Category ArchivePodcast Episodes

Podcast Episodes &Vol2 Updates 12 Dec 2013 02:41 am by David !

THIS IS HOW YOU DIE is an AV Club Favorite of 2013! + “ROCK AND ROLL” podcast!

We’re incredibly proud to announce that the AV Club has named This Is How You Die one of their favorite books of 2013! Tasha Robinson writes:

…This follow-up, again consisting of short stories and other works exploring the possibilities of the device, irons out every flaw from the first collection, while pushing the stories to much more diverse extremes.

There’s an impressive amount of color and genre range in these stories, but also a touching amount of humanity: The theme keeps pushing the individual authors back toward the idea of understanding and accepting their mortality.

Some of the stories are funny, some are odd, and some are brilliant, but they’re all deceptively smart about exploring all the ways individuals come to terms with death.

AW SHUCKS. Thanks, Tasha! We like it too.

TRUE FACT OF SCIENCE: This Is How You Die makes a great gift this holiday season!

It’s available in print (of course)…

And as an ebook (of course) for Kindle/Nook/iBooks

And also as an audiobook, with the stories read by four alternating narrators! Grand Central has kindly given us permission to post one of the audiobook stories on our podcast.

“ROCK AND ROLL”, by Toby W. Rush.
Read by Rachael McCabe. (23 min)

“So how many of Stephen’s concerts have you been to, Amanda?” Julie had a devious sparkle in her eye. Amanda felt a knot form in her stomach, realizing that she couldn’t answer the question honestly and still maintain any pretense of holding the upper hand. She resigned herself to her place, knowing at least that Stephen would not want her to lie about it.

“This is my first,” she replied, mustering her confidence. “But I’ve been a huge fan since Death by Rock and Roll.” She made sure to name-check Stephen’s first album, if only to prove her devotion.

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Toby W. Rush is a professor of music theory by day and an author by night, or at least whenever the kids are in bed and only after the dishes are done. He lives in Centerville, Ohio, where the drivers are friendly and the wi-fi is strong. By the time you are reading this, he hopes to have scraped something together worth discovering at or at @tobyrush.

In the book, “ROCK AND ROLL” is illustrated by Meredith Gran!

Podcast Episodes &Vol2 Updates 12 Feb 2013 03:36 am by David !

MOD2 Interview & Card Game Announcement

The time is drawing near for This is How You Die! We just returned the copy edited manuscript, and we’re having marketing conversations with the folks at Grand Central. I’m really excited for some of the stuff we have planned — if there’s anything MOD stands for, it’s doing cool stuff for the sake of it and hopefully we’ll get a chance to do some really cool stuff in service of this book.

In the fall of 2011, we held our Super-Stupendous Magic & Variety Show in Hollywood. At the close of the program, our friend and colleague Kris Straub chatted with me and Ryan about the process of choosing the stories for the book, as well as what we’re looking forward to. Here it is for your listening pleasure, and it’ll be on our podcast feed as well.

Kris Straub interviews Ryan North & David Malki ! (25 min)

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Kris and I are also working together on something else — he and I have been designing an official, super-fancy Machine of Death card game. Here we are at a special shoot we just did for a promo video:

I’m really excited for the game — we’ve been working for months on making it super fun to play and neat to look at. A feast for every sense. Our pals Nika Harper (of podcast narration fame) and Jordan Morris (of Jordan Jesse GO) helped us shoot the promo video; both very funny people experiencing this incarnation of the game for the very first time, and they either really enjoyed it or lied to me very convincingly!

The game will be going up on Kickstarter this week. Kris designed dozens of original cards for the game, and we’re hoping to make it a very pretty package. More information on this to come, once it’s available for pledging! UPDATE: IT’S LIVE!

Podcast Episodes 21 Sep 2012 01:45 pm by David !

Podcast 34: “CASSANDRA”, by T.J. Radcliffe

“CASSANDRA”, by T.J. Radcliffe.
Read by the author. (25 min)

It was like that movie, back in the day, where the machine asks the kid, “How about a nice game of chess?” 

“No,” he types back. “Let’s play Global Thermonuclear War.” 

That’s what the slip of paper in my hand read. “Global Thermonuclear War.” 

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T.J. Radcliffe is a mercenary scientist and poet who probably lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. When not sailing or hiking he writes poetry to go with the whimsical and beautiful images created by Hilary Farmer at, with whom he has also written a illustrated serial Web novella,, and an illustrated poetic story inspired by the Doctor: He can be reached via his website: where he writes about poetry, probability, politics and physics, sometimes all in the same post.

In the book, “CASSANDRA” is illustrated by Matt Haley!

Podcast Episodes 24 Aug 2012 12:45 am by David !

Podcast 33: “?”, by Randall Munroe

“?”, by Randall Munroe.
Read by Howard Tayler. (10 min)

He had not read his slip of paper. It was folded in an envelope in his left pocket. In his right pocket were several books of matches, and he was wearing a backpack. He pushed his way through the scrubby pine trees on the west border of the barrens.

“This isn’t how it works, you know. The machine is playing word games.”

He hopped across a clear stream, feet sinking into the sandy bank on the other side, wetness seeping over the soles of his sneakers. Water was bad. He needed dry brush.

“The universe doesn’t work by word games. You have to think with words to play word games.”

He kicked at a snake, daring it to bite, but it disappeared into the undergrowth.

“You can’t just say what’s going to happen ahead of time. That’s not how physical law works. That’s narrative. And when reality is twisted to fit narrative, that’s not natural. That’s someone making stories happen.”

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Randall Munroe, a cartoonist from southern Virginia, is the creator of the webcomic xkcd, one of the most popular comics on the Internet. Formerly a roboticist at NASA, he now makes a living writing comics. He spends his time drawing, traveling, and training computers to beat humans at Rock-Paper-Scissors. He lives in New England.

Howard Tayler is the creator, writer, and illustrator of Schlock Mercenary, the online comic space opera. His witty dialogue, epic plots, and exploitation of all those little things the science-fiction genre has to offer have earned him praise, a Hugo nomination, and a full-time living. You can also listen to him as the co-host of the podcast Writing Excuses.

In the book, “?” is illustrated by Kazu Kibuishi. This podcast episode was edited by Matthew Schwartz.

Podcast Episodes 16 Aug 2012 09:42 pm by David !

Podcast 32: “DROWNING”, by C.E. Guimont

“DROWNING,” by C.E. Guimont.
Read by Sean Casey. (23 min)

I saw the first ads in March. A week or two later it was all over the news, and then for the next few months you could not get away from it. Still, none of us expected it to have the impact it did. It was a killer. By November I had only had eight or nine dreams when I used to have three or four a week.

This is how I make my living. I have a dream and then I wait. Eventually they come to the office or sometimes I run into them somewhere else, we talk about it, and they give me money.

At least, that is how it had been working.

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C.E. Guimont lives in Berlin, Germany. His previous two novels, The Ten Lies She Told Me and The One or Two I Told Her and That Business With the Rabbit are in Staten Island’s Fresh Kills dark archive.

Sean Casey is a writer and performer living in Los Angeles. He is one of the owners of M.i’.s Westside Comedy Theater and can be found there teaching or performing in The Grind on Thursday nights. He’s written projects for Just For Laughs (Montreal Comedy Festival), Warner Brothers and Sony. His performances include over 400 touring dates with Mission IMPROVable, along with various shows at The Comedy Central Stage, IO West and UCB Theaters. He trained in Chicago and attended The College Of William & Mary.

In the book, “DROWNING” is illustrated by Adam Koford!

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