Acerbic dark humour meets hardcore science in this mind-boggling exploration of the nine worst ways the world could end
Which will get us first? The supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park? An asteroid hurtling through outer space? Black holes from CERN gobbling up the solar system? An army of deranged nanobots? Or – who knows – alien invasion?
Armed with lavish illustrations and their one-of-a-kind “Catastrophometer”, Dr David Darling and Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch introduce the disasters you never saw coming, unpicking the science that makes them genuine possibilities, and providing everything from survival tips to danger ratings. So sit back, face the inevitable, and discover the delights of the nine oddest ways the world could end.
David Darling is a science writer and astronomer. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Equations of Eternity, and the popular online resource The Worlds of David Darling. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.
Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch is currently an Associate Professor in Astrobiology at Washington State University. His research has been widely published in media ranging from academic journals to The New Scientist.
"A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing. Next time someone tells you, "Cheer up, it might never happen," throw this book at them."
– BBC Focus
"Accessible and entertaining… Brings often complex and abstract threats frighteningly to life."
– Financial Times
"Curiously pleasurable… this will help you get your everday problems into perspective."
– The Independent
"Impressive… Reminds us that the air of reassuring omnipotence that our leaders like to project is mere illusion."
– The Wall Street Journal
"A hearty dose of knowledge seasoned with humor… Clear and informative, this book is recommended for all readers of popular science."
– Library Journal
Fascinating, if sometimes macabre ... A fabulous book that got better with every page - I couldn't put it down!
– Debra Fischer - Professor of Astronomy at Yale University
Nicely written, thoroughly researched, highly recommended. Doomsday is already marked in the calendar.
– Alberto Fairen - Research Scientist at the SETI Institute
The entertaining selection of end-of-the world scenarios is the perfect excuse to learn about science, from the atomic to the galactic and from the terrestrial to the extra-terrestrial.Specially recommended for those who think that the end of humankind cannot cheer you up.
– Alfonso Davila - Senior Scientist at the SETI Institute and Principal Investigator at the Carl Sagan
"A surprisingly cheerful look at the science of how humanity might meet a messy end, from incurable diseases to exploding stars. Who says reading about the end of the world needs to be grim?"
– Chad Orzel
"Splendid! Stimulating, entertaining, and scientifically plausible."