Bring Out Your Dead; September 2012; Scientific American Magazine; by Steve Mirsky; 1 Page(s)
The scene occurs very near the end (there's your spoiler alert) of what may be the best sports novel ever written, End Zone, by Don DeLillo. (The book came out in 1972, but I'm not clear on the expiration dates for spoiler alerts.) The protagonist, college football running back Gary Harkness, tells a teammate about his hobby: “I like to read about mass destruction and suffering.... Horrible diseases, fires raging in the inner cities, crop failures, genetic chaos, temperatures soaring and dropping, panic, looting, suicides, scorched bodies, arms torn off, millions dead. That kind of thing.”
The fictional Gary Harkness would love the new nonfiction book The Fate of the Species, by Fred Guterl. (Disclosure: Guterl is Scientific American's executive editor, but I'm not holding that against him.) Harkness would adore the first part of the subtitle—Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction—although he would probably be less enthused about the concluding phrase—and How We Can Stop It.