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Download What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Randall Munroe Narrator: Wil Wheato Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Required reading across the world.”

    New York Times

  • “Munroe applies reason and research to hypothetical conundrums ranging from the philosophical to the scientific (often absurd but never pseudo) that probably seemed awesome in your elementary school days—but were never sufficiently answered. It’s the rare combination of edifying and fun.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Who better than Wil Wheaton, formerly of Star Trek, to narrate this romp through the world of Randall Munroe—physicist, roboticist, and editor of the website xkcd?…Wheaton’s ambitious performance meshes perfectly with the perspectives and humor of the author. Missing from the audio are the signature stick-figure cartoons from the printed book and website, but Wheaton’s outstanding inflections, pacing, cadence, and timing more than compensate for the loss. So if you want to be thoroughly entertained while discovering what would happen if the world suddenly stopped spinning or a drain appeared in the bottom of the ocean, this audiobook deserves space on your listening device.”


  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 NPR Bestseller
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books, September 2014
  • A #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month September 2014
  • A 2016 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults Top Ten Selection for Nonfiction
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014
  • An Amazon Best Book of 2014
  • A Library Journal Bestseller
  • A 2014 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
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About the Author

Randall Munroe is the author of the popular webcomic xkcd and the science question-and-answer blog What If? Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond. After graduating with a degree in physics from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, he got a job building robots at NASA’s Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the Internet full time, supporting himself through the sale of xkcd t-shirts, prints, posters, and books. He likes candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach—very long walks. Lots of people say they like long walks on the beach, but then they get out on the beach, and after just an hour or two, they say they’re getting tired. Bring a tent. He lives in Massachusetts.