Illustration in Wonder Stories for Ray Palmer's first published sf story.

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Star Settlers: The Billionaires, Geniuses, and Crazed Visionaries Out to Conquer the Universe
While millions of people take an interest in space exploration and astronomical discovery, a smaller group—including elite scientists, technologists, science fiction enthusiasts, and billionaires—believe that humanity’s destiny is to populate the stars. This book, to be published in 2021, will explore the history of this sentiment and question whether we are ready for space colonization and, conversely, whether space is ready for us.

The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer's Amazing Pulp Journey
"A joy to read.” --Rob Latham, Editor, Science Fiction Studies

As editor of the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories and creator of publications such as Other Worlds, Imagination, Fate, Mystic, Search, Flying Saucers, and Space Age, Palmer pushed the limits and broke new ground in SF publishing in the 1940s and 1950s--and was reviled for it by SF purists.

Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America
A colorful history of traveling magicians, hypnotists, inventors, popular science lecturers, and other presenters of "miracle science" who revealed science and technology to the public in an awe-inspiring fashion.

“Promises and Paradoxes, 1945 to the Present,” World History Encyclopedia
Fred Nadis and Jack Waskey, editors, volumes 20-21, World History Encyclopedia, eds. Alfred J. Andrea and Carolyn Neel, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011.

Camille Flammarion's Amazing Universe
Through detailed astronomical texts and fanciful accounts, this French adventurer walked the line between science and science fiction.

"Tony Oursler's Family Gothic"
Essay for July 2015 exhibition catalog about multimedia artist Tony Oursler, whose grandfather was a magician, novelist, and friend of Houdini and Arthur Conan-Doyle.

"Mystery Writers of Santa Barbara"
Santa Barbara's sunshine has long provided a perfect setting for noir fiction. December 2015, Santa Barbara Seasons magazine.

"What Happens When Society Decides That Nerds Are Dangerous?"
June 17, 2014 essay in Vanity Fair online.

"Citizen Funt—Surveillance as Cold War Entertainment.”
In, Julie Anne Taddeo and Ken Dvorak, editors, The Tube Has Spoken: Reality TV and History. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2009.

"From Animism to Anime: Nature at Aichi World Expo.”
Essay that appeared in Technology and Culture, 2007

Selected Works

Books
Are we ready for space colonization and is space ready for us? Forthcoming, Pegasus Books, 2021.
This 2014 Locus Award Finalist is the true story of Ray Palmer, the science fiction editor who jumpstarted the flying saucer craze and early interest in the paranormal.
A critically acclaimed historical study of the overlap between performers of stage magic and purveyors of scientific wonders.
Co-Editor of volumes 20-21, World History Encyclopedia, eds. Alfred J. Andrea and Carolyn Neel, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011.
Articles
Camille Flammarion, a forerunner of Jules Verne, was an astronomer, balloonist, and science fiction visionary who dazzled the world. June 2016 article in Astronomy magazine.
Biographical essay in Imponderable, the exhibition catalog for Tony Oursler's July, 2015 show at Luma Arles, published in English with French translation.
Santa Barbara's sunshine has long provided a perfect setting for noir fiction. December 2015, Santa Barbara Seasons magazine.
Before reality tv, there was "Candid Microphone," Allen Funt's postwar radio broadcasts. This article served as background for the October 6, 2015 NPR Radiolab episode, "Smile My Ass."