Ira Nayman's What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions! was published in March 2015.

Information about Ira Nayman:

Ira Nayman once shot a man in 3-D to watch him dye.

Okay, okay, Ira Nayman is the author of three novels; he has also self-published five collections of Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) articles in print. "The Weight of Information," the pilot for a radio series based on ARNS articles, can be found on YouTube. He updates his Web site of social and political satire, Les Pages aux Folles (, with new writing and cartoons on a weekly basis. Ira won the 2010 Swift Satire Writing Competition.

Oh, as you may have noticed, he is not above puns.

Information about What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions!:

You say you're surprised that the boyfriend you created in virtual reality isn't as exciting as the guy he is based on who dumped you IRL was? The pizza you used your 3D printer to create was inedible, and now you're thinking of using it as a hubcap for your car? Do you really want a 30,000 year-old virus that was preserved in ice and could cause untold amounts of damage to your body just because one of your classmates got one and you're jealous of her?


Poor judgment abounds in What the Hell Were You Thinking? Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions, the sixth collection of Alternate Reality News Service articles written and published by Ira Nayman, and the second to feature the advice columns Ask Amritsar and Ask the Tech Answer Guy. Even in worlds where superheroes pine for the love of ordinary people, unaware that behind their civilian identities they, too, are superheroes, where children swear off technology when their parents fiend them on Farcebook, and where you never know if the eye movement behind the glasses was a wink or a computer command, people make bad, bad, very bad choices. But, just between you and me, bad choices make for great advice columns!


Ira Nayman's What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions! is one of the best and most amusing humour books available for speculative fiction readers. I was impressed by it, because it was good and wonderfully satirical entertainment from start to finish.

Before I write more about this book and its contents, I'll present three questions to the readers:

1) Do you like science fiction humour?
2) Do you enjoy reading humorous books and stories?
3) Have you ever wanted to read a book that's so funny that you'll often find yourself laughing out loud while reading it?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, look no further, because you've found what you're looking for. Ira Nayman's What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions! is an excellent book for you, because 1) it contains science fiction humour, 2) it's an enjoyable book for readers who want to read funny and humorous books and stories, and 3) you'll most likely laugh out loud when you read it.

What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions! is part of the brilliant Alternate Reality News Service series. It's full of humour that will please fans of clever and satirical humour. It's a perfect companion book to The Alternate Reality News Service's Guide to Love, Sex and Robots, which was published in 2013 (if you've read The Alternate Reality News Service's Guide to Love, Sex and Robots and liked it, you have to read this book).

This book doesn't have a normal and traditional narrative structure, because it's a guide book. The contents of this book have been divided into five sections:

1. "Just because it happened doesn't mean it's true."
2. "If you can't stand the Heat, get out of Miami."
3. "Lepidopterist trolls are the worst."
4. "Viruses are not fashion accessories."
5. "Lovers Lane - secluded haven for dozens of horny teenage couples every night."

(The greetings cards that can be found at the beginning of each section add a nice touch of style to the book.)

What the Hell Were You Thinking?: Good Advice for People Who Make Bad Decisions! opens with an interesting glimpse into a meeting between Brenda Brundtland-Govanni (the editrix-in-chief of the Alternate Reality News Service), Amritsar Al-Falloudjianapour, The Tech Answer Guy, The Biz Whiz and The Language Corrector Dude. This is an amusing glimpse into what happens when different kind of persons sit around the table and discuss things and totally ignore The Language Corrector Dude. This meeting gives readers an opportunity to see what the author has in store for his readers, because it offers a good sample of his sense of humour.

This book is a collection of questions and answers from two unique advice columns, Ask Amritsar and Ask The Tech Answer Guy (Quiz The Biz Whiz advice column also makes an appearance in this book). If you happen to think that this book is your normal kind of advice book, you'd better think again, because there's nothing normal about this book. Nothing is too bizarre or crazy for Amritsar and The Tech Answer Guy, because they give advice to all kinds of  problems that range from romantic problems to technical problems. I can guarantee that this book will astound you with its wondrous contents, because it offers unique, satirical and imaginative advice to various problems.

What's common for all the questions in this book is that people who ask the questions are in need of serious advice, because they've made bad choices etc. We all know that it isn't nice to laugh at anybody's misfortune or bad choices, but in this case it's allowed to laugh at them, because this is a humour book and some of the questions are delightfully absurd and fascinatingly weird.

This advice book is a brilliant and stingingly funny satire/parody of normal advice books and advice columns. Everyone who has ever read any kind of advice columns will easily notice how clever the author is and how well he manages to add a satirical edge to the many different themes and issues mentioned in this book. Nothing is safe from Ira Nayman's quirky and sharp humour, because he unbiasedly delivers new, funny and thought-provoking perspectives to different problems. His stinging humour will please all readers who love clever and witty humour.

I was amazed at the author's vast knowledge about popular culture, because all the references to popular culture are inventive and fit the prose perfectly. I'm sure that if you have any kind of knowledge about popular culture - books, films, music, singers, actors, actresses etc - you'll be laughing out loud at many points when you read this book.

I have to mention separately that because I'm an IT engineer/consultant by profession, it was fascinating for me to read about what kind of advice was given to problems related to technology, computers, e-book readers etc. I'll also mention have to mention that such things as World of Warcraft, Facebook, Goodreads etc also get a humorous treatment in this book.

