Cary Neeper

Cary Neeper is an avid student of complexity theory, sustainability, steady-state economics, and the impact of cosmology on issues of science and religion. She grew up in the foothills of Hayward, California, where she helped rack dried fruit on her father’s 40-acre apricot ranch. After studying zoology/chemistry and religion at Pomona College and medical microbiology at the University of Wisconsin, she moved with her husband to northern New Mexico, where they raised their family. The Neepers still live in the Southwest with a friendly menagerie of dogs, fish, chickens, geese, ducks and a turkey called Little Bear. Cary plays string bass with local folk, symphony and jazz groups and tennis with local retired physicists. She paints landscapes in acrylics, including the cover art for her first Penscript title, The Webs of Varok. Cary's first novel and Webs of Varok prequel A Place Beyond Man was originally published in 1975 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, Dell, and Millington, London. Cary re-released A Place Beyond Man as an Author’s Guild Backinprint edition, now available from online booksellers. Its themes of sustainability and interspecies cooperation have now grown into new adventures for its human, elll and varok family as they travel the alternate 21st century Solar System in the five-volume Archives of Varok, coming from Penscript Publishing House in 2012–2014. Cary’s other works include two musical science fiction comedies “U.F.F.D.A.!” and “Petra and the Jay,” as well as newspaper and magazine articles, essays, short stories, and book reviews for The Christian Science Monitor.

Who’s Out There?—Focusing On Talent

Complex critters are pretty clever. I’ve enjoyed watching David Attenborough and his “Planet Earth II,” in which he shows…

Who’s Out There?—Anyone of Interest?

Two articles in Science News April 28 and May 12, 2018, focus on what we have learned about the 5000…

Who’s Out There?—Focusing On Complexity and Getting Going

It’s too easy to assume that life is inevitable, given a watery planet and a friendly warm sun. It…

Who’s Out There?—Focusing On Chemicals

On the early Earth, marine aerosols could come in two sizes—bacterial and viral—which might…

Who’s Out There?—Danger?

In Scientific American January 2018,

Who’s Out There?—Anyone In Our Solar System?

In the article “Mission Debriefing” by Cassie Martin (Science News Dec.13/Jan.6, page 31), the author summarizes new findings of…

Who’s Out There?—Geologic Features Favoring Exolife

With high hopes for Kepler 1625b, David Kipping at Columbia University…

Who’s Out There?—Time To Get Real?

For the August/September 2017 issue of PSMagazine.com, Louis Fabiani wrote an article called “How to Make Friends in…

Who’s Out There? The Importance of Getting Real

What I love about this site is that it is “where science meets science fiction.” Here we can let…

Who’s Out There–It’s a Puzzlement

There is a significant disagreement about where life most likely came to be on

Who’s Out There?—Problems and Hope for Life on M Dwarfs

Christopher Crochett in Science News June 29, 2017 summarizes the possibilities and problems for life on planets near M…

Who’s Out There?—Problems Getting Started

Since wet chemists on Earth have not reinvented life from scratch—not one self-reproducing…

Who’s Out There?—Weirdoes or Boring Carbon Critters?

(+Reviewing a Review of the book by Jim Al-Khalili Aliens: the…

Who’s Out There?—Star Chips? (and required reading for students of alife and exobiology)

When I first heard the idea I was appalled. Spend millions of dollars to pepper the vicinity of

Who’s Out There?—Reviewing Astrobiology by David C. Catling

Astrobiology—a Very Short Introduction by David C. Catling, Oxford University Press, 2013 is one of several hundred titles in…

Who’s Out There?—Stuck With Carbon

As a microbiologist (by training), I’ve been delighted with the recent interest Physics Today has taken…

Who’s Out There?—What’s Most Likely?

Life is a continuum of chemical interactions, substantive responses that trigger more…

Who’s Out There?—The Smallest Critter Yet

473 is a huge number when it refers to active players in a cascade of nested complex…

Who’s Out There?—Balancing Probability and Huge Numbers

Are we too easily fooled by our ability to write huge numbers? Numbers that represent how…

Who’s Out There?—Life May Be Rare After All

I’ve been reading THE VITAL QUESTION by Nick Lane, New York, W. W. Norton, 2015. In…

Who’s Out There?—Life May Be Rare After All

I’ve been reading THE VITAL QUESTION by Nick Lane, New York, W. W. Norton,…

Who’s Out There?—Talented Genes

Several things have been noted in this year’s science magazines—things about genes that we should…

Who’s Out There?—Oxygen Producers?

Final proof may soon be found, proof that we are not alone in this universe. What proof? A biosignature…

Who’s Out There?—Anywhere?

