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Nick Sagan,Mark Frary and Andy Walker

Future Proof

We live in a world full of gadgets, but we don't seem to have reached the futuristic world imagined by so many. In Future Proof: The Greatest Gadgets and Gizmos Ever Imagined Nick Sagan ,Mark Frary and Andy Walker look at the gadgets we have and some of those that didn't quite make it.

The book consists of 5 sections, which are 'Travel and Transportation', 'Computers, Cyborgs and Robots', 'Communications', 'Weapons and Security', and 'Life, Health and Sex'. Each section has 10 short articles, each describing how far we have got with a futuristic item, as well as telling of sci fi stories in which it is involved.

I liked the first two articles on flying cars and personal jetpacks, but most of the book was a bit of a let down. When it gets on to things which have been achieved it doesn't actually have a particularly 'futuristic' feel, it is more of a history of technology, which is hard to do in an interesting way. The links to sci fi are too short to add much interest. But worst of all is the number of factual errors in the book. For instance the coelacanth, ' a fish species that died out millions of years ago'. Try telling that to the ones swimming in the Indian ocean. The book gives the impression of being put together in a hurry, without much checking. Unless you're really interested in the history of today's gizmos, I'd recommend that you give it a miss.

Note The current edition of this book is titled: You Call This the Future?: The Greatest Inventions Sci-Fi Imagined and Science Promised  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews