Soonish
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.

Soonish Details

TitleSoonish
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherPenguin Press
ISBN-139780399563829
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, Technology, Humor, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels

Soonish Review

  • The Serendipity Aegis ~ ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
    January 1, 1970
    Q:Fortunately, predicting the future is pretty easy. People do it all the time. Getting your prediction right is a bit harder, but honestly, does anyone really care? (c)Q:There was a study in 2011 called “Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air,”* in which the predictive abilities of twenty-six pundits were assessed. Predictive powers ranged from mostly right to usually wrong.*For most people, the pleasure of reading this study was the discovery that certain individuals were not just intolerable moron Q:Fortunately, predicting the future is pretty easy. People do it all the time. Getting your prediction right is a bit harder, but honestly, does anyone really care? (c)Q:There was a study in 2011 called “Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air,”* in which the predictive abilities of twenty-six pundits were assessed. Predictive powers ranged from mostly right to usually wrong.*For most people, the pleasure of reading this study was the discovery that certain individuals were not just intolerable morons, but statistically intolerable morons. From our perspective as pop science writers, there was an even more exciting result: Regardless of their predictive prowess, all these people still have jobs. In fact, a lot of the worst predictors were the most prominent public figures. (c)Q:The big discontinuous leaps, like the laser and the computer, often depend on unrelated developments in different fields. (c)Q:Consider this: If someone came to you two hundred years ago and asked how we might build a device to scan people’s brain patterns, would your immediate response be, “Well, first we need to trap some gas in a glass tube”? (c)Q:The same difficulty holds for all the technologies in this book: Whether we can build an elevator to space may depend on how good chemists get at arranging carbon atoms into little straws. Whether we can make matter that assumes any shape we tell it to may depend on how well we understand termite behavior. Whether we can build medical nanobots may depend on how well we understand origami. Or maybe none of that stuff will end up mattering in the end. There is nothing about history that necessarily had to be as it was. (c)Q:We now know that the ancient Greeks could create complex gear systems, but never constructed an advanced clock. The ancient Alexandrians had a rudimentary steam engine but never designed a train. The ancient Egyptians invented the folding stool four thousand years ago, but never built an IKEA. (c)Q:There are also people who become cynical because they thought we’d have fusion power or weekend trips to Venus by now. (c)Q:For all these chapters, we had to read a lot of technical books and papers and we had to talk to a lot of mildly crazy people. Some were crazier than others, and generally they were our favorites. (c)Q:The road to Mars may be paved with small discounts. (c)
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    This book delves into technological realms that the authors feel could see gigantic leaps in our access to and use of in the future.  This novel was written by husband and wife pair, the former, a cartoonist and the latter, a noted Rice University Researcher.  They interviewed many scientists across various fields of study to learn about up and coming technologies.  They start each segment by explaining where we are with a certain technology, then discuss where research is heading, what the futu This book delves into technological realms that the authors feel could see gigantic leaps in our access to and use of in the future.  This novel was written by husband and wife pair, the former, a cartoonist and the latter, a noted Rice University Researcher.  They interviewed many scientists across various fields of study to learn about up and coming technologies.  They start each segment by explaining where we are with a certain technology, then discuss where research is heading, what the future could  be like, potential advantages, concerns and pitfalls.    Interspersed within this writing are many nerdy scientific jokes and cartoons to help lighten the reading.  The humor is the kind you would expect from scientists, not the laugh out loud kind.  That said, I did appreciate the diversion.The ten areas explored in the book are: 1. Cheap Access to Space, 2. Asteroid Mining, 3. Fusion Power, 4. Programmable Matter, 5. Robotic Construction, 6. Augmented Reality, 7. Synthetic Biology, 8. Precision Medicine, 9. Bioprinting and 10. Brain-Computer Interfaces.  There were some chapters, especially the medical ones, where I found I knew much of the content, but still the future applications were quite interesting.  Other chapters were completely new to me and I was grateful to this book for enlightening me.  Depending on your background, you may find the presentation of information simplistic or you may find it mind blowing.  For the average lay person without a scientific background, this book is a wonderful introduction to emerging technologies and what we might expect in the future.  I also found myself envisioning ideas for futuristic science fiction novels while reading this.  There is much food for thought here.I like that the authors are bringing much of what is currently exciting about science and technology to greater attention in a very readable format.  I recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning more about the topics mentioned above.  I am also grateful to the Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge for pushing me to read harder and choose a book in this category.  I'm glad I did!
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  • Paperclippe
    January 1, 1970
    If you're a citizen of the internet, you've seen Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Trust me, you have. If you think you haven't, go google "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal," and then be like, "Oh yeah, that," and then come back to this review.So, Zach and Kelly wrote a book.Pals, it's fantastic. So, it's funny. You were probably expecting that.So, it's got comics. You were probably expecting that.What you might not have been expecting was one of the most thoroughly researched, best explained, If you're a citizen of the internet, you've seen Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Trust me, you have. If you think you haven't, go google "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal," and then be like, "Oh yeah, that," and then come back to this review.So, Zach and Kelly wrote a book.Pals, it's fantastic. So, it's funny. You were probably expecting that.So, it's got comics. You were probably expecting that.What you might not have been expecting was one of the most thoroughly researched, best explained, unbiased looks at the future of technology and how it will change our world and ourselves. And that, actually, is the majority of what you get in Soonish. It's deeply insightful, very thorough, and incredibly easy to understand, even if you have absolutely - and I mean absolutely - no background in any of the hugely daunting topics, from robotics to bioethics, presented.Also it's funny and there are comics.
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  • Montzalee Wittmann
    January 1, 1970
