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Western hemisphere of the moon

The moon explodes and the earth is doomed. Neal Stephenson's 800-page novel "Seveneves" spans 5,000 years of human survival in outer space.

Goshawk in flight

Shattered by her father's sudden death, writer Helen Macdonald began dreaming of wild hawks.  In an effort to move beyond her grief, she bought and trained a wild goshawk — one of the world's fiercest birds of prey.   But between the bird and her grief, she became, in her words "more hawk than human."

At the height of the Vietnam War, on the night of the full moon, a baby girl is born along the Song Ma River in her mother's grave. Her name is Rabbit, and she can hear the dead. In a luminous debut novel, "She Weeps Each Time You're Born," Wisconsin poet and writer Quan Barry explores wartime Vietnam through the eyes of a little girl with an uncommon gift.

UFO

Until more recently, African fiction, like Africa itself, has historically been divided by the polarizing logic of colonialism. But the next generation is taking on genre fiction, including sci-fi. In "Lagoon," written by Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor, aliens land in Lagos.

Demonstrators protest police brutality at a June 2 event in front of the White House.

At the heart of many Americans' fear of Black men is an ugly stereotype — the stereotype of the Black criminal. Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad traces some of our current attitudes about race and crime to the late 19th century, when sociologists first began looking at crime statistics.

In 2010, then-LAPD Chief William Bratton asked civil rights attorney Connie Rice to investigate the biggest police corruption scandal in Los Angeles history, and to train 50 LAPD officers in what she calls "public trust policing."

The high profile deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have raised all sorts of questions about racial profiling and the use of force by law enforcement. For writer Emily Bazelon, the debate has also raised an ethical question: When do you call the cops on an African American man?

texting people in the dark

Could being digitized be a way for all of us to become immortal? Maybe, but not in a way we would particularly enjoy, as this story from listener Mark Pantoja illustrates.

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