A Night Of Volcanoes And Earthquakes With N.K. Jemisin

Learn how N.K. Jemisin used volcanology and seismology to write ‘The Fifth Season.’

two women sitting onstage with microphones with a plant in between them

SciFri producer Christie Taylor talks volcanology and the book 'The Fifth Season' with author N.K. Jemisin. Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"This story is part of our winter Book Club conversation about N.K. Jemisin’s book ‘The Fifth Season.’ Want to be the first to know about what we’re reading for our next book club in the summer? Sign up for our newsletter.


The Science Friday Book Club discussion of N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season may have stopped erupting for the season, but we have one more piece of volcanic goodness for you. SciFri producer and chief bookworm Christie Taylor got the chance to speak with Jemisin at our book club meet-up, “Voyage To The Volcanoes,” at Caveat in New York City. Listen for Jemisin’s adventures in volcano research, how real-world events inspired her to build an entire society around disaster preparedness, and how knowing your neighbors can be lifesaving.

At the event, we also spoke to volcanologist Dr. Janine Krippner, who helped debunk volcano myths. And SciFri staffers Lauren J. Young and Johanna Mayer explained how history’s volcanic winters have influenced art (and religion) over the centuries.

So, sit back, scroll, and listen while you ponder what’s percolating deep in our planet—from quakes to shifting plates.

two women sitting onstage with microphones with a plant in between them

Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

two women, one with a microphone, speaks and the other bows to the crowd

Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

two women sitting onstage with microphones with a plant in between them with a slide in the background that says 'hawaiian volcanic eruptions might tirgger heightened volcanic activity on the US west coast. That's a myth.'

SciFri Events Producer Diana Montano and volcanologist Dr. Janine Krippner debunk volcano myths. Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

two women on stage with microphones with a painting of an erupting volcano behind them. one of them gestures widely to the sky with her hand

SciFri Digital Producers Lauren J. Young and Johanna Mayer explain how volcanic winters have influenced art. Read their article to learn more. Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

three women on stage, all smiling and laughing

Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt

audience members sitting at tables with drinks look on and laugh toward the stage

Credit: Daniel Peterschmidt


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Meet the Writers

About Christie Taylor

Christie Taylor is an associate producer for Science Friday. Her day involves diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

About Daniel Peterschmidt

Daniel Peterschmidt is a digital producer and composes music for Science Friday’s podcast, Undiscovered. His D&D character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

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