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Tomorrow: Science Fiction and the Future

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What if … * machines looked and acted like people? * we were able to change our bodies as we now change our clothes? * a nuclear attack were launched—accidentally? * intelligent life were discovered on other planets? * we were able to create a perfect world? The authors of the selections in this Anthology consider these and other questions as they look at the world of tomorrow. What if … * machines looked and acted like people? * we were able to change our bodies as we now change our clothes? * a nuclear attack were launched—accidentally? * intelligent life were discovered on other planets? * we were able to create a perfect world? The authors of the selections in this Anthology consider these and other questions as they look at the world of tomorrow. As you read their responses, you yourself will begin to speculate about the future. You may agree with the authors’ predictions, or you may feel outraged, amused, or uncertain. No matter what your response, we hope that you develop the habit of looking around you and asking, What if …?


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What if … * machines looked and acted like people? * we were able to change our bodies as we now change our clothes? * a nuclear attack were launched—accidentally? * intelligent life were discovered on other planets? * we were able to create a perfect world? The authors of the selections in this Anthology consider these and other questions as they look at the world of tomorrow. What if … * machines looked and acted like people? * we were able to change our bodies as we now change our clothes? * a nuclear attack were launched—accidentally? * intelligent life were discovered on other planets? * we were able to create a perfect world? The authors of the selections in this Anthology consider these and other questions as they look at the world of tomorrow. As you read their responses, you yourself will begin to speculate about the future. You may agree with the authors’ predictions, or you may feel outraged, amused, or uncertain. No matter what your response, we hope that you develop the habit of looking around you and asking, What if …?

31 review for Tomorrow: Science Fiction and the Future

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    An old high school English reader found in an op-shop bin for 10c I just couldn't allow myself to leave it there. A collection of various styles of writing on the theme of what the future might hold (for the teens of 1973) with the idea of making the reader "get in to the habit of looking around and asking What if...?," taking in both fiction and non-fiction, straight predictions from Isaac Asimov and even some poetry. It was the predictions of Grandmaster Asimov and the name Richard Brautigan o An old high school English reader found in an op-shop bin for 10c I just couldn't allow myself to leave it there. A collection of various styles of writing on the theme of what the future might hold (for the teens of 1973) with the idea of making the reader "get in to the habit of looking around and asking What if...?," taking in both fiction and non-fiction, straight predictions from Isaac Asimov and even some poetry. It was the predictions of Grandmaster Asimov and the name Richard Brautigan on the content page that made me certain that the 10c wasn't going to be wasted and they didn't let me down, despite the Brautigan offering consisting of a twelve line piece of poetry not some otherwise unheard of short story from his odd and wonderful mind. Asimov's predictions are enough to make this a welcome addition to my library, originally written in 1965 he predicts the world of 1990, quite possibly with his tongue in cheek as he opens with the disclaimer Predicting the future is a hopeless, thankless task, with ridicule to begin with and, all too often, scorn to end with. Still, since I have been writing science fiction for over a quarter of a century, such prediction is expected of me and it would be cowardly to try to evade it. his heart is in the right place but he definitely underestimates the greed of humanity in a capitalist society. Smaller cars? Try telling that to all the people driving their gas guzzling RV's to the end of their drive way to collect the mail. A move towards vegetarianism because it's better for the environment? Oh the days before Ronald McDonald scared the world in to obesity with his terrifying grin. Of course he also predicted we would have jetpack powered world cups and instant mail distribution using pneumatic tubes around cities and massive microfilm databases containing all of the worlds information in public libraries. The rest of the collection is interesting enough with some notable contributions from Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling and a piece of fun from Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I can't remember anything even remotely this interesting provided to me as a teenager however. It was Shakespeare this and Shakespeare that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    I’m pretty sure that if there isn’t already a sport that involves mocking what people of the past predicted our society would be like, then we need to invent it. Right now. Tomorrow: Science Fiction and the Future has some gems. It opens with a piece by Isaac Asimov, who begins: Predicting the future is a hopeless, thankless task, with ridicule to begin with and, all too often, scorn to end with. Still, since I have been writing science fiction for over a quarter of a century, such prediction is I’m pretty sure that if there isn’t already a sport that involves mocking what people of the past predicted our society would be like, then we need to invent it. Right now. Tomorrow: Science Fiction and the Future has some gems. It opens with a piece by Isaac Asimov, who begins: Predicting the future is a hopeless, thankless task, with ridicule to begin with and, all too often, scorn to end with. Still, since I have been writing science fiction for over a quarter of a century, such prediction is expected of me and it would be cowardly to try to evade it. Brave words from a brave and prolific author who gave us laws of robotics, the term robotics itself, and the Foundation series. Asimov immediately acknowledges the futility of the task he has set himself, as well as the ridicule he will receive for such statements as: Sports also will be stressed in the world of 1990 as a good and harmless time consumer. I suspect that the great sports novelty will be flying. Small motors, mounted on the back, will lift a man clear of the ground. Now, this book was published in 1973, but the original form of this essay, “The World in 1990”, was published in 1965. So it is further removed from 1990 than the book’s age would indicate—but only slightly more so than 1990 is removed from us here in 2011! And I still don’t have a jetpack for playing aerial golf. I could go on, but it wouldn’t really be sporting of me. Asimov is right: predicting the future is a hopeless and silly task, and I suspect the academic tone he takes in this piece is there for effect (if you are going to be silly, be silly all the way). Yet even amid this facetious undertaking, there are currents of the tensions of the 1960s: “What will the situation be a generation from now, say in 1990, assuming that we avoid a thermonuclear war?” For those of us born into a world that does not, generally, fear the looming thermonuclear apocalypse, this question elicits snickers—I know it did from me. It makes me wonder what the next generations will think about my generation’s obsession with global warming and other environmental issues. I hope that this obsession, like our obsession with avoiding nuclear war, ultimately makes such concerns obsolete for our children and grandchildren. The remainder of Tomorrow is an eclectic compilation of various works of science fiction, both prose and poetry. These works span several decades, with excerpts from an E.M. Forester story from 1928, to an adaptation of Rod Serling’s “Class of ’99” into a playscript. There is a breadth of material here, all organized around the common theme of stories that show us what the world of tomorrow could be. They are glimpses of our possible futures. As an avid science-fiction reader, this book tickles my brain cells but does little more than that. Just as I’m starting to think, it shifts gears slightly and moves on to the next piece. Nevertheless, there are still some gems in here. I liked reading Asimov’s essay, and there is a neat Arthur C. Clarke short story, “The Awakening”, which I swear I have read in a different form somewhere. I looked at this book in a group of two other people for my English curriculum instruction course. We had to evaluate the book’s value as a possible textbook: would we buy a class set? Our professor provided a detailed list of criteria. My group concluded that, while the book has an amazing amount of nostalgia value, it would not make a suitable textbook in today’s classroom. Tomorrow’s time, alas, has come and gone. But I still borrowed the book to read it in its entirety anyway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Garrett

