Comedy writer Kutner ’94 explores imagined futures

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(Courtesy Rob Kutner ’94)
New book: The Future According to Me, By Rob Kutner ’94 (Kindle Digital Services)
 
The author: Kutner, a longtime comedy writer whose credits include The Daily Show, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and Conan, made his mark on campus humor as an early member of the improv troupe Quipfire! and a writer for the Princeton Triangle Club. He published his first book, Apocalypse How: Turn the End-Times into the Best of Times, in 2008.
 
The book: Billed as a comic review of “what could be, but probably shouldn’t,” The Future According to Me is a quick read, densely populated with jokes about 35 imagined futures. Kutner draws on current topics that may not seem like natural fodder for jokes (for instance, global warming and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), and uses several formats – brief stories, lists, journal entries, and even a Dr. Seuss-inspired poem. The book has been published electronically as a “Kindle Single,” an e-reader category that includes essays, novellas, and other short works. (The book is accessible from any computer or e-reader; see Kutner’s website for purchasing information.)
 

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Opening lines: [From “The Junkyard,” one of Kutner’s 35 sketches]
In the future, you can change your parts as easily as you change your pants.
This gives all of mankind access to hawk-like eyes, ears that can hear a pin dropping onto a pillow thousands of miles away, and noses that can smell the pollen stirred up by that pin drop and cause the hawk-eyes to begin watering immediately.
At least, that’s the theory. In practice, people pretty much just swap genitalia.
Men become women, women become men – often, due to a long bathroom line. …
 
Review: Author and Amazon.com reviewer Paul Diamond wrote that Kutner’s “ironic, absurd, and downright bizarre” science-fiction scenarios “are reminiscent of futures that Kurt Vonnegut, or his character Kilgore Trout, might have explored in depth.” As of July 27, the book ranked sixth on the bestsellers list for Kindle Singles.

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