Monday, April 24, 2023

REVIEW: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (nonfiction book) by Randall Munroe

What If? is humorous nonfiction. I checked my copy out from the library.


It's starting to look like Randall Munroe is my go-to author when I'm sick. Many of the What If? scenarios scratch something like a humorous sci-fi itch for me, but without the expectation that I keep track of groups of characters and whatever's going on with them in particular.

My absolute favorite chapter in this volume is "Periodic Wall of Elements," in which Munroe lays out what would happen if someone, somehow, built a periodic table out of bricks, where each brick was made of its corresponding element. However, as with What If? 2, I generally enjoyed any chapter that involved lots of destruction.

I don't really have much to say beyond that. This was technically a reread, but my first time through was in audiobook form. While I recall Wil Wheaton being an enjoyable narrator, the illustrations alone make this better to read in print. 

Oh, one thing I'll add: the chapter "Common Cold" ("If everyone on the planet stayed away from each other for a couple weeks, wouldn't the common cold be wiped out?") felt really weird to read after the past few pandemic years and the period of sorta kinda lockdowns (in the U.S., at least).

I have a copy of Munroe's How To waiting on my TBR for the next time I get sick. Hopefully it'll get to sit there until at least 2024.

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