SOLD OUT: Randall Munroe with Dr. Emily Levesque — What If? 2

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of What If? and How To provides his best answers yet to the weirdest questions you never thought to ask

This event is SOLD OUT! There will not be a standby line. Thank you for understanding.

The Eventbrite listing for this event can be found here.

Third Place Books welcomes Randall Munroe—creator of the hugely popular webcomic xkcd—to the stage at Lake Forest Park! With University of Washington astronomer Emily Levesque, Randall will be discussing his latest book What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. This essential book includes illustrated answers to vital inquiries such as:

  • "What would happen if the Solar System was filled with soup out to Jupiter?"
  • "Can all the world's bananas fit inside all of the world's churches?"
  • "How long would it take for a single person to fill up an entire swimming pool with their own saliva?"
  • "Could a person eat a whole cloud?"

Here's what you need to know before you purchase your ticket (not nearly as interesting as the above, but still important you read):

  • Tickets are required in advance. All tickets come with a copy of the event's featured book.
  • NEW! Each ticket admits 1 adult + 1 youth 16 years of age or younger.
  • Tickets must be purchased through Eventbrite. Pre-order of the book will not grant you access to the event.
  • Masks are required for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you purchase a book-bundled ticket but are unable to attend the event, your book will be placed on hold at our Lake Forest Park store. You may request to have your book transferred to our Ravenna or Seward Park neighborhood stores.

Copies of What If? 2 and other books by Randall Munroe will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. (And yes, the weirder the question, the better.)

Click here for more about our COVID-19 policies for in-person events.


About What If? 2. . .

The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.

Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Randall consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airplane-catapult design to clearly and concisely answer his readers’ questions. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.

Filled with bonkers science, boundless curiosity, and Randall’s signature stick-figure comics, What If? 2 is sure to be another instant classic adored by inquisitive readers of all ages.

Praise for Randall Munroe. . .

What If? is one of my Internet must-reads, and I look forward to each new installment, and always read it with delight.”
—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“Randall Munroe is a national treasure.”
—Phil Plait

“With his steady regimen of math jokes, physics jokes, and antisocial optimism, xkcd creator Randall Munroe, a former NASA roboticist, scores traffic numbers in or territory. One key to the strip’s success may be that it doesn’t just comment on nerd culture, it embodies nerd culture.”
Wired, in an issue featuring “the people who have shaped the planet’s past 20 years”

Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers How ToWhat If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If?, and the popular web comic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full time. He lives in Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Adrianne Mathiowetz)

Dr. Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. She has observed for upward of fifty nights on many of the planet’s largest telescopes and flown over the Antarctic stratosphere in an experimental aircraft for her research. Her academic accolades include the 2020 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize, a 2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award, and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Last Stargazers is her first popular science book.

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.