March 13, 2018

When I was a little kid I was obsessed with space monsters. I suspected that when they found alien life on Mars, they would BE space monsters. Of course, this turned out not to be true, but throughout my early years I continued to read the multitude of science fiction magazines :that were published in those years: Astounding Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and Fantastic Stories. The stories in these magazines were written by great writers, some of whom also wrote science non-fiction—- writers like Isaac Asimov,  E.E. Smith, Fritz Lieber, H.G. Wells, L. Ron Hubbard, Jules Verne, and Robert Heinlein. They were my heroes.

So, when I proposed this book to HarperCollins and they agreed to do it, I was thrilled. I’ve written many books about space, but this particular volume goes beyond what we know, to consider the still unknown. In a way, although it is a nonfiction book it has a "science fiction" quality, and I loved writing it. I hope I’ve done justice to those writers whose work I admired, and who influenced me so greatly.

Cover of Seymour Simon's EXOPLANETS

While I was writing EXOPLANETS I was simultaneously reorganizing my library for a move to our new house. I’ve accumulated thousands of collectible books over the years, so it was quite a project. I own a beautiful set of leather-bound books which are the collected stories of H.G. Wells. When I opened up a volume titled "Stories of Space and Time," I discovered a neatly folded, hand-written letter from HG Wells, written to a friend in 1927. What a find! We’re having it framed and look forward to deciphering his very tiny handwriting to learn what it says. 

Seymour Simon’s EXOPLANETS is being published by HarperCollins on March 27, 2018 and is available for pre-order now.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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January 9, 2018

Cover of SciFi magazine with man and rocket

I just sent in my latest manuscript for a book about space exploration, beginning with humans entering The Space Age. When I was a child, my main interests were science fiction stories and space. Of course, I was a voracious reader and consumed books about everything, from astronomy to zoology. But I sure did love science fiction (look at this cover of one of my vintage Astounding Science Fiction magazines!) and anything about space.

Almost as interesting as space to me were dinosaurs (like all of the kids I knew). So, I’m happy to report that the next book I will be writing is a book featuring new discoveries about dinosaurs. 

From Space to Dinosaurs! I started the research today. I’m in heaven. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 20, 2017

One of the nicest things that happened to me as a writer in the last few years was being given the opportunity to write younger age books with my wife and companion Liz Nealon. Liz has been very connected to youngsters for many years. She was the Creative Director of Sesame Street as well as an award-winning producer of children’s TV shows such as Ghostwriter and The Famous Jett Jackson. She was also very involved with research into reaching children via words and images.

One of the first books we wrote together was COLORS IN NATURE. Instead of just showing colors and teaching children what’s red and what’s orange, the book tries to pick out colors in natural surroundings and uses images for each of the colors mentioned.

So for example, reds would include strawberries and tomatoes; green would include grasses and pine trees.

There were also pages for Rainbow Colors and Black and White. The book is joyful and poetic and is perfect for reading aloud with children. It encourages young readers to actively play along as they look for and call out the wonderful colors that are all around them in nature.

So far, the book is only available in a digital edition. Would you be interested in seeing a printed edition? Jot a note to me on my here or on Twitter or Facebook


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 13, 2017

I grew up in New York City and never really had much to do with horses. (Though I do have a photo of me when I was a kid alongside a cute pony.  I don’t really remember much about the photo though I do know that the pony was not a regular part of my life.)

My author’s copies of my book HORSES came yesterday. This book is a revision of the original book with new photos and new text, but I was reminded of what happened when I wrote the original book a dozen years ago. For the original book, I was photographing horses in farms in Columbia County in New York State where there were many horse farms. I was just motoring around casually, looking at horses and photographing them when I could get close enough to them from country roads. What often happened though, is that I spent a lot of time just looking and enjoying watching them. And I thought of the cowboy movies and chariot races I had read about and seen in movies. In my mind and in my book, seeing horses galloping about a field is like watching a bit of history playing out in front of you.

