Book Review of An Optimist’s Tour of the Future

January 2, 2011

[…] It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between magazines like New Scientist and magazines like SFX. Given that nowadays most of us have a device remarkably similar to a Star Trek communicator¬†— and one, moreover, that doesn’t require Lieutenant Uhura on the bridge acting as exchange operator¬†—¬† the conceit of this book is neat: how science-fictional is our future going to be? Beginning with mid-life-ish musings on personal mortality, the book ventures into the life expectancy of the planet as a whole.

Stevenson interviews leading figures in fields such as transhumanism (with particular emphasis on life extension), cybernetics, genomics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and a variety of climate change experts, ending up with the most famous futurologist, Ray Kurzweil. […]