by Dr. Kelly Weinersmith;
What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar colony already? What is the hold-up?
In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what’s coming next — from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research, interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, and Zach’s trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.
New technologies are almost never the work of isolated geniuses with a neat idea. A given future technology may need any number of intermediate technologies to develop first, and many of these critical advances may appear to be irrelevant when they are first discovered. The journey to progress is full of strange detours and blind alleys that tell us so much about the human mind and the march of civilization.
To this end, SOONISH investigates ten different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.
I was kindly given an e-ARC of the book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I have only recently started to truly enjoy non-fiction books and to read about science in general makes my nerdy little heart very happy, if I may say so. In this book, the authors (a husband and wife duo) give us information about ten upcoming technologies. They did a lot of research for this and it shows, they start each of those technology segment with explaining what it is, how far we have come to bring that technology into reality and how much further we still have to go. It is all explained in such an easy, witty way that reading about it is just plain fun.
Some of the topics covered are cheap access to space travel, fusion power, synthetic biology and augmented reality as well as precision medicine. It was all presented in such an engaging way that it almost doesn’t feel as if I am reading non-fiction. For someone who is a huge fan of Star Trek, this was such a treat.
Back in 1960s, people had such hopes for advanced technology in the 2000s, and they weren’t exactly wrong to dream of that. The only problem they didn’t imagine was the money factor, I think, majority of people simply didn’t take into account exactly how much money and resources were needed to make space travel a reality for example. I mean, I knew it is a ridiculous amount but till I read up on it, I didn’t realise exactly how much is needed just to send a rocket in space.
Things like these in different technologies were something of a surprise to me and frankly, I am a teeny bit more informed now that I have read up on it. The best thing about this is the wit and the little comic panels used throughout the book. I absolutely loved that extra touch. They were weird and just funny in an odd way. When I had started to read the book, I was wondering about the longevity of the relelvance this book might have but after reading it, I have realised that certain technologies have ways to go before this book is irrelevant.
I would totally recommend it to people who are interested in science and technology and how it works. To those science fiction fans, this is the sort of book to read if you are in the mood to dream of things to come.