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It's a pretty big achievement to become a published author and have your book get onto the bestsellers' list, but it's even more remarkable when you can manage to do this with a book that has not yet been released.

Randall Munroe, the author of long-running witty web comic strip XKCD about geeks, science, maths and life, has written a book called, "What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions", which features comic illustrations and answers to questions readers have been asking him on the "What If?" section of his website.

xkcd comic - What if I pre-order Randall Munroe's new book?
xkcd comic - What if I pre-order Randall Munroe's new book?xkcd

He announced that he had written the book just two days ago, and although it is due to be launched in six months, it has had so many pre-orders that it is now third on Amazon's Bestsellers' List on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

A typical question you will find in his new book is: "How intense would radio waves have to be to stop a car from going over the speed limit?"

xkcd comic - an answer to a What If? question posed by a reader
xkcd comic - an answer to a What If? question posed by a readerxkcd

Munroe's inevitable answer is that the technology we have produces either too little radiation (it would take the combined radiation of several trillion smartphones to levitate a mere snowflake) or too much (think nuclear-grade), so the best solution is to stand by the side of the road holding a sign threatening to use a radar gun to vaporise cars if they go over the speed limit.

Munroe left Nasa in 2005 to start the web comic website, which now receives between 600,000 to one million page hits a day.

The comics feature anecdotes from Munroe's life drawn in stick figures, as well as witty takes on current affairs and topics geeks would find interesting, from astronomy, space and science to technology, engineering and computer programming.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is on sale for £17.42 on Amazon and will be released on 11 September 2014.