WELCOME TO EARTH-4
A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain
There are combinations of nerddom or geekdom or awesomedom (however you’d like to describe persons with passionate interests in a given subject) that are simple. A love of chess and a love of The Lord of the Rings can lead to buying a Lord of the Rings-themed chess set. A love of Chuck, Alien Nation, and cosplay can lead to Tenctonese Buy More employees Alien and Predator can lead to Batman: Dead End. (AK47, gone, not forgotten.)
Then, there are combinations that have built on each other for hundreds of years, as a love of science fiction can lead to a love of sciences and exploring that interest through reading books on astronomy, physics or chemistry (or vice versa). I can’t remember why I came upon Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean, but its combination of history, familiar names of the past and the ability to summon up the image of the corner of my high school chemistry class, made it enthralling to me every morning and evening during my subway commute. It may not be as obvious as a Star Wars Monopoly set, but in this book and contained in those stories are links to older wonders that we Knights of Wonderfulness, we Kings and Queens of Comic-Con explore.