StarShipSofa No 424 Vaughan Stanger and Zak Wilson

February 24, 2016 by Jeremy Szal

Coming Up…


Interview: Zak Wilson Find out what it’s like to live on Mars for 8 months!

Fact: Science News with J J Campanella

Main Fiction: “First and Third” by Vaughan Stanger

Originally appeared in Postscripts 26/27

Formerly an astronomer and more recently a research project manager in an aerospace company,  Vaughan Stanger now writes SF and fantasy fiction for a living. His stories have appeared in Daily  Science Fiction, End of an Aeon, Postscripts, Nature Futures and Interzone, amongst other noted  magazines and anthologies. Follow his literary adventures at

Narrated by Nikolle Doolin

Nikolle is a writer and a voice actor. Her fiction, poetry, and plays have been published and presented; and her voice has appeared in various mediums. Nikolle has performed numerous narrations for a number of popular and award-winning podcasts, such as: The NoSleep Podcast, Far-Fetched Fables, and Tales to Terrify. She also narrates classic literature in her own podcast Audio Literature Odyssey. To learn more about Nikolle, visit her website at

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  1. Hey, JJ,

    I’d have replied long ago, but I was foolishly looking for a direct comment to you. You do say you want comments, so here we go.

    Fun science news this week. I enjoy your Science News segments so much that I’ve even played bits of them for my Intro to Anthro class (your report on your seagrass genetic work is a fantastic demonstration of bottlenecks, which play for students to help them understand the bottlenecks that led to the rise of H. sapiens sapiens.

    From this, you can tell I’m an anthropologist (college prof). I am a cultural anthropologist, but I teach human evolution in the Intro course. Every. Single. Semester. (Mostly – I did get a break this year.)

    You can guess where I’m going with this. Oh, yes, SO COOL that Neandertals and Humans interbred. So exciting – but not because different species were interbreeding!!!!!!! DUDE! H. sapiens sapiens and H. sapiens neandertalensis. Those are NOT different species, just varieties. And, of course, we now know that there were lots of different varieties of H. sapiens over the course of our evolutionary history, until H. sapiens sapiens with our big brains and cognitive capacity for symbolization took over the world in a very very short period of time. So, our ancestors interbred of Neandertals and Denisovans on at least 4 different events. I bet there’s more, too.

    I just had to write. You wanted me to write, right????

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