Magazine June 22, 2015, Issue

To a Planet Unknown

Clyde Tombaugh (
Our first photos of Pluto will end a pleasing mystery

When the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930, the writer H. P. Lovecraft recognized that this piece of late-breaking news could give one of his far-fetched tales a hint of ripped-from-the-headlines authenticity. He was drafting a story called “The Whisperer in Darkness,” a blend of horror and science fiction that involves lobster-like aliens, human brains encased in metallic cylinders, and “the dark planet Yuggoth, at the rim of the solar system.” (It’s better than it sounds.) Lovecraft was striving to improve the story, and he hit upon the idea of making Yuggoth a stand-in for Pluto. In a letter

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Work-Visa Wisdom

To understand the future of the immigration debate, one must first understand the H-1B visa program. Though not very well known among ordinary Americans, the program, first established in 1990, ...


Politics & Policy

Indefensible Defense

Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Rousing Return

There are few stranger curricula vitae in the movie business than the one compiled by the Australian director George Miller. In the late Seventies and Eighties, he was the auteur ...



Tax Tech

You’ve heard the promise of nanotechnology: Soon tiny machines will repair organs, fight disease, swarm into enemy facilities to disable electronic devices, or even build self-replicating machines on Mars to ...
Politics & Policy


THURBER’S VETERANS They brooded on the porches of Columbus Forty years after ’61, when they went South, crossed the Ohio, battled the rebels And returned. By 1900 there were Still dozens of them left in ...
Politics & Policy


Carry On? Jerry Hendrix is not the first to disparage the Navy’s and the Congress’s decision to continue building and improving the large aircraft carrier. Critics have disparaged this decision all ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The Clintons have created a shell corporation that exists solely to advance their interests and shield them from accountability. It’s called the Democratic party. ‐ Fox News, which will host ...


The Latest