Non Fiction

The Secret Life of Fungi: Discoveries from a Hidden World

(UK: Elliott & Thompson, October 2020)

(US: Pegasus. September 2021.)

Audio version available.

Fungi can appear anywhere, from desert dunes to frozen tundra, and create anew from rotting matter. They can invade bodies and thoughts; they can live between our toes or between our floorboards; they are unwelcome intruders or vastly expensive treats; they are symbols of both death and eternal life. But despite their familiar presence, there’s still much we don’t know about these secretive life forms.

In this illuminating book, Aliya Whiteley delves into everything from cellular makeup to the fascinating ways fungi interact with their surroundings and other species, as well as the many varied roles they’ve played in our own civilization. The vast potential of these understudied organisms is still untapped; though long used as a source of food and medicine, they could also hold the key to a variety of scientific advances, from agriculture to environmental innovations. The Secret Life of Fungi is a glimpse into their incredible, surprising and dark world: a lyrical tour through the eruption, growth and decay under our feet, overhead, and even inside us.

I write a regular non-fiction column for Interzone magazine, published by TTA Press.

I have written for Mental Floss, Den of Geek, and other online magazines in the past. Here’s a selection of some of the articles I’ve enjoyed writing:

Grace Kelly, Alec Guinness, and the 26 Year Long Practical Joke

Grosse Point Blank: Subverting John Cusack’s Iconic Roles

The Lay of the Land: Weird Possibility in the English Countryside

What it Means when People Play Chess in the Movies

Why the Best One-Off Characters Belong to Asterix

The World’s Highest Unclimbed Mountain (So Far)

Hour of the Wolf, and Other Surrealist Horror Films

In Praise of Not Reading Classic Video Game Instructions

The Stop Motion Animation of Ladislas Starevich

Meet the World’s Smallest Fruit

Cary Grant Screwball Comedies from 1940 you Need to See