on 9 January 2009
A difficult book to put down.
Combining science fact with detailed and plausible possibilities, this is a detailed and well-researched title which simultaneously praises human achievement and also puts us in our place in the grand scheme of things.
The book is set out in three different parts, each interesting and thought-provoking:
I) Possible scenarios and challenges that will face us and our planet in the next few centuries. This part is fairly grounded in reality.
II) Focuses on our evolving planet and makes educated guesses and assumptions as to what changes we can expect to see over the next few millennia.
III) A series of well-written 'future histories', each very different from the last.
This is the first book I've read by the author and I am already ordering a second.
on 10 September 2012
Imagine we are sat at the dinner table, talking about addiction. Someone in the room is quick to accuse me of alcoholism, but immediately I deny it - although my words are drowned out with the free fall of vodka from the liter bottle in my hand right in to my glass. That would be a little bit contradictory, wouldn't you think? Well then imagine Hanlon here telling us he is an 'optimist' of the future and then being bombarded by hypothetical global wars, climate change (which is very real) and overpopulation/lack of sustainable resources. I describe myself as an optimistic. I always imagined things to get better and better. I imagine the world to be a green, clean, and stable place when I am an old man. But this is not so according to Hanlon. Almost every scenario he explains to use involves billions of dead and nightmarish dystopia . No thanks. In fact it is so depressing it has had a serious impact on my mood recently. That being said, it is an interesting read, and Hanlon is a good writer - but it is a little too far-fetched in some cases for me.
Although, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for all of the world leaders to read this book. In my point of view, the sooner we start to colonise and terraform other planets, the better.
on 29 January 2009
Good book, informative and as the previous reviewer states it's very difficult to put down! It raised some very interesting points and theories.
However, I did get the impression that the author got a little bored (or rushed) about two thirds of the way through. Which is slightly ironic saying the book is about the next billion years or so.
on 2 March 2009
A very entertaining read, setting the imagination running as to the possibilities of the human race and the Earth. We ain't going to live forever, that's for sure, but this book sets out so many possibilities of what we could achieve. We are still after all wallowing in the swamp on the scale of time we are talking about here, but this book spells out in a very readable and easy-to-grasp way, what our descendants could achieve. Worth reading if our future interests you, but view it only as a possibility.
on 9 June 2010
Definitely a mind-opener that gives you plenty of food for thought. It would appear that we should start preparing for some seriously long space trips some time soon. However, a lot of things can change in a billion years, but this book is a great read for mind-travelling.