Lindsay has been captivated by all aspects of the natural world since he can remember. Lindsay has been filming wildlife professionally for over 10 years and has travelled all over the world filming everything from wolves in deep Alaska, to orangutans in the Indonesian jungle. In 2017 for almost an entire year, Lindsay lived in Antarctica isolated from the rest of the world, documenting the lives of a colony of emperor penguins.

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Germ Lynn

Caregiving and Caretaking – Ep 65 with Germ Lynn

What You Call is a glimpse into the future and part of the Radix Media science fiction chapbook series, Futures. It’s the story of a rogue “support unit” that is desperate for a charge and along the way they try to cobble together a sense of purpose in a crumbling world.

Germ Lynn is a writer and cellist living in Brooklyn. As a journalist, they have been published by Playboy, Broadly, and Slate. Their short fiction has been published by Hypergraphic Press in the queer literature anthology Spaces We Have Known and their poetry has been published by Trapart Books in the collection Rendering Unconscious: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Politics, and Poetry. Their science fiction chapbook What You Call is out now on Radix Media.

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Kelly Comras

Landscape Architecture, California Style – Ep 64 with Kelly Comras

Landscape architect Ruth Shellhorn helped define the distinctive mid-century regional aesthetic of Southern California. Most well known for her work with Walt Disney on the original design of Disneyland, she also designed original landscape plans for the Bullock’s department stores and Fashion Square shopping centers, a landscape master plan for the University of California at Riverside, and a number of private gardens and estates for post-war movie stars, and the business and financial leaders of the Los Angeles region. She developed a distinctive palette of plant materials and her landscape designs refined an indoor-outdoor living concept that perfectly expressed the exuberance and optimism of the “Southern California look.”

Kelly Comras is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a member of the State Bar of California. Her landscape architectural practice focuses on community-based open space design, research, and publication in the field of cultural landscape. She is a founding member of the The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Stewardship Council, Past-President of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, and Chaired the Editorial Board for the journal, Eden. She lectures at such institutions as Harvard Graduate School of Design, Society of Architectural Historians, California Preservation Foundation, and others. Her book, Ruth Shellhorn, was released in 2016.

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Ronald C. Rosbottom

French Youth Resistance in World War II – Ep 63 with Ronald Rosbottom

The author of the acclaimed When Paris Went Dark, longlisted for the National Book Award, returns to World War II once again to tell the incredible story of the youngest members of the French Resistance—many only teenagers—who waged a hidden war against the Nazi occupiers and their collaborators in Paris and across France. Sudden Courage: Youth in France Confront the Germans, 1940-1945 is available now.

Ronald Rosbottom is the Winifred L. Arms Professor in the Arts and Humanities and a professor of French, European Studies, and Architectural Studies at Amherst College. Previously he was the dean of faculty at Amherst. His previous book, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 was long listed for the National Book Award in Nonfiction and was acclaimed as a landmark study, “an intimate, sweeping narrative” (Stacy Schiff) that reshaped our conception of the period. He divides his time between Amherst, Massachusetts, and Paris.

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Jillian Richardson

Unlonely Planet – Ep 62 with Jillian Richardson

You can live the loneliest life while being surrounded by people. You can be the busiest person and still feel unfulfilled. In an age when individualism and self-reliance are prized above all other traits, how can we feel connected? Where are our healthy congregations? Do we even know what those are anymore?

Enter, Unlonely Planet. This book is your roadmap to defining joy in your life and reconnecting with the community around you — whether that’s through traditional events and gatherings or by shaking things up and making one of your own. If you’re ready to live a happier, more connected life, Unlonely Planet is here for you.

Jillian Richardson is committed to creating connection and community by organizing places where people feel seen, heard, and valued. As a professional community builder, public speaker, and writer, Jillian is most known for being the founder of The Joy List, a weekly newsletter with the mission of reducing loneliness in New York City and eventually the world. She’s been sending it out every Monday morning for over two years, helping people build connection to both place and each other. In addition to her successful career in freelance writing and event design, Jillian has just released her first book, titled Unlonely Planet.

