“Hey, dude, whatcha doin’?”
“Signing these contracts. I’m not sure why they need four copies, but they do.”
“Contracts for what?”
“The new book. Remmeber, the one we’ve been talking about these last few weeks? Sequel-of-sorts to How to Teach Physics to Your Dog? About relativity?”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right! We’re doing another book! Where do I sign?”
“What do you mean, ‘Where do I sign?’ You’re a dog.”
“I could, you know, put a paw print on the line, or something.”
“I suppose you could, but it wouldn’t be legally binding. Dogs aren’t allowed to sign contracts.”
“You know that’s horribly species-ist, right? I suppose you’re going to get all the money, too.”
“Well, yeah, since dogs can’t open bank accounts, either. But don’t worry, you’ll get your share.”
“In the form of steak?”
“Yippee! I love steak!”
Silliness aside, here’s the big news I’ve been sitting on for a while: I have a deal to do a second talking-to-the-dog-about-physics book, tentatively titled How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog, though I kind of like the title I used for this post. This will be the same basic format, with dog dialogues about physics followed by longer explanations of the theory, with occasional interruptions from Emmy. I’ve got very rough drafts of the first few chapters already, and most of the rest of it mapped out.
(We agreed to the terms of the deal a few weeks ago, but I’m just paranoid enough to not want to announce it here until I had signed the contracts.)
In some ways, this will be easier than the first book, because I’ve gone through the process once already and have a better idea of what to expect. In other ways, it will be more difficult, because the subject isn’t quite as close to my own areas of expertise (though I have taught relativity in modern physics classes on several occasions). Also, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to fit everything in– when I did the first one, I was on sabbatical for most of the writing, and we didn’t have SteelyKid yet. I’ll be teaching a normal load this year, and dealing with an energetic and inquisitive toddler at the same time, so it’s going to be a little tricky to block out writing time.
This will probably require a significant reduction in blogging, starting next week, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m not going to commit myself to any particular schedule at this time, though.
If you’re wondering about details of the deal, the new book will be published by Basic Books, who publish quite a few science books, and is planned to be a trade paper original. The manuscript is due next April 15, and the finished book will be out some time after that, the specific date depending on details of the production and marketing process.
Emmy and I are, obviously, pretty psyched about this. I will undoubtedly be learning a great deal more about relativity in the months ahead, some of which will surely make it onto the blog.
There’s also a UK edition of our first book, How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog, due out in October, plus several other languages (Chinese should be out soon, but I have no idea how to search for it), and some other possible projects in the works, so it’s a fun time for dog physics.