Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to the Future

Here's a book titled YOU CALL THIS THE FUTURE? by Nick Sagan (son of Carl Sagan) and two other authors:

Profusely illustrated, it explores SF predictions of future technology, whether they have come true, and, if not, how close they are to realization. Each device or concept has two or three pages devoted to it. Some topics include flying cars, bionic body parts, robots, space travel, and cryonics. A few present-day marvels far outstrip the expectations of most Golden Age SF, such as calculators, cell phones, and personal computers. Some other examples of long-awaited technology, e.g. time travel, remain as distant as ever. I'm a little surprised that the authors don't include a section on the cashless economy, speculated about as long ago as Edward Bellamy's late nineteenth-century utopia LOOKING BACKWARD. This book is a fun read and a useful resource for SF writers.

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