David R. Montgomery has been awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Grant, moving him into a very limited club, the club of MacArthur recipients I have met, which has a membership of two. (The other was the late Octavia Butler).
Shaharazahd and I met Montgomery at a Conservation District conference. His presentation was based on his book Dirt, and was so compelling we bought a copy. Hi thesis is simple: the history of nearly any civilization is told in its soil. This was especially interesting to me in that I write fantasy set near the Bronze Age Collapse, an event still little understood by historians. It was the world'sm fisrt known dark age, and the economic, political and social collapse was unparalled since. Entire civilizations vanished overnight, and cities that had been occupied for hundreds of years were abandoned and never resettled.
Montgomery's book gave me a lot to think about, and some of his ideas may end up incorporated in future "Servant" stories.
At any rate, congratulations, David! Your book is pretty cool, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.