Today’s eel: every edition of this newsletter is named after an eel. Today’s eel is Rhinomuraena quaesita aka the ribbon eel (or leaf-nosed moray eel or bernis eel). I love this little buds. They live up to their namesake, and really do look like colorful ribbons. There are some truly incredible videos of them swimming in open water that I really recommend you watch.
Unlike most eels, ribbon eels have super huge nostrils that flare out like little fronds. When they’re babies, they are jet black, and only turn to the bright blue irridescent color as they age. They also change from male to female over their lifespan, so if you see a blue on it’s probably a female. So all those ribbon eels you’ve caught in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? They’re ladies.
Ribbon eels may be beautiful, but they’re really, really hard to keep alive in a tank. Most die within a few months of purchase, according to one site I read. They will often refuse to eat when in captivity. “There are however, several aquarists who have spent many weeks weaning their Ribbon Eel from live feeder fish onto frozen and prepared foods,” says one site. Picky little pretty creatures.
I picked the ribbon eel because it was the most celebratory eel I could think of, and I have something to celebrate!
Current status: I wrote a book!? I know, it’s wild, but it’s also true and here’s the cover!
I’m really excited about this book. It’s an amazing mix of art and text, and it’s full of such lovely surprises. Every chapter begins with a comic from an amazing artist (Matt Lubchanksy, Sophie Goldstein, Ben Passmore, Zach Wienersmith, Box Brown, Julia Gfrörer , and more!!!) and ends with an essay by me about that future. We talk about animal rights, fake news, robots, death, living underwater, smart cities, nanomedicine and more. The comics are so fun and surprising and delightful and the essays are, I hope, the kind of synthesis and analysis you’ve come to expect from Flash Forward.
Pre-orders are really, really important for a book, especially for first-time authors like me. They do a couple of things, but that main thing is that they show publishers, editors, and booksellers that there is a demand and desire for a book. That means that bookstores (both online and in person) will stock the book, it means that publishers will want to buy another book from that author, and it means that the press who might cover a book will get excited about it. So if you’re excited about the book, one of the best things you can do is pre-order it. I know that it doesn’t come out until next year, and it might feel weird to buy a book long before you’re going to get to actually hold it in your hands, but if you can it would be SO helpful for me. Think of it as a present to your future self!
Along with the book, I have another fun thing that I’ve been working on that I can finally tell you about. A while back, I signed up to host a new anthology podcast about the future called Open World. And now you can subscribe to the show!
Open World is an anthology about hope. Every episode features an audio-drama that tries to think through what we could have in the future, and how to get there. After that, I interview the creators of that piece about their process, thinking, and what they’re most hopeful about.
If you’re reading this newsletter and thinking “wow this all sounds amazing, how can I support Rose and her work” that’s a great question. The answer is by becoming a member of the Time Traveler Club. You can find out more about that here.
I’ve neglected this newsletter a bit, because I am working on all the stuff you see above (plus Flash Forward, plus Advice For And From The Future, plus a few other projects I can’t quite tell you about just yet). If you really desire to keep up with what I’m doing every week, become a Time Traveler (see above) and you get a weekly newsletter and podcast about all the goings-on over here.
That’s all for now. Happy weekending.