Issues in Earth Science 

“Eww, There’s Some Geology in my Fiction!”

Past Issues


Issue 13 May 2020

Will Demetrius find the independence to make his first excursion outside the West Valles Marineris Dome in time to watch the transit of Phobos?


Standing in the Shadow of Phobos by Mary Alexandra Agner.


Teacher's Resources for Standing in the Shadow of Phobos include examination of various models for our solar system using observational evidence, including observations made in the story.


Illustration for Standing in the Shadow of Phobos by Erin Colson

In the Shadow of Phobos, arwork by Erin Colson


Issue 12 Nov 2019

Modern-day rock climber Tara and Ice-Age Atzl seem to have a mysterious
connection across time, a connection that may save more than one life.


The Crease by Jeanne Panek.


Teacher's Resources for The Crease include using Google Earth Pro to examine valleys formed by glaciers and valleys formed by other processes.


Illustration for The Crease by Erin Colson

The Crease Illustration by Erin Colson


Issue 11 Aug 2019

Can six arctic explorers save humanity after war induces a chilling of world climate?


Permafrost by Kate Kelly.


Teacher's Resources for Permafrost include figuring out how different changes to the Earth System will affect global climate.


Illustration for Permafrost by Erin Colson

Permafrost illsturation by Erin Colson


Issue 10, Nov 2018: 

Our story this issue features our first truly stratigraphic puzzle.  In Dinosaur Dig by Jacqueline Howland, Jace overcomes his frustrations with science to solve a geological mystery and connect with his scientist stepdad.


Dinosaur Dig by Jacqueline Howland.


Teacher's Resources for Dinosaur Dig


Illustration for Dinosaur Dig by Erin Colson

Image for Dinosaur Dig by Erin Colson



Issue 9, May-June 2018: 

Chemical composition and fossils in rocks help solve two seemingly-impossible puzzles in our two stories for this issue.


Find our teacher resources for these two geological fingerprinting stories at Teacher's Resources



Pele's Tears by D.A. Xiaolin Spires.

Can Alana use clues from geology to clear her name after she's accused of stealing a volcanic stone on her tour of Mauna Loa in Hawaiʻi?


Illustration for Pele's Tears by Autumn Evelyn. 

Illustration for Pele's Tears--Autumn Evelyn


The Rock Hound by Paula E. Young.

Can Julie use a broken piece of limestone containing an unexpected fossil to help the police solve the mystery of who attacked her friend Josh and stole his tickets to the baseball game?


Illustration for The Rock Hound by Erin Colson

Illustration for The Rock Hound--Erin Colson




Issue 8, November 2017: The Ringlets, newly settled in Antarctica from the rings of Saturn, are ready to go to war but refuse to negotiate with anyone over 17. Can young Gwen figure out what made them so angry soon enough to prevent an interspecies war? Find out in Breaking the Ice by Justin Short.


Teacher's Resources for Breaking the Ice

Illustration for Breaking the Ice by Erin Colson. 


Issue 7, July 2017:  Can young diver Hayley help the Nuugyaa program save the Canadian coast from a tsunami?   Find out in Nuugyaa by L. L. Hill.   


Teacher's Resources for Nuugyaa

Illustration for Nuugyaa by Erin Colson. 

Nuugyaa art by Erin Colson



May 2016Will Simone's efforts to call forth blue spinel from the magmatic fires be good enough for the master magicians at the University?  Find out in In the Rough by T. S. Brothers.   


Teacher's Resources for In the Rough.

Illustration for In the Rough by Erin Colson.




November 2015:  Aki wants so much to stay in the home she's known her whole life, but with failing geysers and earthquakes seeming to conspire against her, will she be able?  Find out in Shifting Fortunes by S. Q. Eries.   


Teacher's Resources for Shifting Fortunes.

Illustration for Shifting Fortunes by Erin Colson



July 2015:  Cassie Morant loves puzzles, but can she put together the planetary geology clues fast enough to save the landing team from execution? Find out in Jigsaw by Douglas Smith.


Teacher's Resources for Jigsaw.


Illustration for Jigsaw by Erin Colson.  

Jigsaw Cube by Erin Colson


Map for Jigsaw by Russ Colson.



March 2015:  Can Marie's knowledge of geology solve a mystery and get her big brother out of trouble? Find out in The Thieving Rain by Anne E Johnson.

Teacher's Resources for The Thieving Rain.

Illustration for The Thieving Rain by Erin Colson.


November 2014:  Find out how to save a relationship from too much convergence and subduction in Plate Tectonics and Non-Platonic Relationships by Alicia Cole.

Teacher's Resources for Plate Tectonics and Non-Platonic Relationships.

Illustration for Plate Tectonics and Non-Platonic Relationships by Steven (Andy) Stalboerger.

Illustration for Plate Tectonics and Non-Platonic Relationships

I waited until Wednesday before pinning a note on Ches’s locker: Can we try transform


July 2014Find out how a small diversion can save the world in Diversion Program by Robert Dawson.

 Teacher's Resources for Diversion Program.

 Illustration for Diversion Program by Erin Colson.

Diversion Program--Zig Washington at the controls




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