An Optimist's Tour of the Future

  • by Mark Stevenson
  • Narrated by Mark Stevenson
  • 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mark Stevenson has been to the future a few years ahead of the rest of us - and reckons it has a lot going for it. His voyage of discovery takes him to Oxford to meet Trans humanists (they intend to live forever), to Boston where he confronts a robot with mood swings, to an underwater cabinet meeting in the Indian Ocean, and Australia to question the Outback's smartest farmer. He clambers around space planes in the Mojave desert, gets to grips with the potential of nanotechnology, delves deep into the possibilities of biotech, sees an energy renaissance on a printer, a revolution in communications, has his genome profiled, and glimpses the next stage of human evolution... and tries to make sense of what's in store. Insightful and often very funny, An Optimist's Tour of the Future is a book that tracks one curious man's journey to find out 'what's in store?'

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What the Critics Say

"Certainly one of the most interesting science books I've read for a long time." (New Statesman)
"A rollicking roller-coaster ride around the cutting edge of science with dozens of laugh-out-loud moments" (Scotsman)
"[A] grand tour of charismatic technologies and their prophets ... Stevenson bags an impressive list of interviewees." (Financial Times)
"He makes a good case for believing that we can have a future worth making an effort to reach." (Guardian)
"Mark Stevenson is the perfect tour guide: optimistic without being naive, fun but not silly, entertaining but enlightening." (Michael Brooks - author of 13 Things That Don't Make Sense)
"A refreshing reminder that the future will always belong to the optimists." (New Scientist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

As the name suggests

As you might expect, refreshingly optimistic on a world where foretelling doom sells more books.
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- Ben Cole

Fascinating but a bit dated

The content of this book is excellent. Each chapter covers some topic to do with technology, such as life expectancy, artificial intelligence, climate change and commercial space travel. It's written based on interviews with industry leaders and key thinkers in each area.

However, it is 5 years old now, so some sections are probably out of date - although personally I'm not up-to-date enough on most topics to know which. It is also let down by the author's slightly lacklustre narration, and the American accent he puts on for all the American experts quoted.

A thoughtful, optimistic, view of modern technological trends.
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- emma

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-08-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Ltd