Lorraine Boissoneault is creating Field Notes from the Pleistocene
2

patrons

$11
per month
Tales of Time-Traveling Scientists
Field Notes from the Pleistocene tells the story of two intrepid researchers who travel 1 million years back in time to explore our human origins. They chronicle their adventures in the form of a weekly newsletter, which readers can get by email or by visiting the Origins Mission website. Think of the story like Jules Verne meets Louis Leakey (a famous paleoanthropologist). As the weekly adventure unfolds, the support team will post their own updates on the Mission Control Blog. While the newsletter and all the information on the website will be freely available to anyone, subscribers at different tiers will also get access to bonus content—sketches from the field, poems from one of the scientists, and even a bibliography with all the sources I used in my research. 

So Is This a Fiction Project? 
Mostly. Of course time travel hasn't been invented, and the Origins Mission is all made up. But the adventures the scientists go on and the extinct species they encounter are all based on very real research in the field of paleoanthropology. There's also a section on the website dedicated entirely to the facts and nothing but the facts, including a blog where I'll post occasional interviews with actual experts about their work. I'm hoping the story will be an exciting way to learn a little bit about human origins, and might inspire people to dive deeper into the science.

What's Your Background?
I'm a journalist and fiction writer, and have been covering science and archaeology for almost three years. I've worked as a staff writer for Smithsonian Magazine and a freelancer for places like The Atlantic, Mental_Floss, Salon, Nautilus and lots of others. That said, I'm far from an expert. I definitely don't have a Ph.D in human evolution or paleoanthropology—which is why I turned to fiction to talk about a lot of these ideas. It gives me more flexibility to explore interesting questions with a basis in fact. I defer to the actual paleoanthropologists for nonfiction, which is why they're featured in the "Just the Facts" section of the website. 

Tiers
Citizen Scientist
$2 or more per month
All the work that goes into producing Field Notes from the Pleistocene, from research to writing and website updates, is done in my spare time. With your help, I can spend even more time making the story better. 
Paleoanthropologist in Training
$5 or more per month
So you love the story and can't wait to learn more about the science behind it? This tier will get you a weekly bibliography that accompanies the newsletters, showing all the sources I used for my research.  
Field Explorer
$8 or more per month
For those who really want the full Pleistocene experience, get the weekly bibliography, PLUS either a weekly sketch from time-traveler Andrea Chang or a weekly poem from field leader Evelyn Willoughby. 
Lead Researcher
$10 or more per month
Can't get enough of the story bonuses? Every week you'll get the newsletter, the bibliography, and two extras from our explorers: a poem by Evelyn Willoughby and a sketch by Andrea Chang. 
Master of the Universe
$15 or more per month
Well, you're receiving everything from the past and now you want to jump forward in time. In addition to the bibliography, field sketches, and poems, you'll be invited to a monthly discussion on Discord about what's coming next in the story, what I'm reading for my research, and any questions you might have about the creative process.  
Tales of Time-Traveling Scientists
Field Notes from the Pleistocene tells the story of two intrepid researchers who travel 1 million years back in time to explore our human origins. They chronicle their adventures in the form of a weekly newsletter, which readers can get by email or by visiting the Origins Mission website. Think of the story like Jules Verne meets Louis Leakey (a famous paleoanthropologist). As the weekly adventure unfolds, the support team will post their own updates on the Mission Control Blog. While the newsletter and all the information on the website will be freely available to anyone, subscribers at different tiers will also get access to bonus content—sketches from the field, poems from one of the scientists, and even a bibliography with all the sources I used in my research. 

So Is This a Fiction Project? 
Mostly. Of course time travel hasn't been invented, and the Origins Mission is all made up. But the adventures the scientists go on and the extinct species they encounter are all based on very real research in the field of paleoanthropology. There's also a section on the website dedicated entirely to the facts and nothing but the facts, including a blog where I'll post occasional interviews with actual experts about their work. I'm hoping the story will be an exciting way to learn a little bit about human origins, and might inspire people to dive deeper into the science.

What's Your Background?
I'm a journalist and fiction writer, and have been covering science and archaeology for almost three years. I've worked as a staff writer for Smithsonian Magazine and a freelancer for places like The Atlantic, Mental_Floss, Salon, Nautilus and lots of others. That said, I'm far from an expert. I definitely don't have a Ph.D in human evolution or paleoanthropology—which is why I turned to fiction to talk about a lot of these ideas. It gives me more flexibility to explore interesting questions with a basis in fact. I defer to the actual paleoanthropologists for nonfiction, which is why they're featured in the "Just the Facts" section of the website. 

Recent posts by Lorraine Boissoneault

Tiers
Citizen Scientist
$2 or more per month
All the work that goes into producing Field Notes from the Pleistocene, from research to writing and website updates, is done in my spare time. With your help, I can spend even more time making the story better. 
Paleoanthropologist in Training
$5 or more per month
So you love the story and can't wait to learn more about the science behind it? This tier will get you a weekly bibliography that accompanies the newsletters, showing all the sources I used for my research.  
Field Explorer
$8 or more per month
For those who really want the full Pleistocene experience, get the weekly bibliography, PLUS either a weekly sketch from time-traveler Andrea Chang or a weekly poem from field leader Evelyn Willoughby. 
Lead Researcher
$10 or more per month
Can't get enough of the story bonuses? Every week you'll get the newsletter, the bibliography, and two extras from our explorers: a poem by Evelyn Willoughby and a sketch by Andrea Chang. 
Master of the Universe
$15 or more per month
Well, you're receiving everything from the past and now you want to jump forward in time. In addition to the bibliography, field sketches, and poems, you'll be invited to a monthly discussion on Discord about what's coming next in the story, what I'm reading for my research, and any questions you might have about the creative process.