What, me worry?

Author:  Mike Pearl

Day It Finally happens coverYou may think you’ve got enough to worry about.  I know I do.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that you don’t know about that you probably should be fretting about.   Some are more worrisome than others, but nonetheless, they’re there, even if you’ve never considered them.   In The Day It Finally Happens award-winning journalist Mike Pearl explores nineteen scenarios – some more likely than others – that may well give you pause and send your worrying mind down entirely new paths.  I found his efforts both captivating and terrifying at the same time.

Prince George photo

Prince George is currently third in line. Will he ever get to be king?

At the start of each chapter, Pearl sets the stage with a brief dramatization of what a day in the future might actually be like.  This is an effective technique that helps the reader imagine how it might go when human-driven cars are no longer or when a tech billionaire takes over the world.  Some events are almost upon us, while others might not happen for several generations, nevertheless each possibility is intriguing in its own way and the author makes the most of them all.

Yellowstone photo

When will Yellowstone blow up?

Now you may not care if or when the British monarchy is finally abolished or if a baby is ever born on the moon, but these somewhat trivial – if still interesting – topics serve only as brief respites between some of Pearl’s more daunting dilemmas.  What happens when there are no more fish in the ocean?   Or when humans finally achieve immortality?  I’m not sure I want to be here to find out.

Pearl admits that he’s a worrier to the core, but he claims that exploring these topics in a logical and coherent manner makes them seem less frightening.  I’m not sure I agree, as the prospect of events like global nuclear war, flawless electronic impersonation and the complete failure of all known antibiotics are pretty frightening no matter how you slice them.  You’ll have to decide for yourself if you’re brave enough to even pick up the book.

You may choose to keep your head in the sand.  You may choose to increase your intake of vodka.  I’m managing to combine both activities rather effectively.  But whatever your coping strategy, there’s no denying that The Day It Finally Happens is a bold look at an undeniably frightening future.  It’s sure to entertain, although I’m not convinced the author has done this worrier any favors.

— D. Driftless

Prince George photo by Pete Souza//Yellowstone photo by Ed Austin/Herb Jones

Check out Dave’s review of other sobering books about the future:   The Sixth Extinction   /   The Fate of the Species   /   The Medea Hypothesis

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