THIS IS HOW YOU DIE is a new short fiction anthology, filled with stories and comics about a world in which a machine can predict how you die.

It just takes a drop of blood from a finger. Then it spits out a sliver of paper upon which are printed, in careful block letters, the words “DROWNED” or “CANCER” or “OLD AGE” or “CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN.”

Nothing else. No dates, no details. And it’s always — always — correct.

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Want to know more? We’re Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo and David Malki ! You may have heard of our previous book, MACHINE OF DEATH, which was a #1 Amazon bestseller and one of the best-reviewed books of 2010.

(Ryan also writes Dinosaur Comics, Adventure Time comics, and wrote To Be or Not To Be. David also writes Wondermark and made the Machine of Death card game. Matt writes lots and lots of short stories.)

MACHINE OF DEATH introduced the concept of the machine that can predict how you die. So many of you read and loved that book that we invited you to send us more stories on the same theme, exploring all-new ideas. THIS IS HOW YOU DIE contains our favorite 31 stories out of the nearly 2,000 submissions we received, all of which take the Machine of Death concept to deeper, more unusual, and even more compelling places.

And already, THIS IS HOW YOU DIE has been named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Books of 2013! Here's a review on Kirkus too! And heck, a super-great one from The A.V. Club!

In addition to the great stories, every piece in THIS IS HOW YOU DIE features an illustration by one of the top names in independent comics — folks such as Ramón Pérez (Tale of Sand), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak), Braden Lamb (Adventure Time), Trudy Cooper (Oglaf), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie, Marceline & the Scream Queens), Lexxy Douglass (The Cloud Factory), Becky Dreistadt (Tiny Kitten Teeth), Graham Annable (Grickle), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), and many others.

The book also contains exclusive comic strips by Kris Straub (Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow), Ryan Pequin (Three Word Phrase), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), and KC Green (Gunshow, Regular Show).

The stories themselves are really diverse, exploring many, many different types of worlds in which the machine is a reality. In the pages of THIS IS HOW YOU DIE you’ll find science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, philosophy, and humor. You’ll tag along with police officers, scientists, rock stars, middle-school kids, aliens, and French aristocrats. Some of the stories are literary in style, while others are red-blooded pulp, and a few are something else entirely.

We’re profoundly grateful to our many supporters over the years, and we’re BEYOND excited to share this book with you. We're exceptionally proud of all the work we’ve put into it, and of the work of all 63 of our amazing contributors. (Who are listed in full below.)

So if what we’ve described seems at all interesting to you...if it’s a book you’re curious about...if you want to support us in our effort to do cool and thought-provoking stuff with anthologies...we have just one request. DON’T WAIT to get the book. Click through to your preferred retailer and grab it right now.

No matter where you get it, and no matter what format you read it in, we hope you really, really enjoy THIS IS HOW YOU DIE.

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And just so you can make sure it’s something you’re going to like, we’ve got a bunch of FREE sample stories you can download!

Here are eight full stories from the book as a free PDF sampler!

Here's the full table of contents for THIS IS HOW YOU DIE (click for bigger):

Thank you, sincerely, for all your support. We had a lot of fun putting this book together, and we’re so thrilled to see other people enjoy it too. Happy reading!

Back to Machine of Death home

The video at the top of the page was directed by Michael Mohan.
Here’s some behind-the-scenes info for the curious!