Two weeks to Doomsday… reading

By Phil Plait | October 6, 2008 12:45 pm

My book, Death from the Skies!, comes out in less than two weeks.


Death from the Skies!, coming very soon.

I’ve added a countdown clock in the sidebar of the blog (go ahead, take a peek), as well as links to order it, and a couple of blurbs (one’s from my Close Personal Friend ™ Adam Savage). The clock assumes it goes on sale midnight October 20, but that’s close enough. Assume a bin size of one day.

I have some things I’m doing to promote the book. I’ll be writing some blog posts geared toward it over the next two weeks; so expect a wee bit more doom-and-gloom (but in a fun way!): more gamma-ray bursts, meteorites, solar events, and exponentially expanding collapses of the false quantum vacuum.

Also, I’m doing some press events. Here’s the list so far:

  1. October 21: I’m doing a live interview at Denver’s KUSA (Channel 9) at 12:20 or so p.m.
  2. October 21: I drive back home, and then I’ll be at the Boulder Bookstore that night at 7:30 to give a short presentation with a dramatic reading from the book. I’ll have a meteorite to show people, too.
  3. October 21: I drive home again, and then I’ll be on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory that evening from 2-5 a.m. Eastern time — check your listing. Lots of radio stations broadcast the show (it has 10 million listeners) and many stream it live as well.
  4. December 11: I’ll be giving a talk at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, time TBD.

I’m sure there will be more as time goes on. I’ll update this list as it changes, and report it here on the blog.

I’m hoping to be able to quote some of the reviews coming in; they’ve been very positive, and so I’m getting pretty excited! So tell a friend… it’ll make for appropriate Halloween reading.


Comments (38)

  1. John

    In their latest issue, The Planetary Society has a review of your book.

  2. Libraryguy

    I have ordered a copy for my library…and a copy for myself.

  3. serenity

    No e-version or PDF I take it? :/
    Long, long story, but I pretty much can’t read paper books. Would love to read this one, though (but not by buying a kindle, if that’s what required… besides that’s not onscreen either!).

  4. phil, phil, phil. how i once looked up to you. but here i sit, gazing at that *resealable* shipping envelope which you have so callously torn open.

    just kidding. kudos on the book; it’s on the top of my list :)

  5. MattGS

    Congratulation! Looking forward to reading it.

    Any word from Hollywood yet? That would rock!

    DEATH FROM THE SKIES – based on the book by Dr. Phil Plait – starring Adam Savage as Dr. Phil Plait

  6. In two weeks? No, TOMORROW!

    According to a thread in the Minor Planet Mailing List, our planet will experience a cosmic impact tomorrow October 7th at 1:53 UT.

    The object, 8TA9D69, has an absolute magnitude of H = 30.5 corresponding to the diameter of 1-5 meters. If it enters the atmosphere, it will cause a spectacular bolide, and perhaps something will survive to the ground.

    So no worries. 😉

    But hey, if the orbit is accurate, this will be the first predicted hit!

    Link to data: Notice that predicted minimum distance is < 1 Earth radii.

  7. madge

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Think I might relive my youth and read it under the bedclothes by torchlight!


    I am hoping that someone will give me your book Death From The Skies for Xmas, but I’ll probably get bloody socks — again!

  9. Already on preorder!

    This is BY FAR my favorite review: “Reading this book is like getting punched in the face by Carl Sagan. Frightening, but oddly exhilarating.”
    — Daniel H. Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising

  10. The object, now 2008 TC3, has now a proper MPEC circular —


    The nominal orbit given above has 2008 TC3 coming to within one earth
    radius around Oct. 7.1. The absolute magnitude indicates that the
    object will not survive passage through the atmosphere.

    Steve Chesley (JPL) reports that atmospheric entry will occur on 2008
    Oct 07 0246 UTC over northern Sudan.

    Hmm… fix to my previous post: “tomorrow” is TODAY for you in the western hemisphere! 😉

  11. BigBadSis

    Really looking forward to getting my copy from Borders and seeing you again to get it signed. When on earth will that be???

  12. IVAN3MAN

    ADDENDUM: Lousy cheapskate relatives!

  13. Funkopolis

    Ivan3man, if you get bloody socks every year don’t blame your relatives – go see a foot doctor! It could be serious. At least get a tetanus booster.

  14. wb

    Any chance of this hitting anytime soon? My eyes are going. Hearing still works.

  15. Pisces

    Issac Asimov wrote a similar book back in 1979 called “A Choice of Catastrophes”…….yer in good company there Phil : )

  16. It is on order. The countdown tool is handy as I don’t yet have to stand by my mailbox. I’m saving so much time.

  17. Why aren’t you going an insanely long way out of your way and hitting the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh just to please one loyal blog reader?


  18. I’ll definitely be getting this book.

    I am extremely thrilled for another great informational piece from the magnificent Phil Plait!

  19. It will occupy a place of honor in my bathroom, Phil. ^^

  20. Andre Ferreira

    Now I just need to figure out how to get one in Brazil.

  21. kebsis

    ”This pouch is reasonable”??

  22. Architeuthis

    Please oh please tell me you’ll be on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, that would make my week!

    I should set up a TiVo alert for “Plait”

  23. Woohoo! I’m psyched about Death From the Skies coming out. I ordered my copy back in May and have been eagerly awaiting it. :-)

  24. FrankM

    I’ve also had a copy on order for a while now. Looking forward to finally getting it.

    Phil, you do realize that you’re going to be swamped at TAM7, right? I’m sure you’re hating the thought of all attention. :)

  25. FrankM

    all *that* attention.

    proof reading is a good thing.

  26. TechnoMage

    Really wish an eBook version was available.

  27. AnthonyK

    Looks great. But here’s a question for you and your readers…I understand that to the ancient Egyptians the most precious metal, and one used in their ceremonial emblaming rituals was…iron. So precious and magical because it came only from meteorites (oids/ites, whatever). So is this true, and if so, how much iron really does fall from the sky? Oh, and has anyone actually been killed by a falling sky rock? I know it’s probably all in the book, but I wanna know now.

  28. Jon Frum

    Who’s this Phillip Plait guy on the cover?

  29. Chip

    How about CSPAN-BookTV? Not the biggest audience but you get to talk as long as your recorded bookstore appearance lasts and without commercial breaks – or there’s the option of a BookTV interview. 😉

  30. Already pre-ordered mine. So, no chance of a signing down here in Brisbane, Australia? 😛 Goooo onnnnn, you know you want to. 😉

  31. Peter

    You NEED to come to Sweden and promote the book so I can get a signed copy of it :)
    I guess that will be difficult for you so I, as everyone else, already pre-ordered mine!

  32. Tsk, tsk, Phil. In your impatience, you forgot to read where it said, “This pouch is resealable.”

    Wasting a perfectly good pouch, *Grumble* *Grumble*

    Seriously though, I’m totally getting a copy when it comes out. I just hope you’ll swing around Atlanta sometime soon so I can get a autograph.

  33. Paul A.

    Why is the sun on the cover? I thought the sun was our friend. Did you want something big and red and threatening looking?

  34. Nigel Depledge

    Paul A. –

    I’m guessing Phil disusses Coronal Mass Ejections somewhere in the book, as they can cause extreme intensifications of the local solar wind. (Wasn’t a huge section of the Canadian power grid taken out by one of these some time in the late 80s?). Or, it could be that he discusses the fact that, eventually, the Earth will be destroyed by the sun (or, at best, rendered utterly uninhabitable).

    Or both.

    Still, it’s a nice H-alpha image of the sun.


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