The ancient Egyptians would have known it as the sixth day of Pachon. The Mayans named it 4 Ahau 3 Kankin. To us it is 21 December, 2012. On this day, it is said, the world will come to an end. This is not the first time we've been told that our time is up. And - touch wood - it probably won't be the last. Religious and secular, past and present - Apocalypse covers each and every one of our prophesized dooms: featuring asteroids, Antichrists, solar flares, Singularities, Utopias, UFOs, Zoroastrians and Zapotecs, to mention but a small few. The result is a thorough history of one the most fascinating threads of our cultural existence: spanning from the first warnings of our ancient ancestors, to the contemporary (yet equally glum) forecasts for our future.

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