Riley Black

is creating Natural History Essays
Select a membership level
Travel Companion
per month
For just a buck, you get notes and photos from my fossiliferous adventures across the American west.
Dino Tracker
per month
If you're a fan of Laelaps and want more, this one's for you! Backers at this tier will get four new, exclusive blog posts each month, as well exclusive short pieces that won't appear anywhere else. You'll also gain access to new chapters from my in-progress novel - Here Be Dragons - every other week.
Essay Enthusiasts
per month
In addition to desert notes and early view posts, backers at this tier get at least one original natural history essay each month (as well as access to the back catalog of over two dozen previous pieces).



About Riley Black

Dinosaurs. Giant squid. Saber-toothed cats. Sharks that glow. When I was growing up, these were my companions. Creatures that beckoned from beneath the waves and from the depths of ancient rocks far from my home. And there was no better way to learn about such amazing species than through natural history essays. The work of writers Stephen Jay Gould and David Quammen took me out of my suburban bedroom to drop me in places ranging from sweltering jungles to dusty museum collections. I want to do the same for you.

I became a writer because of natural history essays, and I'm going to use this Patreon to honor the form that inspired me in the first place. Every month I'm going to deliver at least one longform exploration of strange and surprising nature, supplemented by short takes on fossil news you'll see here before it's published anywhere else. We'll meet mysterious fossil monsters, lonely desert jaguars, endangered cacti, and stupendous dinosaurs along the way, each story highlighting the questions that keep the curious looking under rocks, hiking through the backcountry, and digging in the desert. I'd be honored if you'd join me for the journey.

What You Get:

- At least one longform natural history essay every month for $5+ patrons.

- Four early view blog posts each month for $2+ patrons.

- Notes and photos from fieldwork and other adventures for $1+ patrons.

About me: I'm a freelance science writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to the books Written in Stone, My Beloved Brontosaurus, When Dinosaurs RuledPrehistoric Predators, and Skeleton Keys, my writing has appeared in a variety of publications including National Geographic, Slate, Smithsonian, The Spectator, and the Wall Street Journal. And when I'm not writing about weird and wonderful forms of life, I'm often found volunteering with museum and university crews around the west as they excavate new clues about prehistory.
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Want some art? Hit the goal and I'll offer a drawing for one original paleo-themed sketch each month, open to all patrons. 
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