inwombIn The Womb: Extreme Animals,” the latest episode of a popular National Geographic Channel series, premieres Sunday, May 10. Meanwhile, the companion volume to a previous episode, In the Womb: Animals, was released just a couple of weeks ago. Guess who was asked to write that book? No, not me. Just as well, I'm too squeamish for that sort of thing, which is why our review of the book will be written by someone else (look for it in an upcoming edition of BookLetters*).

It was former BookPage contributor Michael Sims that National Geographic asked to take on the project; his finished book includes many of the astounding 3-D and 4-D images shown on the television series.

Michael has displayed his quirky, multidisciplinary approach to science in books such as 2003’s Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of the Human Form (Viking) and Apollo’s Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, which was selected as one of NPR's Best Science Books of 2007.

But there’s another side to Michael, a slightly darker side that manifests itself in the crime fiction anthologies he edits. The third in the series, The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, was released earlier this spring.

OK, full disclosure: Michael and I were once colleagues at an alt-weekly and he's the person who suggested I apply for my current position at BookPage (I think he's been forgiven for that!).

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