Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

Candles in the Wind

Voices50 Voices of Disbelief (editors Russell Blackford and Udo Schüklenk, publishers Wiley-Blackwell) just went on sale in most countries today and will be coming out in the US next month.  One essay in it is by yours truly, titled “Evolutionary Noise, Not Signal from Above”.

The anthology got two positive reviews so far  from Kirkus and Library Journal, but I’m sure that will change!  My thanks to Russ for inviting me to contribute.

13 Responses to “Candles in the Wind”

  1. Heath says:

    Congrats again, Athena! I read recently that the percentage of atheists in America is now somewhere around 12%, which is about double what it was twenty years ago. That’s some small consolation; for a minority, we’re pretty big. But still, it seems that we’re the only minority that’s not safe from discrimination and the threat of violence. While the positive reviews are good news, be prepared for the veritable shitstorm as well…

  2. Athena says:

    Thank you, Heath!

    be prepared for the veritable shitstorm as well

    And that’s the gospel truth! *laughs*

  3. Caliban says:

    Congratulations! A number of very notable names in the author list, including both science fiction authors and scientists.

  4. Athena says:

    Yes, I myself was surprised at the diversity. Russell Blackford was an SF author before he became a philosopher, so that may explain some of it. But I’m particularly gratified at the scientist presence.

  5. Thanks, Athena. Keep the candle of reason burning!

    Yes, we managed to get a very diverse group of people. There’s room for even more diversity, but I’m grateful that so many folks from different backgrounds responded positively to our invitations to submit essays (and then came up with the goods). The strong representation from the science fiction community does, indeed, reflect my ongoing involvement there.

    Heath, we’re awaiting reviews in the mass media. Hopefully we’ll get some, since that’s what really sells books. But if we manage to attract that sort of interest, it will almost certainly include quite a bit of hostility. We’re bracing ourselves for that.

  6. Athena says:

    The whole process of creating the anthology was amazingly smooth and efficient. As for incoming reviews, I’m battening down the hatches even as we speak!

  7. Ah, you should see how hard we were paddling under the water while seeming to swim smoothly on the surface of the lake. It’s true, though, that we had a good, efficient process for working with the authors, and that the people who came on board with the project (such as yourself) were a joy to work with. The folks at Wiley-Blackwell were also very helpful and understanding. In all, though things were sometimes a bit fraught at our end – for one reason or another – it was a very positive experience.

  8. Sounds like an excellent read, I look forward to picking it up.

  9. Athena says:

    I know what you mean, Russ — I had to have my book written and edited in three months! Yet it was a wonderful experience, all told.

    Odin — me, too! I haven’t seen the other contributors’ essays yet.

  10. Eloise says:

    Congratulations, Athena!

    Do you know, this collection of essays reminds me of one book I have been reading on and off for the last few months (too many things to do, too little time, I’m afraid) which about sums up many of my feelings on the subject. There are, of course, points I disagree with, as in any academic treatise, but overall I think the arguments put forward make a great deal of sense.

    It is the Little Book on Atheist Spirituality by French philosopher André Comte-Sponville (the original title being L’Esprit de l’athéisme: Introduction à une spiritualité sans Dieu). You can have a brief overview thereof here:

    Just a wee bit more water for the mill, as it were…


    Eloise 🙂

  11. Athena says:

    Thank you, Eloise! Comte-Spoonville’s book sounds very interesting. His argument seems to be along the lines that I use myself. I’ll try to find and read it.

  12. intrigued_scribe says:

    Congratulations once more, Athena! The essay sounds like an excellent read, amid an excellent selection.

  13. Athena says:

    Thank you, dear Heather. I’m tapping my foot waiting for my copy!