Here’s what I wrote in my book:

horse galloping from Seymour Simon's book

I would enjoy reading about your own thoughts about horses in your life. 

The updated edition of Seymour Simon’s book HORSES, cited by the Common Core Standards as an Exemplar Text, will be published on December 26, 2017, and is now available for pre-order. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 12, 2017

The outbreak of fires in California remind me of the photography and research I did before I wrote my book WILDFIRES. I spoke at a conference in Fresno and decided to photograph nature in  nearby Sequoia National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park. While photographing I followed a crew of forest rangers and firefighters clearing brush to retard the growth and speed of any future fires. Sometimes that works, other times there is no stopping the explosive growth of wildfires, which is what’s happing now.


As I wrote in my book, “A raging wildfire is a frightening thing. Living trees burn as fast as cardboard boxes in a bonfire. Flames race through the treetops, sometimes faster than a person can run, burning at temperatures hot enough to melt steel.”

But then I wrote, “But not all fires are bad. Fires in nature can help as well as harm. A burned forest allows young plants to begin growing. And fire is necessary for some trees, such as sequoias, to release their seeds. Instead of being an ending, fire is often a new chapter in the continuing story of the natural world.”

I think that it is a good thing to teach children that in nature, things are often neither good nor evil, but part of the natural rhythms of the world.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 11, 2017

yellow leaf with raindrops

This is one of the excellent photos in my new book WATER. But this photo is something special. It’s a photo taken by Liz Nealon, my wife and partner in research. Liz is an award-winning producer of children’s TV programs such as The Famous Jett Jackson and Ghostwriter. She was also Creative Director of Sesame Street. Now she is a literary agent specializing in digital children’s books as well as my photo research partner in finding the best photos for my new books as well as revisions of my older books. But this photo was chosen just because she loved the design and then used for my book because it fit the text perfectly. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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December 10, 2017

All about the water cycle, precipitation, why we need water, and more!

Seymour Simon holding WATER

My brand new book Water was published on October 31, 2017. Water is all around us. It is the most common liquid on our Planet Earth.  It is in the air and in the clouds, in oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams, in ice, in plants and animals, in soil and below Earth’s surface in the top few miles of the crust. Yet water cannot and should not be taken for granted. A person may be able to survive several weeks without food but only several days without water.

Water is the one substance that we are always looking for on other planets and exoplanets. A "Goldilocks Planet" is a planet on which water can exist In liquid form, is is not too hot nor too cold, it is "just right" for the possibility of life. Without water there would be no life.

On a personal note, I thought that water would be a simple subject to write about. But no, water turned out to be both challenging and fascinating. I hope you and your students and children find this book to be a be a captivating introduction to what is the most important substance for living things, water! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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July 20, 2017

Seymour Simon’s striking new book, ROCKS AND MINERALS, is being published on August 15th (available for pre-order now on Amazon). Here’s an interview with Kirkus about his connection to rock-hounding, the process of making this book, his views on teaching nonfiction, and more. 

Click for Kirkus Article

Posted by: Liz Nealon

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July 5, 2016

Happy Publication Day to @Seymour Simon for his new book, INSECTS!

Cover of Seymour Simon's book INSECTS

The photographs are amazing, and you will learn some fascinating things in this book:

  • All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. 

  • There are at least four times more kinds of insects than all other animals combined.

  • The number of insects alive at any given moment is approximately 10 quintillion (that is 10 followed by 18 zeros!)

    Available on Amazon



    Posted by: Liz Nealon

    (0) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Animal Books, New Books, Insects   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share:

    April 22, 2016

    Happy Earth Day to all my readers. I’ve just come back from a long walk outdoors, and I hope you will get out and enjoy nature today, too.

    I have written many entries in this blog about Earth Day over the years. There are activities, reader input, suggestions for reducing your carbon footprint, and even recipes to help you contribute to improving our environment. You can read all of these earlier articles by typing "Earth Day" into the search box at the top of this page. Enjoy!

    Posted by: Seymour Simon

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