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Beta Testing the Ongoing Apocalypse

Beta Testing the Ongoing Apocalypse

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By Tom Kaczynski. Published by Fantagraphics.

Hardcover, 160 pages, Colour, 2022. 

In this new, expanded edition, the starting point is arbitrary. From there, the city expands in all directions. At once SF, a contemporary demonology, an occult theory, a mutant utopia and an architectural treatise, Beta Testing the Ongoing Apocalypse is a collection of graphic fictions about the contemporary global megalopolis.

This groundbreaking collection, originally published in an Eisner-nominated, smaller edition a decade ago, has only proven more prescient and resonant to our contemporary times than ever. For this new edition, Kaczynski created the original stories "Billion Dollar Budget" and "Rediscovery of the Real" and annotations. There's also a new foreword by science fiction writer Christopher Brown (Tropic of Kansas) and an entirely new cover design. Tom Kaczynski's graphic short stories trace a complex space-time trajectory from the smallest corporate cubicle out to farthest fathoms of the multiverse. Occult economics, metaphysical traffic jams, Marxist zombies on Mars, secret architectural societies, designer ghosts from the future, and demographics demons are just a few elements of a new untested future eschatology.

"[For the previous edition]: It's not important what happens to the people in Kaczynski's comics; what's important is how they process a world that's crumbling and becoming harder to navigate by the day. They adjust, in the same way that people in a dream learn to accept talking animals or purple skies or whatever other strangeness abounds. And in Beta Testing The Apocalypse, the fact of that adjustment is even more disturbing than doomsday. " — The A.V. Club

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