It is unlikely that Roger Reid will soon quit his day job. Along with Doug Philips and Wendy Reed, he recently shared a regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Writing for the "Alabama in Space" episode of the very successful, long-running series "Discovering Alabama."
Awith the botany/ecology of Longleaf, there is in this novel some science, surrounded by a large spoonful of sweet whodunit to make the medicine go down. Reid weaves in information about black holes, the escape velocity required to leave different planets, the Big Bang and the expansion of the solar system, discussions of the speed of light and the cosmic wave background, ubiquitous in the universe, and the necessity of living in the right neighborhood in any galaxy?not too near the center, not too near the edge. All of this is quite palatable.
The protagonist of Longleaf is fourteen-year-old Jason Caldwell, who is the son of academics?an astronomer father and a mother who is finishing up a doctorate in biology, herpetology to be precise. As part of his mother's research into frogs, Jason and his family are camping in Alabama's Conecuh National Forest, near Andalusia.