Book Alert from Bad Astronomy

I’m stealing this post from because Phil doesn’t have an account to post here and I’m too tired or lazy to write up something original this morning.

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.

Oh, wait– did I say “my book”? I meant to say, my first book.

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!

We’ll defintely read this book when it comes out and I’ll do an interview with Phil. (Get it on your calendar now, Phil, because we want to be the FIRST site to get to review your SECOND book!)


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Yaaaay Phil! This is super exciting news. I want something REALLY smutty inscribed in my copy :D

  2. I didn't even realize he had a first book out- that's awesome and I can't wait to read it! BA is one of my favorite blogs…

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