This book tells the stories behind scores of predictions made over the past 140 years. Each prediction, its date, and the name of the predictor is followed by a short essay focusing not only on whether or not it came true, but how it did or why it did not. There are startling predictive successes - like airplanes, television, trips to the moon, and the atomic bomb that came decades before their actuality. Apollo 9 splashed down in the Pacific only two miles from a spot picked out by Jules Verne a century earlier; H. G. Wells coined the term "atomic bomb" in 1913; Edward Bellamy wrote of credit cards in 1888. Predicting the future is a perilous business. While a prediction that proves correct may considerably enhance your fame, your reputation can be forever clouded by a bad enough mistake. There are also those, several of whom you will meet in this book, who are best remembered for having got it dreadfully wrong - indeed some poor souls are remembered only for that reason. Some of the worst flubs have come from nay-sayers - that nobody would be interested in talking pictures or want to own a personal computer, for example. But right or wrong, the history of predictions tells us where we've been, how we got to where we are, and where we may go yet.