In the Milky Way, Kepler data point…

Who’s Out There?—Getting Real About Astrobiology—A Review

Science News April 30, 2016 ran a series of four articles entitled “Special Report: In Search of Aliens.” It begins by…

Who’s Out There?—Creative Chemicals and Genes

In searching for extraterrestrial life, it might be useful to broaden our vision to include the amazing mechanisms that drive…

Who’s Out There – Tectonic Plates?

Looking back over the last few years of discoveries in our solar system has opened our eyes to the…

Who’s Out There?—Water and Genes, The Odds Go Up (1)

The news keeps pouring in—surprising bits of information about exoplanets and micro-biochemistry that make the existence of life beyond…

Who’s Out There—Life’s Struggle On Earth

When we take life for granted, we put ourselves in danger of missing out on its most amazingly complex…

Who’s Out There—NASA’s Astrobiology

On September 29, NASA described its astrobiology program…

Who’s Out There—NASA’s Astrobiology and More

On September 29, NASA described its astrobiology program to a Congressional House Committee,…

Who’s Out There?—The Bottom Line

Here’s another way that our robotic missions might search for life in this solar system.

Who’s Out There?—M Dwarfs and Subice Oceans

Before Kepler 452b grabbed our attention with its near-Earth size orbit in the Goldilocks (

Who’s Out There?—In the Colorado River

Since it’s been so difficult to re-invent life on Earth using wet technology, we shouldn’t ignore…

Who’s Out There?—Possibilities Keep Growing

Some of the new biological findings on Earth can inform our search for…

Who’s Out There?—Possibilities Keep Growing (1)

The more we learn about exoplanets and our own solar system, the more remarkable the universe seems, and the…

Who’s Out There?-Someone Like Us”

Recently, Discover Magazine summarized the widespread evidence for water in our solar system. (“Alive…

Who’s Out There – Focusing the Search

The mast camera of Curiosity has found methane plumes and carbon-based molecules in the layered buttes of Mt. Sharp on…

Who’s Out There—The Importance of Environment

Manfred Eigen in his book Steps Toward Life (

Who’s Out There—Revisiting the Drake Equation

Frank Drake wrote his famous equation in 1961 while planning an early SETI meeting. He came up with…

Who’s Out There—The Probability For Exolife Rises

Looking back at the year 2014—some breakthroughs in both biochemistry and astronomy have made the prospects for finding life more…

Who’s Out There—Right- or Left-Handers or Both?

The artificial life research tide may be shifting at last, from dry  robots…

Who’s Out There?—Something Somewhere Not In Thermodynamic Equilibrium?

In his 1992 book Steps Toward Life, Nobel Prize winner and Director of the

Who’s Out There?—Minimal Cells, on Mars First?

Why does Mars look like a good candidate for generating life on Earth? 

Who’s Out There?—Clues From the Conference “Alife 2014”

First, a follow up on hurdles life must jump in order to get started.  Here’s…

Who’s Out There—Someone Could Be!

In the astrobiology game of life, we seem to be winning on three fronts—the biochemical theory game,…

Who’s out there? In a Lake Superior on Enceladus?

Aerospace engineer Luciano Iess and his group at the Sapienza University of…

Who’s Out There? Tiny RNA Critters?

The recent discovery of different types of RNA may soon give us new treatments for viral infections like Hepatitis…

Who’s Out There? A Problem With Numbers

When we think about possible life in the universe, we soon encounter numbers. There’s too many of them, both large…

Who’s Out There? II. Silicon Gadgets?

Before we talk about other properties of silicon that stimulate both  imagination and technology, we had better review the…

Who’s Out There? I. Silicon Monsters?

Are silicon critters “…as much a staple of as barroom brawls and pistol duels are to westerns.”? (Peter…

WHO’S OUT THERE–Lots of What?

Who’s Out There—Good News For Life’s Chances In Space

It all started with a mystery. Where did the methoxy come from? CH3O was discovered in the Perseus Molecular cloud…

Who’s Out There—Floaters Around the Gas Giants?

Were Carl Sagan and Edwin Salpeter…

Who’s Out There—On Venus?

After landing on the surface of Venus in December 1970, the Soviet’s 

Who's Out There? Reconsidering the Viking Findings on Mars

In their 2010 book We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life, Dirk Shchulze-Makuch and David…

Who’s Out There? Nobody Much on Io?

Thirty-four years ago Linda Morabito saw a crescent-shaped object on

Who’s Out There—Surprises on Titan

In 1980 Voyager One photographed Saturn’s far out,…

Whose Out There? – An Overview of Two Books

The extraterrestrial hunt is on. Expectations of finding alien life are rising, for reasonable building blocks are out there,…

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