Bestselling author Craig Childs coming to The Bookworm of Edwards | VailDaily.com

Bestselling author Craig Childs coming to The Bookworm of Edwards

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"I felt like I was standing on a fulcrum, seeing the same shape of land people 20,000 years ago would have seen, balanced between Asia and North America. It felt like a key in a lock, and I began writing this book," reflects Craig Childs.

On Thursday, May 3, at The Bookworm of Edwards, hear from the best-selling author about his new book, "Atlas of the Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America." It's a comprehensive story about the beginning of human contact with North America.

'See what they saw'

Childs' book begins with the Land Bridge and ends with the Party at the Beginning of the World, about 11,000 years ago. Through extensive research, Childs connects time, challenges, climates and human condition.

To begin research, Childs says that he "started by walking and paddling boats, going out to where people had been in the Ice Age to see what they saw. As I racked up landscapes, I started filling my world with journal articles and interviews, filling in the missing pieces."

"Those pieces were giant animals that lived here, their migration patterns, biology, eating habits and then the people who arrived among them leaving spear points, scrapers and fire pits. That's when I started to see the enormity of the task ahead of me," Childs said.

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As an author of wild American places, exploration and the world around us, his new book stemmed from past projects.

"One was a couple decades ago, working on a Pleistocene excavation in a cave near South Park in southern Colorado. We were down in total darkness pulling out bones from multiple ice ages ago, and my job was the remains of an entire camel," Childs said. "I kept thinking that the animal lived on a side of the planet where no other human lived. I got a picture in my mind of a landscape entirely without us, the whole of the Americas on the brink of a species invasion."

The final spark to begin the project happened a few years ago.

"I was on a tundra island off the coast of Siberia and Alaska writing a piece about sea level rise. This was one of the last standing remnants of the Bering land bridge," he said.

'Enough has been discovered'

While researching time periods before the use of written records or histories, the story becomes speculative.

"Archaeology from the American Ice Age is so old that much of the record is missing, buried by rivers, sea levels, washed away, eroded," Childs said. "But enough has been discovered to assemble a story that I believe is a clear picture of who the first people were, where they came from and when they arrived. Much remains speculative, but the core is there."

"Atlas of the Lost World" is for the history and exploration reader, and also for the reader who wants to learn how our culture and communities were born.

"You want to know … how the first people arrived and where they came from, what they encountered. It's too easy to think of now as the only time, when before us was one of the greatest experiments in human history, letting people onto a side of the planet that had no humans," Childs said. "I believe the past has everything to do with the future. We should know what the deep human past is here."

IF YOU GO …

Who: Craig Childs, author of “Atlas of the Lost World.”

When: Thursday, May 3, 6 p.m.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

Cost: $10, includes appetizers.

More information: Call 970-926-READ or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.