CONFIDENTIAL TO THE PEOPLE AT THE SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON CHECKING THIS BEFORE 11AM ON FRIDAY MORNING: Come to booth #1116 (pictured above) at 11 for our This Is How You Die signing! We’ll have several of the book’s authors and illustrators on hand to SCRIBBLE AWAY in a copy that you can take home and cherish.
And/or come on by my own booth (#1229) for a Roll-a-Sketch! Like THESE LOVELY PEOPLE DID (I’ll post bigger pictures of the drawings themselves later):
CONFIDENTIAL TO EVERYBODY ELSE: We have just TWO DAYS LEFT to tally copies of This Is How You Die to count toward our attempt to make the New York Times bestseller list!
If you like, here’s another free preview story from TIHYD — Ryan Estrada’s tale of a MOD call center operative, featured on Wired:
“While overall the percentage of ironic readings is forty-nine percent,” Manisha answered, “with your reading in particular it’s been pretty straightforward. One hundred percent of those we’ve gathered data on have in fact been killed by locomotives.”
“Well, the reason I’m asking is because I just started a new job, and I begin training tomorrow,” the customer interjected nervously.
“No need to be concerned, sir.” Manisha knew what he was getting at. “If training were your cause of death, the card would certainly say ‘training’ or ‘trainer.’ Not simply ‘train.’ While unexpected synonyms are often the cause of ironic readings, the machine always gets the grammar right.”
Training might be the death of me, though, Manisha thought, remembering she had to be in three hours early for her next shift. For the third time in a month she was going to have to trade sleep for a mandatory training session…
I think the concept is a great one, and the first book is quite entertaining. If you’ve read the first volume and are wondering if you should read the second, you may have noticed that one issue with the first is that a number of the stories tread the same ground, making a few of them a bit repetitive. The second book breaks that mold — the editors specifically put out a call for stories that took the concept in new and interesting directions.
I’ve read the second volume, and it certainly does that! A few of the stories do start out seeming like they’re going to be retreads and then you realize that something is wildly different…
What if you haven’t read the first volume? Don’t worry. These are both concept anthologies, not a coherent narrative. Each story stands on its own. All you need to know is the initial concept of a machine that predicts how you die, and you’re good to go. The stories can be read in any order or no order. If you haven’t read the first volume, don’t hesitate to read the second one now and decide later whether you want to read the first one. These are the cream of the crop (though the first volume also has some very good stories.)
Thanks, Brandon! If you haven’t gotten the book yet, I have only one request: DON’T WAIT. And if you have, thank you so much!!