• Your life and health are your own responsibility.
• Your decisions to act (or not act) based on information or advice anyone provides you—including me—are your own responsibility.


My Interview On Angelo Coppola’s “Latest In Paleo” Podcast Is Available Now

Angelo Coppola, of the excellent weekly “Latest In Paleo” podcast, has just put up Episode 12 of his podcast, featuring…me!

Click here for the show! There are links to listen in Itunes and your browser, and to download it.

It starts with a long interview about my novel The Gnoll Credo (which both he and his family greatly enjoyed), covering everything from the history of the novel’s world to why spotted hyenas are awesome—and segues into us having a great time discussing this week’s news and some important issues facing the paleo community.

Here’s the link to my publisher I mentioned on the show, through which you can get a signed copy of The Gnoll Credo—and simultaneously make a contribution to saving the Serengeti through the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania.

Thanks again, Angelo, for having me on the show!


(Links: Latest In Paleo Episode 12, “Die Biting The Throat”.)


Special thanks to everyone who came to the October 1 and 2 book signings! I had a great time talking with all of you, and I hope I am able to communicate to you, through my writing, at least a small part of the joy, pain, and wonder I felt—and the knowledge I’ve gained—from knowing Gryka.

You can order The Gnoll Credo from Amazon.com, and you can read the first few chapters here. Folks outside the USA will find retailer links at my publisher’s website.

Recommended Reading:
Jared Diamond’s “The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race” (pdf)
Robin Hanson’s “Farmers War” and R. Brian Ferguson’s “The Birth Of War” (pdf)
Keith Thomas’ evfit.com (Warning: time sink.)

Meanwhile, you’re welcome to come in, put your feet up, introduce yourself, and speak your mind.

On Writing: Making a Point vs. Telling a Story

The Gnoll Credo front coverFrom an offline discussion about my novel The Gnoll Credo:

“There’s a lot to be found in very few words inside The Gnoll Credo—and that is precisely because I didn’t set out to write something deep or profound. I simply wrote down everything I knew about Gryka’s life, and how knowing her affected me—which gives the narrative a richness and verisimilitude totally lacking in polemics like (to pick two opposing examples) Ishmael or The Fountainhead.

“When an author sets out to make a point instead of telling a story, their characters are immediately demoted to the status of objects: bricks to construct metaphors, mouthpieces for polemic, puppets to perform a shadow play. The result may be clever and interesting, but it is rarely deep or profound, and almost never bears the sort of analysis you are bringing to the table. I believe this to be behind the postmodern obsession with authorial intent, though probably not consciously: when “characters” are almost always simple objects, all meaning flows from the author.

“In contrast, characters in a real narrative are autonomous entities. The narrative flows naturally from their actions. It contains the richness of their desires, fears, motivations, and history, not all of which will be explicitly stated in the text—and it can be analyzed on its own terms, as a description of events.

“This is a much richer ground in which to forage for meaning. To use a metaphor, “making a point” is agricultural. It can create one specific idea, very quickly…but anything else is pollution or a weed, and there is little to explore in a field of Roundup Ready soybeans. In contrast, “telling a story” is organic, wild, complex, forest and jungle and savanna and desert, a living community within which foraging can be very rewarding…

…for those with eyes to see.”