What if I wrote a book?

For the last couple years, I’ve been answering your science questions on What If.

Today, I’m excited to announce that the What If? book is coming!

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions will be published September 2nd by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Starting today you can pre-order it from your favorite bookseller (Barnes & NobleAmazonIndie Bound).  There are also foreign editions, including a UK and Commonwealth edition and a German edition.

As I’ve sifted through the letters submitted to What If every week, I’ve occasionally set aside particularly neat questions that I wanted to spend a little more time on. This book features my answers to those questions, along with revised and updated versions of some of my favorite articles from the site. (I’m also including my personal list of the weirdest questions people have submitted.)

Preorder today to get a copy as soon as it comes out!

1,119 thoughts on “What if I wrote a book?

  1. Pingback: What if I wrote a book? - Crutch Technologies

  2. I can’t believe *What If?* is a few _years_ old!
    Congrats on the book Randall; I’m looking forward to receiving my copy in a nonfatal manner this September.

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  3. Amazon.co.uk accept to deliver the book to France, so my guess is you can get them to send it to Ukraine.
    I would have rather ordered it from a less ubiquitous employee crushing monster than Amazon, but still getting it.

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  4. I hope this will be available as an ebook as well. Any info on that?

    Cheers!

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  5. Preordered “What If?” Book.
    Instead of “What If?” book, package contained bobcat.
    Would not buy again.

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  6. What if you wrote a book? Answer: a surge of (digitalized) money traveling your way.

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  7. I can’t wait for this book! I know this is probably a stupid question, but if I’m ordering from Australia are there any options for ordering outside of the US or shipping from the UK? I can find your book on amazon.co.uk but not amazon.com.au

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  9. A total non-representative sample of the foreign readers asks for a Kindle version and assures a flow of purchases from Italy

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  10. Release it for Google Play (the UK edition, too, please) and I’ll pre-order.

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  11. Can you explain how (if) the UK one is different than the US one? Perhaps we will be sent a badger rather than a bobcat?

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  12. The downside to a print edition is no title text on images.

    That aside: consider my ass pre-ordered. I pre-ordered a book, too.

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  13. What if? it were on Kindle? I’d totally buy it! I like having digital copies of things.

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  14. What’s the difference between the international versions? Is there any content that’s different? I’ve preordered the “standard” US edition for now but if there is anything interesting in the other ones I might get those too.

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  15. Put me up for another vote for an eBook. Kindle is fine.

    @Matze: Amazon.de has both the English and German edition. Just search for “randall munroe what if” and you get both as the only search results.

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  16. Next fall, there will be a nice surprise in my mailbox. I’m sure I’ve totally forgotten about my preorder by then.

    Isn’t it great when you can surprise yourself?

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  17. Is there any difference between the domestic and foreign versions or is it simply that it can be ordered from amazon.co.uk as well as amazon.com?

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  18. What’s the difference between the original (US) version and the UK/commonwealth edition? I suppose that it might be spelling and imperial/customary units. Will there be an English version with SI units..?

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  19. What If I hover my finger over an illustration? Will I get an amusing caption floating above the page?

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  20. I *knew* it. Randall was saving back all my awesome questions about the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man for the book, and not just ignoring them because they were lame . . . .

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  21. I travel way too much to buy books. I actually don’t have a full-time home. I live out of a suitcase.

    I really want this book, but I don’t want to have to hire a sherpa every time I travel to a new place. What if this book was a kickstarter and there was a perk tier that had the book bundled with a free sherpa?

    Alternatively (and remarkably easier/cheaper to maintain) what if there was an ebook?

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  23. The first hit when searching ‘what if’ on Amazon.co.uk is a book about Hitler. I haven’t tried Randall’s book but I hear it isn’t Hitlery at all.

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  24. This announcement is a slap in the face to Fatal Delivery fans everywhere (it’s an indie band that makes music about undeliverable email). Fortunately, I discovered “What If” before them (also, they are fake). This is a must buy. Congrats, Randall. :)

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  25. +lim i-> 0 (1/i) for an ebook edition (bobcat would be nice too, need something for the front yard). An updated xkcd (e)book would be Awesome too!

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