Friday, May 11, 2012



In yet another example of science imitating fiction, it turns out that something very much like Phil and Kaja Foglio's minuscule mammoths once actually existed.

A paper by Victoria L. Herridge and Adrian M. Lister in the Proceedings of the Royal Society identifies fossils once thought to be those of dwarf elephants as actually belonging to mastodons that stood only a meter high at the shoulder.  Which is to say that, if only they weren't extinct, they'd make great pets.

Mammuthus creticus once roamed Pleistocene Crete and there's even some suggestion (see below) that they might have survived into historical times.

You can read io9's account here.  The abstract of the original paper is here.  And there's a great related blog post about the Rekhmire tomb elephant here.

And there's pleasant news for me . . .

I've just heard that Dancing with Bears is on the final ballot for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.  The other ten nominees are:

Ernest Cline Ready Player One
Kathleen Ann Goonan This Shared Dream
Will McIntosh Soft Apocalypse
China MiƩville Embassytown
Christopher Priest The Islanders
Joan Slonczewski The Highest Frontier
Lavie Tidhar Osama
Daniel H. Wilson Robopocalypse
Gene Wolfe Home Fires
Rob Ziegler Seed

Congratulations to everyone on the list.  Well done, us!


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