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Hal Y. Zhang

Family and Identity – Ep 61 with Hal Y. Zhang

In this episode Jon speaks with Hal Y. Zhang, author of Hard Mother, Spider Mother, Soft Mother. Hard Mother, Spider Mother, Soft Mother is a story about the imprecise nature of memories and how they affect our relationships. You can read an excerpt here.

The story follows Ellery Lang, whose mother Valerie has abruptly left their home after several days of spouting increasingly strange conspiracy theories. In a near future world where citizens are always watched and where “personalization” is part of every day life, Valerie has managed to stay in an era long gone. This makes her a mystery to Ellery, who realizes how little she actually knows about her, and the search for her stirs up painful childhood memories that Ellery can now choose to erase.

Hal Y. Zhang is an international transplant and former physicist who writes science, science fiction, and fiction, in no particular order. Her prose and poetry have appeared in publications such as Uncanny, Strange Horizons, and Fireside. She splits her time between the East Coast and the Internet. Follow her at halyzhang.com.


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Ethan Carr

The Cape Cod National Seashore – Ep 60 with Ethan Carr

In the mid-nineteenth century, Thoreau recognized the importance of preserving the complex and fragile landscape of Cape Cod, with its weathered windmills, expansive beaches, dunes, wetlands, harbors, and the lives that flourished here, supported by the maritime industries and saltworks. One hundred years later, the National Park Service―working with a group of concerned locals, then-senator John F. Kennedy, and other supporters―took on the challenge of meeting the needs of a burgeoning public in this region of unique natural beauty and cultural heritage.

To those who were settled in the remote wilds of the Cape, the impending development was threatening, and as the award-winning historian Ethan Carr explains, the visionary plan to create a national seashore came very close to failure. Success was achieved through unprecedented public outreach, as the National Park Service and like-minded Cape Codders worked to convince entire communities of the long-term value of a park that could accommodate millions of tourists. Years of contentious negotiations resulted in the innovative compromise between private and public interests now known as the “Cape Cod model.”

The Greatest Beach is essential reading for all who are concerned with protecting the nation’s gradually diminishing cultural landscapes. In his final analysis of Cape Cod National Seashore, Carr poses provocative questions about how to balance the conservation of natural and cultural resources in regions threatened by increasing visitation and development.

Ethan Carr, PhD, FASLA, is a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of the MLA program.

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Caitlin Grace McDonnell

Dauntless Women – Ep 59 with Caitlin Grace McDonnell

Introducing “Fierce”, thirteen powerful, entwined biographies and memoirs that describe a staunchly Feminist approach: “To thine own self be true.” Historical documentation of human affairs informs the past, but what of the understated and overlooked herstories of half of the world’s population? Fierce explores the lives of “masterless women” in education, entrepreneurship, religion, the armed forces, the arts, adventuring, and activism, celebrating their strengths and achievements while questioning the systems that erased the significance of their influence and importance. The writers range in age from their 20s to their 60s, and they hail from diverse heritages and orientations. By sharing the rich context of their unique life experiences, the authors emphasize their connection to each of their herstorical subjects, whose various provenances span continents and centuries. These essays shine a light on the shadowy, lesser-known impact that women have had on global history through the importance of each of these herstories.

Caitlin Grace McDonnell was a New York Times Fellow in poetry at NYU and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems and essays have been published widely, most recently in FIERCE, Essays for and about Dauntless Women from Nauset Press. She published a chapbook of poems “Dreaming the Tree” (Belladonna 2003) and a book “Looking for Small Animals” (2012). Currently, she teaches English at CUNY, lives in Brooklyn with her ten-year-old daughter, and is at work on a novel. 

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David Wolman

Aloha Rodeo – Ep 58 with David Wolman

In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat comes the captivating true story of the native Hawaiian cowboys who traveled to Wyoming in 1908 to compete at the “world championships” of rodeo, overcoming prejudice to beat the greatest white cowboys at their own game and return home American legends.

David Wolman is a Contributing Editor at Outside and a longtime contributor at Wired. He has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Nature, BusinessWeek, and many other publications, and his work has been anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. David is the author of The End of Money, Righting the Mother Tongue, and A Left-Hand Turn Around the World. Aloha Rodeo is his newest book. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family.

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