You Call This the Future?: The Greatest Inventions Sci-Fi Imagined and Science Promised

Nick Sagan, Author, Mark Frary, Author, Andy Walker, Author Chicago Review Press $14.95 (160p) ISBN 978-1-55652-685-5
Science fiction writer Sagan (Idlewild) teams up with journalists Frary (Codebreaker) and Walker (Absolute Beginner's Guide to Security) for a delightful ""expedition in search of the future,"" providing clear explanations of today's cutting-edge technologies in transportation, computers, weapons and domestic life to find where science fiction has become reality. They explain why the jet pack, first featured in Buck Roger's 1920s comic strip, is a loser, but that a flying car appears promising. Jules Verne comes out a big winner with his 1865 prediction of the space shuttle in From Earth to the Moon, as do the 1966 Star Trek episodes featuring pocket computers, Robert Heinlein's 1940s short story anticipating cell phones, Dick Tracy's video-phone and Da Vinci's mechanical knight (forerunner to the humanoid Honda Asimo robot and the Roomba vacuum cleaner). Also included are amazing in-development devices such as the eyephone (suggested in a 1952 story by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth), which projects visual images directly onto the retina, with potential for helping the vision-impaired. Full-color photos, charts, graphics and diagrams make each profile pop, taking readers seamlessly from H.G. Wells to military stealth technology (and the promise of a real invisible man).
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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