Talk:2575: What If? 2

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Yay! \o/ Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 15:09, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

Note that there is actually a term for the 13th month of the year, and it's Undecimber. Svízel přítula (talk) 15:12, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

And the Jewish calendar has a 13th month every 2-3 years, since it's a lunar calendar. But rather than a completely different month name, the month Adar is doubled to Adar I and Adar II. Barmar (talk) 16:12, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

This is awesome! I really hope one of the answers is about cotton candy breaking one's fall, since it was foreshadowed in book one. 15:21, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT YAYAYAYAYYAY!!!! Sarah the Pie(yes, the food) (talk) 16:37, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

According to the Simpsons the 13th month is Smarch. What do we do when Simpsons and Randall disagree? Also, pretty sure 2021 was the first year that 13th month aligned with our reality. 17:28, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

I can't shake the feeling that he announced it on 31/01 because it's coming out on 13/09 and that's nearly 13/10 which is 31/01 with the month and day digits switched. But I might be one of those numerology people without realising it --192·168·0·1 (talk) 17:38, 31 January 2022 (UTC)

If you're not, you should count yourself lucky! 18:15, 31 January 2022 (UTC)
 :D great pun, you win 1 internet 🎁 --192·168·0·1 (talk) 15:09, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

The pre-order through all the different sources is good, but **What if** someone wanted a hard copy of the book autographed by Randall?  I don't see any provision for that. RAGBRAIvet (talk) 00:16, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

Is it just me, but is 7 months in advance a bit early to announce a book release? 01:04, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

Seems an oddly advanced announcement to me too, but I guess with transport lines being so messed up, it's an attempt to be prepared well ahead for anything. 05:12, 1 February 2022 (UTC)
Yes. Especially in the world of ebooks and audiobooks which have no distirbution delays. With such a delay between completion and release, I'm expecting an ebook and audiobook edition to be available on the release day. I wonder if this sort of delay is normal in the publishing world, or if Randall is just a low priority for his publishers? 05:05, 2 February 2022 (UTC)
I think it's the opposite. Books have always needed months to actually fully be published, at least properly without resorting to letrasetting and sneaking time on the office photocopier/Gestetner for ultra-small initial runs - and definitely on a simultaneous worldwide release arranged from the start.
What we see here is not a delay from the announcement, but the earlier and earlier time at which the announcement gets to the wider public, even the avid fanbase. Even so, there's probably been at least a month or three since Randall signed the contract and submitted the first proofs (of presumably already a roughly compiled proposal that got him that contract to sign), and distributors like Amazon clearly were tipped off enough to prepare for the release...
And while it might be fairly easy to get the digital print-proofs into eBook format, save for some slight adjustments necessary to make it properly sellable, I imagine the fuss of getting an audiobook recorded (without the complications of sufficiently audio-describing what will surely be an illustration-heavy book) is a task in itself.
I don't know if they've even put ink to paper yet (or given any audiobook narrator the studio time) except for the proof-run. Even if they have started the mass-printing they probably are far from being able to put sufficient stock into shops tomorrow to meet expectations. We're just learning about it once it is officially inevitable (or even a day before!) rather than wandering into a bookshop in mid-September and getting a pleasant surprise, much like has happened for most ordinary consumers of literature across the entire extent of the book-publishing history. (IMO) 09:49, 2 February 2022 (UTC)

This is one of the few times, it is quite explicit that Randall himself is in the comic instead of him as fictional narrator. Sebastian -- 07:01, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

Is it now canon that going forth any character in the actual comic with that appearance is in fact Randall himself? These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 04:59, 6 February 2022 (UTC)

It comes out on my birthday! 09:22, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

Happy birthday! advance. 12:51, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

It's a crummy commercial? Son of a glitch. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This seems like an oddly-specific date to me. When I was at IBM it wasn't unusual for rumors about a product to start circulating more than a year before it would be released, and then IBM would announce that yes, it really was happening and specify something like mid-year of the next year for FCS (First Customer Ship) but the actual FCS date wouldn't be firm until a month or two before the FCS happened . . . and sometimes the FCS would get slipped, even by months like in the case of the S/38 which was the first product I was involved with. Of course, a book is a little bit of a smaller project, but still . . . . 10:16, 2 February 2022 (UTC)

I think for tech releases, you could benefit from juggling the practical (official) release-date much closer to that point, rather than stockpiling a lot of potentially useful items uselessly in a warehouse just to make sure you have them.
Alternately, promising a date based on Just-In-Time estimates then suffering delays that push release back is not a good thing either. (Also misestimating demand, see XBox/etc problems.) So, to stop too much of either, you get the rumour-mill going but make it officially official closer to the confirmed/confirmable delivery time.
A book, probably deliberately scheduled explictly for a particularly popular (pre-)pre-Christmas purchase slot, has less issue being sent to storage for months at a time, and gives you leeway to organise additional print-runs from other partners if any (not uncommon) printing/binding places suffer problems (unlike what we've seen if issues hit one or more of the few specialist chip-fabricators).
There are probably similar pressures and opportunities. But at different scales which changes the optimal buffer-times between various stages (hint, rumour, confirmation, official confirmation, near-certainty, actuality), and all under the microscope of the modern information-led world.
(I remember the early days of Discworld series publication. Suddenly there would be a new Pratchett book in the bookstores, without knowing anything of it in advance, even when it was becoming a twice-yearly probability. By the end, attendees of the Discworld Conventions, and then thus all the readers of various official/fan-led online resources, would know roughly what books were in the pipeline a couple of years in advance and were counting down the days for several of them at a time, pretty much knowing the subject and main characters of them already and wildly speculating about storylines long since set in stone while Pterry had already started to work on the successor's successor, or beyond...)
Not that I know the inside-out of the book industry, and also not so much of the electronics one as yourself, but this is my extrapolation from what I do know/think about them both. I think there's a wide range of possible schedules, with this one not at all being an outlier. 15:10, 2 February 2022 (UTC)

No comic today (Wednesday 2022-02-02)? When's the last time Randall missed a comic? 23:54, 2 February 2022 (UTC)

The 13th month is called Gormanuary.-- 23:54, 6 February 2022 (UTC)

Ick... (...or December, depending upon your chosen version of canon.) 01:16, 7 February 2022 (UTC)

Someone should add in what What If questions correspond to the topics Randall mentioned. For example, '...Planets destroyed, one of them by the soup' is a reference to Soupiter. 'Eating things you shouldn't' is a reference to that one question about rabid animals, etc. 11:29, 7 September 2023 (UTC)me