John Hodgman In the great tradition of the American almanac,
The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although best sellers such as
Poor Richard's Almanack and
The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true. Here is a different kind of handy desk reference, one in which all of the historical oddities and amazing true facts are sifted through the singular, illuminating imagination of John Hodgman, which is the nice way of saying: He made it all up.
John Hodgman Welcome to the paperless (or "audiobook") edition of More Information Than You Require, a further compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE assembled and illumined by John Hodgman, a Famous Minor Television Personality. It contains all of the half-truths, fake trivia, amazing made-up facts, and molemanic lore as the paper edition, narrated here almost entirely by Resident Expert John Hodgman, occasionally interrupted by this veritable extravaganza of illustrious and sometimes presumptuous guests: Dick Cavett, Jonathan Coulton, Zach Galifianakis, Ricky Gervais, Ira Glass, Robin Goldwasser, Rachel Maddow, Paul Rudd, Paul F. Tompkins, and Sarah Vowell.
PLUS: This recording includes ALL 700 MOLE-MAN NAMES as they were written and subsequently performed LIVE BEFORE A STUDIO AUDIENCE in an underground lair in Brooklyn, N.Y.
John Hodgman John Hodgman - New York Times best-selling author, semifamous personality, deranged millionaire, increasingly elderly husband, father, and human of Earth - has written a memoir about his cursed travels through two wildernesses: from the woods of his home in Massachusetts, birthplace of rage, to his exile on the coast of Maine, so-called Vacationland, home to the most painful beaches on Earth.
Vacationland is also about Hodgman's wandering in the metaphoric wilderness of his 40s, those years when dudes especially must painfully stop pretending to be the children of bright potential they were and settle into the failing bodies of the wiser, weirder dads that they are.
Other subjects covered include the horror of freshwater clams, the evolutionary purpose of the mustache, which animals to keep as pets and which to kill with traps and poison, and advice on how to react when the people of coastal Maine try to sacrifice you to their strange god.
After three best-selling books of fake facts, Hodgman is finally ready to tell the truth - in the same outlandish, audacious, and inimitable style that has won him fans in every medium he has worked: books, stage, social media, television, and movies.
Rob Reid An alien advance party was suddenly nosing around my planet.
Worse, they were lawyering up....
In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe - and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.
Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.
The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything - and the aliens are not amused.
Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he's an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He's scared of heights. He's also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he's packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.
Soon he's on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has 48 hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.
Robert Sheckley Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2014
Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.
A few words from Neil on Dimension of Miracles: "Dimension of Miracles is probably not [Sheckley's] most famous book…. but I think it's probably his best-loved book. It's about the joys and tribulations (mostly the tribulations) of winning the lottery—the galactic lottery—accidentally. And wrongly. Tom Carmody is awarded a remarkable prize, is taken half way across the universe to collect it, finds himself hopelessly lost, and needs to find his way home again to Earth…to this Earth, not an alternate, weirdo Earth. He's got to get back. And the price is high.
In its style of humor—and even in some of the jokes—Dimension of Miracles is very obviously a precursor of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas actually hadn't read Dimension of Miracles until very shortly after Hitchhiker came out, when people pointed him to it, and he told me that he found the experience almost shocking—it was like reading himself. He was a huge admirer of Bob Sheckley and a huge admirer of this book, and in later life, I had the privilege of introducing both of them.
Now the challenge for me with a book this funny, this strange, this perceptive was to try and find a narrator who was as iconic, somebody who could deliver the goods, somebody who could give you a book like this as it deserved to be given. And the first, and the last, and actually the only person to come to mind was John Hodgman. So I asked John, and he said yes! And he did it; he pulled it off. Listening to John—not just the suave, sensible, sane narrator of this book, but all the peculiar accents and incarnations that he is forced to adopt through here—he does it delightfully, he does it brilliantly, he's really, really funny. And so is this book. Enjoy your journey through a Dimension of Miracles."
Dimension of Miracles is a satirical science fiction novel first published by Dell in 1968. It's about Tom Carmody, a New Yorker who, thanks to a computer error, wins the main prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes. Tom claims his prize before the error is discovered and is allowed to keep it. However, since Tom is a human from Earth without galactic status and no space traveling experience, he has no homing instinct that can guide him back to Earth once his odyssey begins - and the galactic lottery organizers cannot transport him home. Meanwhile, his removal from Earth has caused a predatory entity to spring into existence - one that pursues and aims to destroy him. Carmody is on the run, and he ends up transporting from Earth to Earth - different phases and realities of the planet, which of course is not the time or condition he expects.