It was fascinating to read about digital tattoos that displayed favourite TV shows and advertisements. I also enjoyed reading about 3D printers etc, because the author wrote well about technology and new inventions.

It's interesting that the author even manages to refer to terrorism in an intriguing way in this book. This is something that not many authors are capable of doing.

Relationships and sex get an unforgettably satirical, sarcastic and sharp treatment in this book. The author offers interesting views about sexuality to his readers. For example, it was amusing to read about how the society has changed and how getting porn has changed over the years and what kind of effects it has had on people.

It was fascinating to read about how cloning could effect a person's love and sex life. The answer to this question was totally unique and included observant comments about clones. I also enjoyed reading about how a person noticed that sex can be found everywhere. The answer to this problem was unique, because it involved Augmented Reality Spex that could be configured in different ways.

It's great that the author manages to address such relationship problems as difficulties with a new version of one's boyfriend in this book in a funny way. This is something that is seldom found in humorous books.

Because I'm a big fan of Lovecraftian weird fiction, it was intriguing that even Cthulhu was mentioned in this book. It was a positive surprise.

In my opinion the questions sent by "Tommy from Tacoma" and The Tech Answer Guy's answers to them demonstrated well the author's ability to write something different. It was fun to read these questions and answers, because "Tommy from Tacoma" and The Tech Answer Guy went a bit too far and Brenda Brundtland-Govanni had to step in to put a stop to what they were doing.

Here's a few additional examples of what readers can expect from this book:

The question sent by "Grabby MacElmore" is a good example of a funny question that deals with sexuality. The question sent by Indus Fischel is an interesting question about Home Universe GeneratorTM and the lives of the question sender's different versions in other universes. The questions and answers related to computer games and game reviews are also very amusing- Readers will also get to know what kind of a phone app Far Klempt is and they will find out many other things.

What I've described here is only a small part of what this book has to offer for readers. You're in for a real treat when you begin to read this book.

One of the best things about this book is that the author assumes that his readers are intelligent and capable of thinking for themselves. It's great that he doesn't underestimate his readers in any way. The more you know about the world around you, the more you'll enjoy this book.

Ira Nayman's humour is pretty close to Douglas Adams' humour, but goes far beyond it. I know that many readers are fond of Douglas Adams' books and consider them to be the best humorous science fiction books ever written. I dare say that Ira Nayman's humour is sharper than Douglas Adams' humour, because he writes different kind of humour and dares to be more satirical. He has courage to write sharp and stinging prose that sparkles with creativity and imagination in a unique way. Ira Nayman's humour is almost like a love child between Douglas Adams and Monty Python that has been baptized by David Sedaris and Stephen Fry.

Just like in Ira Nayman's earlier book (The Alternate Reality News Service's Guide to Love, Sex and Robots), the answers given by Amritsar Al-Falloudjianapour and The Tech Answer Guy often reflect their personal views about certain issues. This adds a fascinating and deliciously juicy flavour to their brilliantly satirical and funny yet observant answers. One of the best things about this book is that the answers are often totally unpredictable and may include all kind of advice and comments that you wouldn't normally associate with the problems. It's nice that in this book the author reveals a bit more information about these two characters and their preferences, because it adds depth to the characters.

All of the problems are unique and original, and so are the answers. I can guarantee that you won't find anything like this anywhere else, because only Ira Nayman can write something like this. He's truly a one of a kind author when it comes to writing satirical science fiction prose.

I'm sure that when you finish reading this book, you can't help but wonder how the author has managed to write it, because it's brilliant in many ways. It's simply amazing that the author has come up with all the humorous material in this book, because nothing feels forced.

Ira Nayman's humour is wonderfully satirical and witty. He has his own kind of writing style, and he even dares to address many difficult themes and issues that are normally left untouched by most authors. Not many authors are capable of writing this kind of humorous prose, because it takes plenty of talent and vision to write something like this.

I have to mention that it was interesting that the author managed to make a funny comment about his own book (The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Mutant Technologies) in one of the answers.

When I read this book I noticed that the author has unrestrained enthusiasm when it comes to entertaining his readers. He fluently writes about all kinds of problems and solutions to the problems, and he never lets them become dull or boring. The questions and answers are at their best brilliantly absurd and "out of this world".

This book was so funny that I laughed out loud on many occasions while reading it. I don't normally laugh out loud while reading books, but in this case I just couldn't help it, because the author's stinging comments about certain things were genuinely funny and inventive. The previous book, The Alternate Reality News Service's Guide to Love, Sex and Robots, caused me a couple of sleepless nights, because I couldn't stop reading the questions and answers and so did this book too (reading this book is worth a couple of sleepless nights).

I look forward to reading more from Ira Nayman, because he's one of the few modern authors who genuinely manage to write something different. He's also one of those rare authors who have a talent for writing satirical prose that's coated with witty and perceptive commentary about modern way of life and internet culture.

If you've ever read Douglas Adams, David Sedaris, Stephen Fry or other similar authors and have liked their books and stories, you should take a look at this book, because Ira Nayman's humour will most likely be to your liking. If you're already familiar with the Ira Nayman's books, you should read this book immediately, because it's humorous entertainment from start to finish. (By the way, when you begin to read this book, it's good to be prepared to chuckle, giggle and laugh out loud on many occasions.)

Excellent and hilarious humour book!

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