    This was kind of a gem of a thing; a 1973 Scholastic edition book hanging around in our honor books section at the library; not in the greatest shape, so it was slated to be weeded (or really, just thrown away) and I snagged it and read it. Asimov, Clarke, Serling, Bradbury, Poul Anderson, Vonnegut, Brautigan: poems and short stories and screenplays and a couple of actual news articles of the time, all of them about trying to predict the future, which for these authors lies somewhere between 1990 This was kind of a gem of a thing; a 1973 Scholastic edition book hanging around in our honor books section at the library; not in the greatest shape, so it was slated to be weeded (or really, just thrown away) and I snagged it and read it. Asimov, Clarke, Serling, Bradbury, Poul Anderson, Vonnegut, Brautigan: poems and short stories and screenplays and a couple of actual news articles of the time, all of them about trying to predict the future, which for these authors lies somewhere between 1990 and 1999. It's dismal as hell, being written by Cold Warriors at the height of speculative fiction about where we were headed, and entertaining - views of the past from the more distant past are always fun.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  5. 4 out of 5

    Juanita

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erik

  7. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackson

    This is like a visit to Future World at Epcot Center in book form. I read most of it; there are very entertaining pieces by Bradbury, Asimov, Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, and a script from "Night Gallery" by Rod Serling, plus a couple poems by Faulkner and Brautigan. And some other things I tried to read but couldn't get into. This is like a visit to Future World at Epcot Center in book form. I read most of it; there are very entertaining pieces by Bradbury, Asimov, Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, and a script from "Night Gallery" by Rod Serling, plus a couple poems by Faulkner and Brautigan. And some other things I tried to read but couldn't get into.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  11. 4 out of 5

    Foxglove Zayuri

  12. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  14. 4 out of 5

    Igraine

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sreevidhya

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  17. 5 out of 5

    Will Hoover

  18. 5 out of 5

    Billy Candelaria

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melisa Davila

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cambria

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mahreen Khan

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dgjiv

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elikak Ashkiyani

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pat Winter

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

  27. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Knepshield

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cyberpunk

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kipp Poe

  30. 4 out of 5

    Knotts

  31. 5 out of 5

    Mairéad

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