John Hodgman Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2013
John Hodgman - best-selling author, The Daily Show's "Resident Expert", minor television celebrity, and deranged millionaire - brings us the third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge.
In 2005, Dutton published The Areas of My Expertise, a handy little book of Complete World Knowledge, marked by the distinction that all of the fascinating trivia and amazing true facts were completely made up by its author, John Hodgman. At the time, Hodgman was merely a former literary agent and occasional scribbler of fake trivia. In short: a nobody.
But during an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, an incredible transformation occurred. He became a famous minor television personality. You may ask: During his whirlwind tornado ride through the high ether of minor fame and outrageous fortune, did John Hodgman forget how to write books of fake trivia? The answer is: Yes. Briefly. But soon, he remembered!
And so he returned, crashing his Kansas farmhouse down upon the wicked witch of ignorance with More Information than You Require, a New York Times best seller containing even more mesmerizing and essential fake trivia, including seven hundred mole-man names (and their occupations).
And now, John Hodgman completes his vision with That Is All, the last book in a trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. Like its predecessors, That Is All compiles incredibly handy made-up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. It picks up exactly where More Information left off - specifically, at page 596 - and finally completes Complete World Knowledge, just in time for the return of Quetzalcoatl and the end of human history in 2012.
16 Hours. Read by Dick Cavett, Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Sarah Vowell, Brooke Shields, Scott Adsit, Robin Goldwasser, Jonathan Coulton, John Roderick, Rachel Maddow, Wyatt Cenac, Stephen Fry, Paul F. Tompkins, and Prominent Ragnarok Denier Dr. Elliott Kalan.
Music by Jonathan Coulton, John Roderick, John Flansburgh, John Darnielle, and Cynthia Hopkins.
Warren Ellis A smart, tight, provocative techno-thriller straight out of the very near future - by an iconic visionary writer.
Some people call it "abyss gaze". Gaze into the abyss all day and the abyss will gaze into you.
There are two types of people who think professionally about the future: Foresight strategists are civil futurists who think about geoengineering and smart cities and ways to evade Our Coming Doom; strategic forecasters are spook futurists, who think about geopolitical upheaval and drone warfare and ways to prepare clients for Our Coming Doom. The former are paid by nonprofits and charities, the latter by global security groups and corporate think tanks.
For both types, if you're good at it, and you spend your days and nights doing it, then it's something you can't do for long. Depression sets in. Mental illness festers. And if the abyss gaze takes hold there's only one place to recover: Normal Head, in the wilds of Oregon, within the secure perimeter of an experimental forest.
When Adam Dearden, a foresight strategist, arrives at Normal Head, he is desperate to unplug and be immersed in sylvan silence. But then a patient goes missing from his locked bedroom, leaving nothing but a pile of insects in his wake. A staff investigation ensues; surveillance becomes total. As the mystery of the disappeared man unravels in Warren Ellis's Normal, Adam uncovers a conspiracy that calls into question the core principles of how and why we think about the future - and the past, and the now.
Koons Crooks What is this tiny audiobook? Who is this Koons Crooks? With its privately printed, anonymously produced 140-copy first printing, Iterating Grace became the talk of summer 2015 in the tech world.
From Buzzfeed to Tumblr to Fusion, people were puzzled and enthralled by the story of Koons Crooks, a young man who took the Twittered musings of the Silicon Valley elite to heart - and ended up on a profoundly unexpected path, leaving behind only the lovingly hand-calligraphed tweets that had meant so much to him. His story struck an immediate chord. There were competing efforts to identify the author of Iterating Grace; blog posts and lengthy comment threads pointed fingers at writers all over the country, from Robin Sloan to Susan Orlean to Dave Eggers. Other early theories supposed it was the tip of an elaborate marketing scheme, and soon all would be revealed. But gradually it became clear that it was simply this: a small piece of literary art, perfectly pitched and driven by a Twain-like bemused outrage, by a creator who did not want to be identified and would not explain anything beyond what the satirical fable said for itself.
Disruptive innovators whose tweets are illustrated in Iterating Grace include: Austen Allred, cofounder of Grasswire; Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator; Marc Andreessen, coauthor of Mosaic, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz; Jeff Bussgang, VC at Flybrige Capital; Tony Conrad, cofounder and CEO of about.me; Benedict Evans, VC at Andreessen Horowitz; Brad Feld, VC at Foundry Group; and many more.