The boilerplate first: I’m a journalist/writer based in New York. I’m currently a contributing editor at Wired, for whom I write the monthly “Mr. Know-It-All” column. I am also the author of Now the Hell Will Start, the non-fiction tale of an American G.I. who went native in the Indo-Burmese jungle. (A movie version is in the works.) My next book, The Skies Belong to Us, will be published by Crown on June 18, 2013; you can check out the trailer here.
I got my journalistic start at U.S. News and World Report, where I covered hackers, creation scientists, vermiculture, and the tragic closure of Santa’s Village. From there I became a fellow at the New America Foundation, and freelanced for the likes of Mother Jones, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and the late, great Legal Affairs. I’ve written regular columns for Slate, The New York Times SundayBusiness section, Gizmodo, and the Village Voice, for whom I did a longish stint as a pseudonymous tech adviser named Mr. Roboto. My work has also appeared in magazines ranging from Details to Spin to Men’s Journal.
The Columbia Journalism Review named me one of its “Ten Young Writers on the Rise,” while the New Haven Review included me on its list of “20 Non-fiction Writers Under 40.” I won a 2003 National Headliner Award for feature writing, and my stories have appeared in both Best American Science Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. Check out my 2008 appearance on The Colbert Report here.
Microkhan was created to explore such salient topics as Sri Lanka, electric power transmission, Polynesian footballers, minor characters from The Iliad, primate sociobiology, user interface design, Canadian whiskey, the history of cholera, low-grade animatronic robots, Naga anthropology, cult dynamics, ruby thieves, the Pyongyang Metro, the techniques of master pickpockets, bush flying in the Alaskan tundra, anti-poaching technology, and spaceports. Please see the debut post for a more expansive mission statement.
I got into writing eons ago, after my dad read me Carl Stephenson’s Leningen Versus the Ants, about a Brazilian farmer’s battle against a horde of flesh-eating insects. I’m an information addict. Genghis Khan is my all-time favorite character from history. I was once an extra on an episode of Punky Brewster. I’m a diehard Sunderland supporter. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.