Showing posts from June, 2014

Introducing... Liberalis Books

I've decided to have some guest posts here in the Hidden Grove.  Today we begin with a two-way interview with Leon Conrad of Liberalis Books, a new imprint of John Hunt, the publishers of Silver Hands.  Liberalis' website says: "Liberalis is a Latin word which evokes ideas of freedom, liberality, generosity of spirit, dignity, honour, books, the liberal arts education tradition and the work of the Greek grammarian and storyteller Antonius Liberalis. We seek to combine all these interlinked aspects in the books we publish." Leon is also Co-Author of Odyssey: Dynamic Learning System A simple, innovative educational intervention with inspiration hard-wired in it. Due to be published in late 2014 by Liberalis Books. Leon's questions for me What comes naturally to you and what do you value in terms of technique when it comes to storytelling? I think humour comes naturally to me.  Even in serious stories, there's often a lot o

Amazing Asexuality

One of my most popular posts on this blog has been, "Giving Birth to Hairy Worms", all about the Renaissance belief in spontaneous generation (ie giving birth without the need for sexual reproduction).  While the idea may seem far fetched, it turns out that spontaneous generation is in fact all around us.  And it's called parthenogenesis. In fact, it's right in my garden.  The round things growing on my tree are oak galls.  They are created by wingless, asexual female gall wasps, which are born from galls in the tree roots, created by winged females, who have mated with males.  The tree galls hatch more wasps, which begin the double cycle again.  So every other generation of female gall wasps will be asexual and wingless.  The next generation will be sexual and winged. Other creatures that reproduce asexually incude aphids, which produce exact clones of themselves, and a certain species of ant. Amazingly, parthenogenesis is not limited to small creatures like insects.