Kieran's Newsletter, May 8 2003
January 1, 1970It’s a Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, my last full night in Sin City at the end of a two-week stint. It’s been part vacation, part work, all of it combining for a great trip that, I hope, will lead to some really interesting developments over the next couple of years.
But more of that later.
First of all, some publishing news. “The Whaling Season” has now been printed and is on its way to bookstores now. It looks fantastic, and I’m extremely happy with it. Both Island Press and I are reasonably optimistic about this book’s possibilities, and we’ll be getting our first potential media boost shortly after its official publication date of June 11. On June 13, I’m flying to Berlin for the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC); when the meeting concludes on June 19, I’ll fly back to the States for a few days of media work in New York and Washington, D.C. The bulk of the media tour is planned for the west coast, based around events in college campuses and radio/TV/print interviews in college towns, after the start of the fall semester.
So go ahead and order your copy of “The Whaling Season” now. You know you want to …
The new edition of “Alone” by Richard Byrd, with an afterword by me, is now also available in paperback. For those who aren’t familiar with it, I told the background to this incredible story in my Christmas and New Year newsletter, which is archived on this site. Suffice it to say that it is one of the most remarkable adventure and survival stories of all time, and deserves to be given more publicity. I’m honored to be associated with it.
I have just completed a chapter on climate change in Alaska and the western Arctic, for a book on global warming being edited by Jim Motavalli, editor of “E Magazine.” The book expands on a special issue of the magazine published a couple of years back, in which a half-dozen or so contributors reported on the visible signs of a changing climate in various regions of the globe. The book will be published by Routledge; I have no news yet on book title or publication date.
The June issue of “BBC Wildlife” magazine will include an article I wrote about whaling, in advance of the IWC meeting.
I have no other immediate commitments, other than my monthly gig writing and editing the SeaWeb “Ocean Update” newsletter, so I should be able to concentrate on two book proposals I’m preparing.
I’m hoping that my next book will be a popular account of another extraordinary Antarctic survival story, and one that is perhaps the least well known of all the great tales of heroic Antarctic exploration. The 1901 Swedish National Antarctic Expedition, led by Otto Nordenskjöld, proved to be the most scientifically successful expedition conducted in the region to that point; the most remarkable aspect of the voyage, however, was the fact that its ship was crushed in the ice floes and sunk, splitting the expedition’s members into three groups, each unaware of the fate or location of the others. As for how it all turned out … you’ll have to wait and read my book. If I can secure a deal soon, I hope I can finish the manuscript by around the end of April next year, with the possibility of a late fall 2004/early spring 2005 release.
And while those wheels are in motion, I’m also working on a proposal for a book on boxing and Las Vegas, the ostensible reason for my presence here. Last Saturday was my first experience of a Vegas boxing mega-event, Oscar de la Hoya’s beatdown of Yory Boy Campas at the Mandalay Bay; I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet with a number of boxing people in the town, to bounce my ideas off them as part of the preparation of my proposal. Special thanks to Chris Byrd, the IBF Heavyweight Champion of the World, who shook my hand when I showed up unannounced at a radio show he was doing, shook my hand, sat down with me for fifteen minutes as if I were a long-lost friend, and promised to introduce me to Don King. The idea of the book is to follow a number of fighters, including Oscar de la Hoya and Chris Byrd among others, over the course of two years, and to also write about the many other people involved in the fight game, including trainers, referees, managers, promoters, and doctors, among others. If I can secure a deal within the next couple of months, I would hope to research and write the book over the course of 2004 and 2005, for a fall 2006. Inevitably, it may require my moving at least part-time to Vegas, about which I have mixed feelings, but there are worse dilemmas to face.
Of course, the big news in my life (and that of four others) over the past month or so has been the unanticipated, completely surreal adventure of the www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com website. I’ll write about that soon, but the whole experience has been so bizarre that it deserves a newsletter of its very own ...