RaveLos Angeles Review of BooksDavid Farrier’s Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils attempts to harmonize poetic and geological time — and does so at a moment when the uncannily rapid pace of climate change has forced us to renegotiate our relationship to the natural and political future. We think in hours and days, not in centuries or millennia, but Farrier sets out to help us overcome this limitation through vivid evocations of what our distant ancestors might uncover thousands and even millions of years down the line ... Using the tools of the poet, Farrier wants us to think more like scientists, to look at our relative insignificance and fragility straight on ... Farrier teaches literature at the University of Edinburgh, nearby the Salisbury Crags, and for him future fossils are really signs that, woven together in a geological stratum, tell stories. Every human deed is an act of communication to someone, someplace; every footprint sends a message ... Farrier speaks the wondering language of close observation that has defined nature writing at least since Thoreau, and arguably since his early modern predecessor, Sir Thomas Browne. He shows us a world rich with sense, everywhere encoded by natural and human activity ... But for all of its literary embroidery, Footprints doesn’t try to enchant the world, or, like conservationist writing, make us love what it is our inaction is destroying. The book is neither clarion call nor elegy. Rather, Footprints is what comes after elegy: a bracing but ultimately therapeutic meditation on the truth that, in the grand scheme of things, nature will always overwhelm us.