I’ve been traveling a bit again lately and been rather busy with work, so I haven’t had much time to blog. I wanted to acknowledge, however, a rather significant milestone of this site: today officially marks the ten year anniversary of Skulls in the Stars.
Sadly, I got some potentially bad news in my personal life today, as well, so I am still not super-motivated to write, but it seemed wrong to not acknowledge such a big date. I started Skulls in the Stars on August 14, 2007, with my first post, “Educate or Bust,” whose title was taken from one of Robert E. Howard’s very obscure stories. The blog title itself comes from Robert E. Howard’s work: Howard is best known for being the creator of Conan, but my favorite stories of his feature a fanatical and justice-driven Puritan named Solomon Kane. As I describe on my “about” page, “Skulls in the Stars” is a story in which Kane must go against his own black-and-white ethical code to end the threat of a creature of darkness. This idea — that sometimes reality is more complicated than our ideas can accommodate — seemed like a good guiding theme for my musings on life, fiction, and science. Robert E. Howard himself, by all accounts, seems to have been a kind man with a strong sense of justice, and was significantly ahead of his time on many social issues.
First appearance of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, in Weird Tales, August 1928.
I was inspired to start blogging back in the day by the writings of bloggers and eventual friends Blake Stacey and P.Z. Myers, who showed me how fun and interesting writing about science can be. At the start, I wrote the blog pseudonymously, as I was a relatively new untenured professor and was unsure whether I would continue this work or not. By the time I was up for tenure, I was happy to add my blog work to my official tenure package, and it was well-received by the administration! I am no longer really pseudonymous, but I keep the name “Dr. SkySkull” as a pen name anyway.
To commemorate the anniversary, I thought I would briefly share a few of my favorite posts from over the years: a cross-section of my evolution as a blogger, with a few comments about each.