An Important Message to Readers: Buy This Book!

We won’t be coy: As thrilling as this Web site obviously is, it merely represents a ghostly shadow of the crackling penumbra of intensity, whizzbang, and splashdram that exists, like a rocket-powered kaleidoscope, inside the full-text mothership that made it all possible:Apocalypse Pretty Soon, by Alex Heard - a fearless cultural explorer better known around these parts as “the Moderator.”

Hmmm, O.K. Maybe we should have been coy. That sentence is pretty “over the top.” But we can’t help it! Our excitement about this book demands a splash of confusingly written purple prose! If you don’t believe us, consider these enthusiastic endorsements:

APOCALYPSE PRETTY SOON is a funny, amiable, generous tour of America’s bizarre and home-made visionaries.”

--Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States

“Alex Heard is like the best kind of travel buddy. He drags you places you never thought you wanted to go, and you wind up having the wildest time. By the end of the adventure, the once scary and weird starts to seem endearing and familiar, like finding exotic roots in your own back yard. An excellent book, especially for those who think life in America is getting a bit boring.”

--Hanna Rosin, National Religion Reporter, WASHINGTON POST




“Millennialists make easy targets, but APOCALYPSE PRETTY SOON gets plenty of laughs while remaining admirably cheap-shot free. Alex Heard’s enlightening, alarming, yet oddly entertaining exploration of America’s apocalyptic fringe almost makes me look forward to the end of the world. I’d surf a tsunami with him anytime.”

--Jonathan Vankin, coauthor of THE 70 GREATEST CONSPIRACIES OF ALL TIME

Published by W.W. Norton in February 1999 and destined to become a timeless classic taught to generations of drooling schoolchildren, is the culmination of a 10-year quest that started back in 1987. At that time Heard, then many years younger and more “energetic” than his current creaky, fortysomething self, began to explore the strange and forbidden worlds of apocalyptic, millennial, and utopian subcultures. It all started when he received a mailing from a self-appointed holy man in Missouri named Kenna Farris, the “forerunner prophet” of something called “Horse Sense Economics.” Farris’s foamy declarations had to do with the Second Coming of Christ in the year 3000, and though they didn’t make sense then - and they don’t now - Heard was forcefully struck by their urgent sincerity. Farris, it seemed, was not just some wigged-out loony . . .

Rather, he was a wigged-out loony with heart. In a Eureka! moment that altered Heard’s cognitive template, he realized that millennialism is a way of life like any other, peopled by individuals with hopes, dreams, real-world plans to make their strange visions become reality, and a surprising ability to get things done. (And, yeah, a few dangerous delusions. It’s not all sweetness and light out there.) As an on-and-off “hobby” over the next decade, Heard spent time with a variety of millennial and utopian strivers, anyone who looked at the future and said either “aieeeeee!” or “ahhhh, it could be so nice.” In he gets in among them and absorbs their fantastic stories, along the way encountering Christian doomsday believers, UFO cultists, angry right-wingers, “Earth Changes”-oriented New Agers who fear that an angry planet is going to kill off the bulk of mankind, free-nation-building libertarians, immortality hopefuls, “free” energy inventors, astral travelers, Y2K theorists, and more!

The results are packed into dense, tightly reported narratives that carry you through the whats, whys, highs, and lows of end-of-the-century America, with levels of detail, narrative oomph, thrills, chills, and laughter that we can only begin to approach on this (hack, kaff) free Web site.

And now, you probably have only one question: Where do I get it?! That’s easy:

Walk into any bookstore and holler, “Hey! Where can I get a copy of ? No, hold it, make that TWO copies, and while you’re at it, throw in a slim-but-ambitious copy of postmodern poesy by an’out of the box’ hipster. I’m in a buyin’ mood today!”

Order it from

Buy it direct from the publisher, W.W. Norton. Call the warehouse at 1-800-233-4830.