Recommended by Julian Gough
Full disclosure: I like Solana Joy, the writer behind Mama Dentata, so much, I married her. In Mama Dentata, she is taking motherhood, and childhood, seriously – and imagining a society that also took them seriously, that placed them at its core. It's smart, passionate, and funny.
Adam is my favourite kind of scientist; he loves science, but does not love certain aspects of our modern scientific and academic culture, and suspects there is a better, more productive, and more playful, way of doing it. His essays are delightful; witty, heartfelt, and thought-provoking.
Steven Johnson is one of the great non-fiction writers. Intelligent, amusing, refreshing, surprising, wise. His books range from Where Good Ideas Come From (self-explanatory), to Enemy of All Mankind (pirates!). A generous, deeply enjoyable, wide-ranging newsletter that covers technological & cultural change (with an emphasis on creativity & innovation). Plus great interviews with people like Steven Pinker & Stewart Brand. He also shares his writing process, including tips & tools. Recommended.
Visakan Veerasamy is one of my favourite thinkers over on Twitter – he uses it brilliantly, like no one else – and I am delighted he is now posting work on Substack. He is still, in some ways, finding his feet here, but watching that process is fascinating. Visa has a big open heart, and a bright, open mind; he wants people to become fully themselves, and he tries to help them do that. He makes the world a better place. I'm enjoying his journey, and I think you will, too.
Erik Hoel writes (often with a refreshingly brutal honesty) about art and science. He is perfectly positioned to do so, as he is both novelist and neuroscientist. If, like me, you worry about the increasing chasm between the artistic and scientific worlds, this is for you...