Review: Future Proof – Nick Sagan

I’m going well away from my usual themes by reviewing Future Proof, which I received it from Icon Books, and have enjoyed reading.  The book’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.

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