You’ll both recall that lately I have been keep my demons at bay by working furiously hard, both at the day job (I’m with the Submerged Log Company) and also by writing my next book. This strategy has been fairly successful (and, oh yes, the drugs) in that I am more than 52,000 words into the first draft of a billet-doux provisionally entitled The Decline and Fall of the Human Empire, and so closer to the beginning of the end than the end of the beginning. It takes the theme of an article I wrote for Scientific American on the imminent extinction of humanity and expands it to book length [Cripes, no wonder you were depressed and anxious — Ed.]
A few weeks back St Martin’s Press bought the US/Canada rights, and I am just about to sign with Picador for the UK/Commonwealth rights, and publishers in Korea and Italy have also expressed an interest in translating it, yea, even before I’ve finished it, so really I should stop writing this now and get on with it.
This literary preoccupation may explain why I haven’t been very active recently either on the social media or on this blog (and, oh yes, the drugs) and haven’t read my usual monthly shelf’s worth of books. I have been reading, though — voraciously so — but it’s been of the technical kind, by way of research. I have been terrifying myself by learning about climate change. I have been finding out about drought, dearth, disease, demography and death. You know, all the ‘d’s. I’ve been digging into subjects as varied as palaeoanthropology and photosynthesis, and in a moment I shall be rocketing off into space. You know, like you do.
I’ll send you a postcard.