Post-apocalyptic movies and books often feature humans struggling to survive. That might happen someday for real, and Annalee Newitz wants us to be prepared. "Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction" (Doubleday, $26.95) analyzes Earth's epochal changes, past and possible. Newitz, founding editor of io9.com, casts an optimist's eye forward to how technological innovations may help us avert catastrophe.
Although "Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale" (Harry N. Abrams, $16.95, ages 6-9) has fairy tale elements, Duncan Tonatiuh's children's book takes on a modern topic: the undocumented migrant worker.A papa rabbit goes off to work in the fields of the north. When he doesn't return, his son Pancho sets off to find him, along the way meeting a wily coyote who promises to help.
Canadian radio host Jonathan Goldstein, having no house, wife or kids, dryly counts down to his 40th birthday in "I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow" (Pintail, $16). A sort of deadpan (deader-pan?) David Sedaris, he recounts the unremarkable details of his life and finds something to make the mundane entertaining, the sad unexpectedly funny.
Compressed, copiously footnoted and literary, Bennett Sims' "A Questionable Shape" (Two Dollar Radio, $16.50) focuses on a zombie outbreak's effect on a young man and his girlfriend in a single week, in which he and his best friend undertake a quixotic, zombie-strewn search for a missing father. "Since the outbreak, I have often reflected that the footnote is the typographic mark most emblematic of undeath," he observes, adroitly matching form to story.