I’ve had a monumental shift in my worldview after reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
Literal, the new Goodreads competitor in town for book aficionados, interviewed me a few months ago (for some reason) about how my interest in space exploration shapes what I read. Also for some reason, their interview of me or anyone else has no link other than all such posts simply existing on their Spotlight page. What a strange thing to not have a shareable post link in this day and age! And so I decided to syndicate my interview here on this blog. Here goes the brief interview.
Space Exploration Writer. Three words that spark interest the moment you visit Jatan’s profile on Literal and take a look at his biography. But what does a writer on outer space do exactly? And most importantly: What does Jatan read?
Your biography on Literal is quite interesting. You label yourself as a space exploration writer. What exactly is that?
It’s much like a science writer except one dedicated to covering space exploration. I’m passionate about us exploring space as a species, being humbled by those endeavors, and use it as our zenith to push ourselves forward. To that end, I write popular science articles on my space blog and for publications to get people excited and informed about how and why we explore space, and the science we learn from our missions.
How does the interest in all things space impact your reading behavior?
Space exploration gives me hope for the future. Seeing pictures of a lone Earth from outside and learning about the unforgiving nature of space really makes you wonder about the fragility of our planet as well as the boundless possibility that we can outlive this beautiful but impermanent rocky world. As such, I’m always leaning towards science fiction and future-projecting books, even if dystopian. Even for my leisurely reading, you’ll see me pick up a short Sci-Fi story, such as The Star by Arthur C. Clarke.
If someone asks you to recommend a book to them, which one is the first one that comes to your mind?
I’m not an avid book reader but I’d say the entire Robot series by Isaac Asimov, starting with The Caves of Steel. With the series, Asimov doesn’t just set out to do world-building but to build a galaxy of spacefaring humans and their advanced robots. Personally, I love the consistency of the characters even in an imagined setting.
Which book had the biggest influence on your life?
As with many space enthusiasts, I’ve had a monumental shift in my worldview after reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. To sweeten the deal, his words were poetic throughout. It’s as if he was acknowledging that for all our flaws and failures, there’s still hope for our future. And there is no place for it but space.
P.S. Literal is new and invite-only at the moment. I have two invites for joining Literal if you’d like to track books and interact with the community over there. It’s a good way to support something that’s not Amazon owned i.e. Goodreads. Email me if you’re interested. Or maybe email me anyway just to say hello? I’d love to hear who reads my Blog of Thoughts and why so.