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Future Proof: The Greatest Gadgets and Gizmos Ever Imagined Paperback – 7 Aug 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848310048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848310049
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 1.2 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,241,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Nick Sagan is the son of astronomer Carl Sagan and the author of the bestselling SF novels Idlewild, Edenborn and Everfree. Mark Frary is a science journalist whose work has appeared in The Times and many other newspapers and magazines. Andy Walker currently hosts and produces a video podcast at www.labrats.tv

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Format: Paperback
Future Proof's author, NIck Sagan is the son of astronomer Carl Sagan and NIck is continuing his father's work of making science accessible to non-scientific people like myself.

The concept is simple. Take the most popular 50 inventions from the world of science fiction and look at where they are today in the real world. You can imagine the sort of thing - jetpacks to strap on your back, humanoid slaves to do the housework, time-travel, teleportation etc. Where exactly have these concepts go to since they were dreamed up in the last century?

The suprising thing is quite how far developed many of science-fiction's imagings have become. Each short chapter details the SF "sightings" of inventions, then describes the scientific history of the device and defines the technical specification that would be required to bring the device into the real world. Finally, the current reality of the device is described.

Take for example, pocket computers. Star Trek first envisioned pocket computers back in 1966 and in 1974 Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle referred to pocket computers operated by a stylus in the novel, The Mote in God's Eye. Under Scientific History, Sagan lists the development of pocked computers from their first appearance in 1982 and then under Reality Sagan notes that "if ever there was a science fiction idea that has been realised, its the pocket computer" and goes on to report the current state of development and future routes into retinal projectors and data storage connections.

Image1 On a more way-out invention such as teleportation, it is interesting to read that this was first conceived by American writer Charles Fort in his 1931 book Lo!
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