The Doctor Made Me Do It: “Meetings On The Stair”
A surreal moment in the dark long ago triggered a reflection on writing for young readers and the ethics of handling the fantastic that remains something of a mission statement for me. With the 50th anniversary of everybody’s favorite Time Lord upon us, I thought I’d post it here.
The essay proper, “Meetings On The Stair,” written for the program book of a Balticon in the 1980s, is under the cut. Alternatively, if you’d rather read this in ebook format, there are a bunch of files to suit Kindles, iPads, Nooks and other reader formats over here at Box.com.
The smell of earth after rain
is called Petrichor, and it is caused by Geosmin.
Geosmin is an organic compound with the formula C12H22O. It’s produced by several classes of microbes, including cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and actinobacteria (especially Streptomyces), and released when these microbes die. The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion.