Big Announcement Part 1: My next book!

Big Announcement Part 1: My next book!

Big Announcement Part 1: My next book!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
April 8 2007 9:09 PM

Big Announcement Part 1: My next book!

In 2002, my book, Bad Astronomy, was published. It's done pretty well over the years (20,000+ copies sold; not bad for a popular science book), and recently went into its sixth printing.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Oh, wait-- did I say "my book"? I meant to say, my first book.

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Yes, you read that right. After 6 frakkin' years, I'm finally writing a second book.

It's called "Death from the Skies", and it's about all the myriad ways astronomical events can wipe out (or seriously mess up) life on Earth. There have been books covering this topic before, but not with much breadth and depth simultaneously, and none I have seen are really thorough. I have all sorts of ideas (you like asteroid impacts wiping out all higher forms of life on Earth? That's only chapter 1!), so this should be a fun book. I'm really tired of doomsday criers scaring people and scamming their money, so this should act as something of a mitigation. I want to be accurate, and I want to make sure that people understand that while the effects of a Galactic gamma-ray burst would good and truly suck -- oceans boiling, atmosphere ripped off, the crust of the Earth melted to a depth of many miles, stuff like that-- the odds are vanishingly small. How many people do you know who have been killed by a GRB?

There is a long and complex backstory to the publication of this book, and I won't bore you with details here (but if you recognize the idea, I wrote about this topic -- with the same title! --for my article in the June 2006 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine). The hardcover (!) book will be published by Viking Press, and is due out in Spring of 2008.

Yikes! That's pretty soon! Pardon me, but I gotta go: I need to get writing. Oh-- the book is the reason I put Q and BA on hold for a while too. I need my weekends to write. Other than that, I don't expect the book will affect the blog too much -- you may see two posts a day instead of three, but soon I think I'll have more spare time to write and still get Q and BA back on track... Oops! I've said too much for now. I'll save that bit of news for Big Announcement Part 2. Stay tuned!