Once upon a time, it was sound advice to stay indoors if you wanted to be safe from the mean, cruel world. But no more. After reading Robert Brockway’s Everything Is Going To Kill Everybody, it’s obvious that we aren’t safe anywhere. However, thanks to Brockway’s keen sense of humor, when the end comes, at least we’ll all be giggling.
In about 250 pages, apocalyptic scenarios from Frankencrops and supervolcanoes to nanobots and biotech contagions are covered. Rather than focus on global warming or an extinguishing sun that might wipeout mankind in a couple million (or billion) years, Brockway, who is a Cracked.com editor and also the voice behind Ifightrobots.com, focuses on recent scientific experiments, emerging technologies and other potentially cataclysmic situations.
It’s compelling reading, too. As if the story about Stanislav Petrov isn’t enough to grab your attention in a choke-hold, the chapter on super-hurricanes will definitely find you grasping the pages a little too tightly. Imagine a hypercane that could cover all of North America. With sustained winds of up to 500 mph, you wouldn’t last long enough to see debris like railway cars being thrown into low orbit because your skin would be ripped right off your body. Now there’s a pleasant thought.
EIGTKE details North Korean sniper robots capable of making their own decisions to eliminate human targets from more than two miles away. More robot concern is raised when the MKV is explained – a hovering aerial device, armed-to-the-teeth with “a bunch of small missiles, strapped to a group of larger missiles, which in turn are attached to one giant master missile.” As Brockway puts it, “It’s official: the government is taking its ideas directly from the Trapper Keeper sketches of twelve-year-old boys.”
The book is founded in fact, but has more than a healthy dose of humor, which is nice because many of the scenarios are potentially horrifying. However, “most of them are quite unlikely,” says the author, “so, in all honesty, I’m not terribly worried about many of them.” Nevertheless, it’s fun to think about the upcoming zombie apocalypse (page 182), no matter how unlikely (or perhaps likely) it may be.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a book for kids – there is an abundance of profanity throughout the book. Still, if you want to laugh death in the face, Everything Is Going To Kill Everybody is a good way to do it. As it says in the intro: “Although we know we all have to die eventually, there is some small amount of comfort in knowing that maybe it’s something we could all do together, as a team. There is, after all, no ‘I’ in ‘apocalypse.'”
Disclosure: GeekDad received a review copy of Everything Is Going To Kill Everybody.