EDIT: Also, there’s a new article up over at Atom regarding supervillainy and the internet, which is somewhat redundant. My day to update is Tuesday, if you feel like following along in the future. If you like it, please Digg it, Stumble it, Reddit it, Corndog it, Hackeysnack it, ‘Stache-bash it, Whorehose it or, if you like, I guess you could just read it. I may have made up some of those options. It is up to you to decide which.
I just sold my first book!
It’s going to be called Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: A Complete Compendium of the Many Ways Your World Will Die, and it’s all about the apocalypse. It is also, inexplicably, a humor book.
This is the project I’ve been working on for the past few months, and it is also the initial reason that posts were scaled back to once a week. So though I’ll be writing this book over the next year, the post frequency should stay about the same. One thing I want to stress, though, this is not “I Fight Robots: The Book.” It’ll all be %100 new content and %100 real. I’ve been doing exhaustive research on every way the world has actually almost ended, the most viable threats that could end it in the very near future, and the most dangerous experiments just emerging now – that’s the kind of stuff this book is about.
There is also, of course, my hyperventilating, fear-mongering commentary and hyperbolic narrative, and I think it’s turning out to be pretty damn funny so far. The book will be published by Three Rivers Press, a trade paperback division of Random House, whom you may recognize from their other books – like Max Brook’s Field Guide for the Zombie Apocalypse and World War Z and, of course, That One. How on earth they go from Barack Obama to Robert Brockway, I will never understand. I guess if you say them fast, they kind of sound similar.
Do you know why this all happened? Cracked. The publishers were intrigued by some of my Cracked articles and then followed my site for a bit before approaching me. From there it was up to me, but the foot in the door was all thanks to Cracked.com. I’ve been saying the exposure they offer is the single best thing aspiring comedy writers can possibly hope for, and here is the god damn proof. I can now make my living solely by writing, and if I’m very lucky and work my ass off, I have a very real chance at continuing to do so for the rest of my life. If you have any desire to do the same, your first step is clear…
Anyway, I can’t post any of the content, obviously, but here’s the marketing jargon from my proposal to give you a better idea of what the book is about:
Our culture is obsessed with the apocalypse, and it’s easy to see why: As human beings we are all keenly aware of our own mortality, but although we know we all have to die eventually, there is some small amount of comfort in knowing that maybe it’s something we could all do together, as a team. There is, after all, no “I” in “apocalypse.”
This obsession with the end of times is widely represented within our literary canon. There are books cataloguing wacky religious beliefs about the apocalypse, and books addressing the psychological response to it; there are books openly aping other, more successful works by supplying fictional ‘field guides’ to the end of the world, and there are books explaining why it’s stupid to think that it will ever happen. But even amidst this profusion of options, there is not one definitive title that gives the people what they really want: A straight dose of that sick, soul-crushing fear-fix they so desperately desire.
Until now that is. EVERYTHING IS GOING TO KILL EVERYBODY, a collection of twenty-five illustrated comedic essays about the unbelievable and very real experiments, dangerous emerging technologies and terrifying natural disasters that could – or very nearly did – bring about the end of all humanity, will finally give that audience what they so desperately desire: A book that gives them the apocalypse, and gives it to them hard. Just like they like it.
EVERYTHING IS GOING TO KILL EVERYBODY intends to:
1. Explain new technologies, complex scientific theories, and bizarre natural phenomena in clear, understandable terms.
2. Needlessly exaggerate the fear factor inherent in said scientific developments until the reader is left frantically clawing at the flesh about their eyes in a misguided attempt to remove the horrible visions that have been conjured up from the abyssal murk of their collective unconscious, and finally…
3. Probably end on a nice, harmless joke, thus enabling the uneasy, tentative dismissal of these fears through nervous laughter.
4. Then, because the author is a spiteful, petty man: We’re going right back to that horror again.
What this book will not do is take any sort of metaphysical stance on the end of mankind. It will not cover cop-out bullshit like developments that could “irrevocably alter our society.” It will not take the “grand scheme of things” approach by covering stuff like astrological events, billions of years away, that could destroy our long-dead planet. And it will absolutely not take the easy route, by simply fictionalizing some potential apocalyptic scenarios and asking “wouldn’t that be scary, folks?” No, every single subject within this book fits three simple, important criteria: They affect the reader directly, they pose a real threat, and they have not been covered in mainstream media before. To put it more succinctly: Everything here will kill you and everyone you love. It will do it very soon. And nobody’s told you about it yet.
In short, this book will be like paying old people to fight each other: It’s a hilarious, crazy, light-hearted romp… that will slowly but persistently wear away at your morale with the dark realization of your own impotence in the face of impending death. Good times when it’s actually happening, though!
The dramatic, overnight success of websites like Cracked and television shows like The Colbert Report is due to a very large market right now that clamors with equal fervor for both cold, hard facts and cruel-hearted, immature humor. This audience is intelligent, casual, slightly nerdy, and very willing to spend their money to be entertained. And as you can see, the massive success of these other books in the genre also proves that they’re avid readers both online and off:
Max Brook’s blockbuster hit, The Zombie Survival Guide, definitively proved that everybody is a secret masochist and has a schoolgirl crush on the end of the world. Combining humor with the end of days is a sure-fire success, and where Brooks’ book covered in great detail what a realistic response to a fictional zombie apocalypse looks like, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody will compliment that knowledge with some very real ways that apocalypse could come true.
People that bought The Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox will love this book for its incisive, critical voice, its ridiculous, hyperbolic analogies, and its crass, sharp-tongued humor. Everything is Going to Kill Everybody will be a book by complete bastards, about complete bastards, and for complete bastards. And everyone is a complete bastard, when it comes right down to it.
How to Survive a Robot Uprising, by Daniel Wilson showed that the appeal of Max Brooks’ books did not lie in their depiction of zombies, but in their description of the apocalypse in general. Everything is Going to Kill Everybody will contain real life robotic assassins, as well as mind-controlling parasites, killer plagues and impending natural disasters; basically, whatever apocalyptic scenario gets your particular, twisted rocks off – we’ve got you covered. It is a veritable encyclopedia of death, terror and, of course, comedy.