A (Quick) Trip Through Nepal

Like other journalists who have written at times about travel, I get many offers for press junkets from travel agencies. Many of them involve a luxurious stay, often in the Bahamas for some reason. I am not usually tempted.

 

The Surprisingly Strong Case for Colonizing Venus

The second planet from the Sun might seem like a nasty place to build a home, with a surface temperature hot enough to melt lead and an atmosphere so dense it would feel like being submerged beneath 3000 feet of water.

Confidence in Culture

New work in the March 15, 2014 issue of This Land

The State that Oil Built

Cover of Dec. 1, 2013 THIS LAND

Find my latest article on newsstands today!

When the Rodeo Clowns Came

I live surrounded by retirees in rural Oklahoma. They are spry. They own arsenals of gardening equipment: lawnmower-tractor hybrids that grind through the fibrous local flora with cruel efficiency; they wield wicked contraptions, whirling motorized blades that allow withered men to sculpt hedges into forms of sublime and delectable complexity.

On Bohemian Life in the Sooner State

 

HOMEWARD BOUND: Tahlequah via Brooklyn: James McGirk writes notes from a screened-in porch in a city that sleeps.

Destination Oklahoma: Route 66

What you really need to live here is a truck. Maybe not in the cities, but out here, in the foothills of the Ozarks, where the roads flood when the creek overflows its banks, and even traversing a parking lot means tumbling into tooth shattering ruts and axle scraping bumps: you do.

The Cheat Code to Life

(My stories are Reddit Pizza scamming, and apocalypse cheats)

The Great Spy’s Dream

I asked Patrick if there was anything particularly useful he could pass on to me “about the CIA.” “The first thing to remember is that nobody connected to the Agency calls it the CIA. It’s plain CIA.”

—Harry Mathews, My Life in CIA. 

The Splashy Debut Novel is Dead—Or Is It?

Are the big publishing houses using independent presses as a farm league to scout for talent, and exiting the market for big-gamble debuts? James McGirk reports.