Carl Zimmer




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Carl Zimmer

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About this author

Carl Zimmer is an award-winning science writer. He is a columnist for the New York Times and is the author of several books, including Parasite Rex, Soul Made Flesh, and A Planet of Viruses.


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Carl Zimmer Don't think of yourself as aspiring. If you're writing, you're a writer. But be a writer every day. That will require taking a bite out of the time…moreDon't think of yourself as aspiring. If you're writing, you're a writer. But be a writer every day. That will require taking a bite out of the time you spend doing other things, like sleeping. But if you feel passionately enough about writing, it will be worth it.

I've written more advice here: http://carlzimmer.com/writers.html and here: https://medium.com/@bobbie/carl-zimme...(less)
Carl Zimmer Thanks! I don't know how other writers feel about sequels, but they make me uneasy. I like to jump to a different subject with each book, although…moreThanks! I don't know how other writers feel about sequels, but they make me uneasy. I like to jump to a different subject with each book, although there may be links from one book to another. For "Parasite Rex," for example, I decided to studiously avoid viruses and bacteria, because people are so familiar with them (as opposed to, say, a parasitic worm that turns ants into zombies). But lots of parasites are bacterial or viral. Later, I wrote a book about bacteria ("Microcosm"), and there I spent some time talking about the strategies that parasitic bacteria use to exploit us. And later still, I wrote a book called "Planet of Viruses," where I revisited some of the main themes of "Parasite Rex". So while I don't write sequels, my books do echo each other.(less)
Average rating: 4.04 · 8,860 ratings · 853 reviews · 21 distinct works · Similar authors
Parasite Rex (with a New Ep...
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 2,495 ratings — published 2000 — 12 editions
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Evolution: The Triumph of a...
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 1,799 ratings — published 2001 — 14 editions
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A Planet of Viruses
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 1,117 ratings — published 2011 — 8 editions
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At the Water's Edge: Fish w...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 611 ratings — published 1998 — 5 editions
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Microcosm: E. coli and the ...
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 635 ratings — published 2008 — 10 editions
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Science Ink: Tattoos of the...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 590 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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Soul Made Flesh: The Discov...
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 318 ratings — published 2003 — 9 editions
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Smithsonian Intimate Guide ...
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 103 ratings — published 2005 — 7 editions
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Brain Cuttings: Fifteen Jou...
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 74 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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The Tangled Bank: An Introd...
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 63 ratings — published 2009 — 2 editions
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More books by Carl Zimmer…

The good folks at Radiolab have a new episode out. It’s on the many different senses of the wordtranslation.The show ranges from vision-sensing tongue vibrators to high-level diplomatic misunderstandings. At the end of the show, I talk to Jad Abumrad about the most fundamental translation of all: the process by which our cells turn information in our DNA into proteins. Here’s the embedded episo...

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Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life--Introduction (Science)
1 chapters   —   updated Nov 18, 2008 02:55PM
Description: This is the beginning of my latest book
White Noise
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Point Counter Point
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The good folks at Radiolab have a new episode out. It’s on the many different senses of the wordtranslation.The show ranges from vision-sensing ton... Read more of this blog post »
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White Noise by Don DeLillo
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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
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date: September 11, 2014 07:30PM
location: The Alden at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, Mclean, VA, The United States
description: Sam Kean and I will talk about our experiences writing about science.
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Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley
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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
read in August, 2014
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Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
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More of Carl's books…
“In 1494, King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy. Within months, his army collapsed and fled. It was routed not by the Italian army but by a microbe. A mysterious new disease spread through sex killed many of Charles’s soldiers and left survivors weak and disfigured. French soldiers spread the disease across much of Europe, and then it moved into Africa and Asia. Many called it the French disease. The French called it the Italian disease. Arabs called it the Christian disease. Today, it is called syphilis.”
Carl Zimmer

“Two hallmarks of Homo Sapiens are decoration and self-identification.”
Carl Zimmer, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed

“Some ancient eukaryote swallowed a photosynthesizing bacteria and became a sunlight gathering alga. Millions of years later one of these algae was devoured by a second eukaryote. This new host gutted the alga, casting away its nucleus and its mitochondria, keeping only the chloroplast. That thief of a thief was the ancestor or Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. And this Russian-doll sequence of events explains why you can cure malaria with an antibiotic that kills bacteria: because Plasmodium has a former bacterium inside it doing some vital business.”
Carl Zimmer, Parasite Rex (with a New Epilogue): Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures

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