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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Randall Munroe

Narrated By: Wil Wheaton

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: September 2014

Duration: 6 hours 38 minutes

Summary:

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd comes this hilarious and informative book of answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

“What If? is one of my Internet must-reads, and I look forward to each new installment, and always read it with delight.”—Cory Doctorow

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  • Kyle Schalin

    Book: If you enjoy thinking of things (hypothetically) blowing up and the highly technical physical behaviors of such phenomena, then this book is for you! The author is brilliant in his exploration of the ridiculous and hilarious in his presentation. I enjoyed this book but took off one star from the rating because, at times, it was a bit too absurd and requires considerable mental effort to pay attention to. Narrator: Will Wheaton is great! Wonderful narration (pacing, inflection, etc) and fun characterization of a book that you wouldn't expect to require that. The humor is accentuated by the performance and makes for a delightful listen.