A Thorndon science author of 30 years has released his biggest-ever book as a sole writer — which he believes is his 300th new release.
Steve Parker, who has worked on projects with the likes of Richard Dawkins, Gerald Durrell and Desmond Morris, recently released Medicine: The Definitive Illustrated History, which is about 250,000 words and contains hundreds of pictures.
Mr Parker said it took about nine months to put together — and added it will be one of his last ‘big’ projects, before retiring from writing non-fiction to tackle fiction in the form of children’s stories next year. The book, published by DK, covers the “gory pitfalls” and “miraculous breakthroughs” of medicine around the world, trepanning, bloodletting, and body snatching to brand new developments in IVF and gene therapy.
“The book is charging medical history through the ages, with hundreds of pictures, and it is written for the public, not specialists,” he said. “This is the last really big one I will do as I am coming up to retirement age and it was nine months of work, and it was very intensive.”
“I like the idea of people buying books as gifts for children and trying to get children interested in the natural world.”
Mr Parker’s children’s stories will be based around a motley bunch of unglamorous animals who can travel in time and place to help fellow species which are endangered.
This is the last really big one I will do as I am coming up to retirement age and it was nine months of work, and it was very intensiveSteve Parker
“The idea is inspired by all the animal books I have written and all the places I’ve been lucky enough to see — Americas, Africa, across Europe, Asia, and especially a return visit last year to Australia,” he said. “I spent time there as a child and going back vividly recalled Australia’s amazing, unique but highly threatened creatures and plants.”
In November, another one of Mr Parker’s releases will hit the shelves — a book he describes as his “most unusual”. Body: The Infographic Book of Us, will be released on November 3, a visual guide of the human body. He said it involved some “different and enjoyable” thinking, and working closely with graphic designers.
In 2014 Mr Parker’s release Kill or Cure: A History of Medicine entered the New York Times Best Seller list
n Medicine: The Definitive Illustrated History (DK) and Body: The Infographic Book of Us (Aurum) are available from Amazon at www.amazon.co.uk
n For more on Steve Parker, visit www.steveparker.co.uk