the Writings

Page printed from

selected nonfiction

The Zero-Armed Bandit

The story of a treacherous contraption that appeared mysteriously in a Lake Tahoe casino. This story won a 2015 Sidney Award from David Brooks in The New York Times, and a Golden Giraffe award from The Browser.

Ghoulish Acts & Dastardly Deeds

In the 1950s, an anonymous terrorist planted a pipe bomb in a New York City public space. Then another. And another. This piece was cited as “nonfiction journalism from 2017 that will stand the test of time” in The Atlantic.

Faxes From the Far Side

The 1950s-era Soviet mission to first photograph the far side of the moon.

Devouring the Heart of Portugal

In 1924 a bankrupt businessman in Portugal launched an audacious international scheme to become one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Colonels of Truth

The tumultuous true story of the life of a fast food icon.

Absolute Zero is 0K

Victorian scientists struggle to reach and understand the vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly cold universe at Absolute Zero.

Dead Reckoning

The 18th century misadventures of HMS Wager and her reluctant crew

The Derelict

A series of accidents and errors amass into disaster at sea. But that’s not the end of the story.

The Isle of Doctor Seaborg

On the hypothetical “Island of Stability” which might allow for long-lived atoms of never-before-seen elements.

The Traveler and His Baggage

In Nazi-occupied Paris, “Dr. Eugène” offered Jews an alternative to deportation, slavery, and death camps. But the escape network was not what it seemed.

Nineteen Seventy Three

Chile’s audacious 1970s-era plan to network and automate the country’s entire economy, hindered by political upheaval and CIA maneuvering.

Three Thrown Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

An unlikely and unethical psychological experiment is undertaken at Michigan’s Ypsilanti State Hospital in 1959.

Ten Minutes in Lituya Bay

A remote bay in Alaska is home to an odd and occasionally catastrophic geology. In 1958, a handful of people experienced this firsthand.

Better Call Sol

The history and science of coronal mass ejections, and their effects on humans and technology.

…and many more!