Parasite Rex Redux: Now with a new epilogue

By Carl Zimmer | March 29, 2011 9:38 am

In 1996 I had just turned thirty. If you had told me at the time that parasites were about to become an integral part of my life for years to come, I would have said, “Oh, look at the time! I’ve got to go feed my hyrax!” and headed for the nearest restroom to scrub my hands.

But it would have been true. I just had finished my first book, and I was wondering what to write next. I had a couple vague ideas I bounced around with my agent over lunch. How about an exploration of the intersection of biology and philosophy? A blank look. How about a book about parasites? Boom: my agent sat up.

That decision led me to some interesting places: rebel-held territory in southern Sudan, a Costa Rican jungle, a salt marsh in California, and the official United States Parasite Collection. And not too long afterwards, I finished writing Parasite Rex.

The book has thrived ever since. Recently, my publisher decided to put out a new paperback edition, to celebrate the ten year anniversary of the original paperback. I’ve written an epilogue for the new edition, in which I reflect on the experience of writing–and living with–the book. It made blind dates a bit awkward, to say the least, but it also gave me a piece of tapeworm eternity: Anthrobothrium zimmeri.

This is the first time I’ve had a reissued book come out, so I’m thinking of ways to mark the occasion. (If anybody is inspired to invite me on their radio show, you know where to find me!)

Here’s one plan I have. If you’d like me to autograph the new edition, follow these steps:

1. Buy a copy.

2. Email me a picture of yourself with the new edition (it’s got “with a new epilogue” in red at the bottom).

3. I’ll reply to your email and we’ll make arrangements to send you an autographed book plate. (You’ll need to cover the cost of the plate and postage; I still have to figure out the cost, but I assume it should be in the neighborhood of $1.)

Here’s one mock-up I’ve been playing around with. Any other suggestions?

[Update: Buy link fixed.]


Comments (10)

Links to this Post

  1. Two Happily Infected Hosts! | The Loom : : Green Review | April 13, 2011
  1. Is there any chance the posting will be feasible for international readers (writing from Brazil)?

    [CZ: If you can cover the postage from the US to Brazil, I’ll send the bookplate.]

  2. I will totally be doing this, but your “buy” link has an extra url in it…

    [CZ: Thanks. Fixed.]

  3. Gabrielle Stryker

    A must have for every parasitologist. Somehow I have lost my original over the years (borrowed and never returned I’m sure). I am definitely in on the new release. My suggestion for the plate would be a collage of cool parasite images, since this will go up in my office (throw a trypanosome in there by chance :) ).

    Love your writings! Best – Gabrielle

  4. I’ve improved it

  5. Charlie B.

    Dammit, you’re as bad as Apple. I just bought this a couple of months ago and you upgraded it already…

    Simple solution to the postage is the old fashioned Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, sent to you c/o your publisher. Job done. :-)

  6. Should’ve been an image or at least a link there. Try again: I’ve improved it

  7. Travis

    Just ordered mine.. borrowed this book from the library a few weeks ago and its had me thinking about my career plans as a young Biology major! thank you for sharing your skill and knowledge with us. Ia agree with Gabrielle. A cool collage would be really nice.

  8. Noam

    I’ve bought a copy of the paperback edition a year ago. Are there any differences (apart from the epilogue and a chance to get an autographed book plate) between the books?

    [CZ: That’s it.]

  9. Travis

    Received my book plate today. Thanks a lot, Carl!


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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