    SoonishTen Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everythingby Dr. Kelly Weinersmith; Zach WeinersmithThis is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary.This book is an informative and fun book to read. Not only does it give the reader ideas for what might be coming along in the future and what that might mean for mankind (good or bad) but it is done in a very humorous way! It sure got a few chuckles and giggles out of me! That's the best way to read science! Make SoonishTen Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everythingby Dr. Kelly Weinersmith; Zach WeinersmithThis is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary.This book is an informative and fun book to read. Not only does it give the reader ideas for what might be coming along in the future and what that might mean for mankind (good or bad) but it is done in a very humorous way! It sure got a few chuckles and giggles out of me! That's the best way to read science! Make it fun! I would definitely recommend this to anyone! A fun coffee table book, bathroom reading book, a book for that person who has everything! Great job!
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  • Carlos
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an interesting book, I have to admit that some of the information is a little bit too complex for the average person but the humor imbedded into the book helps the reader to process all the information a little better. There were some amazing ideas explored in the book (such as a elevator to an asteroid to make space exploration cheaper, meteor mining and advances in medicine) , but there were some crazy ones that seemed a little to farfetched (such as mirror humans), but overall t This was such an interesting book, I have to admit that some of the information is a little bit too complex for the average person but the humor imbedded into the book helps the reader to process all the information a little better. There were some amazing ideas explored in the book (such as a elevator to an asteroid to make space exploration cheaper, meteor mining and advances in medicine) , but there were some crazy ones that seemed a little to farfetched (such as mirror humans), but overall this is a very solid book that presents very heavy information in a simplistic format.
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  • Virginia
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really fun collection of ten technologies currently in R&D. The Weinersmiths combine fact and humor to create a book that's so informative and silly you'll want to read it again and again. Zach Weinersmith is the creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a popular geek webcomic great for fans of XKCD. His wife, Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, is an accomplished scientist whose work has been featured through many popular science venues. They worked together to explain complicated technol This is a really fun collection of ten technologies currently in R&D. The Weinersmiths combine fact and humor to create a book that's so informative and silly you'll want to read it again and again. Zach Weinersmith is the creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a popular geek webcomic great for fans of XKCD. His wife, Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, is an accomplished scientist whose work has been featured through many popular science venues. They worked together to explain complicated technology and science in such a way that those who last took a science class in high school can understand what they're talking about. Their combined wit and self-deprecating humor make the writing exciting while Zach's cartoons help break up all the heavy concepts with a good laugh. Personally, I find that if I'm laughing while learning, the concepts stick with me better. For anyone who enjoys books like WHAT IF? and science podcasts, this will be an excellent book to add to your shelf. This is a great informative book about what technologies are being researched and which ones might come out soonish.***I read this book thanks to an ARC I received***
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  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    I was bamboozled.I read a fantastic book called “Filmish” which uses a comic-book format to discuss the history of cinema.When I saw a book called “Soonish”, which promised “a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies”, I imagined a science-focused “Filmish”.This was not that book.The illustrations were sparse and amateurish, the humor falls flat in most places, and although the science is accurate enough, the writing is juvenile and condescending at times.This book would be I was bamboozled.I read a fantastic book called “Filmish” which uses a comic-book format to discuss the history of cinema.When I saw a book called “Soonish”, which promised “a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies”, I imagined a science-focused “Filmish”.This was not that book.The illustrations were sparse and amateurish, the humor falls flat in most places, and although the science is accurate enough, the writing is juvenile and condescending at times.This book would be a lot shorter (and better) without the poor illustrations and lame attempt at humor.
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  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    This book is looking at our world and tries to make predictions where science and technology will lead us. The book is split into sections: ‘the universe’, ‘stuff’, and ‘you’ containing a range of topics such as asteroid mining, augmented reality, brain-computer interfaces, and space elevators. As well as diving into the science, Soonish explores some of the economic and ethical implications around these technologiesThe skills of a scientist are paired with those of a cartoonist which means this This book is looking at our world and tries to make predictions where science and technology will lead us. The book is split into sections: ‘the universe’, ‘stuff’, and ‘you’ containing a range of topics such as asteroid mining, augmented reality, brain-computer interfaces, and space elevators. As well as diving into the science, Soonish explores some of the economic and ethical implications around these technologiesThe skills of a scientist are paired with those of a cartoonist which means this book stays light and fluffy. Maybe too much so, in my opinion. Often science books can become dry and stuffy, yes, but I would have liked a little bit more focus and less flat humor on this one. Not bad, but I had hoped for more.Thanks to netgalley and Penguin Press for providing me with a free ebook copy.
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  • Bryan Alexander
    January 1, 1970
    A delightful and deeply researched look into the possible future of certain technologies, Soonish is a fine feast for the mind.We read this for my online book club. Several posts have tons of material: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 (tk).
  • Jose Moa
    January 1, 1970
    It is about a indeterminate but near in time future,it extrapoles but not too much already existing technologies ,for in some way depict the world of tomorrow,mainly in the biological,medical,astronautic and information and comunication tecnologies,all with its advantages and dangers,the book also explains the today situation of technologies as astronautic,nuclear fussion reactors,3D printing,augmented reality,brain-computer interfaces,sinthetic biology etc.The book written by a scientific and a It is about a indeterminate but near in time future,it extrapoles but not too much already existing technologies ,for in some way depict the world of tomorrow,mainly in the biological,medical,astronautic and information and comunication tecnologies,all with its advantages and dangers,the book also explains the today situation of technologies as astronautic,nuclear fussion reactors,3D printing,augmented reality,brain-computer interfaces,sinthetic biology etc.The book written by a scientific and a cartoonist is permeated with a many times fine humor and cartoons and gives a lot of intersting information.Recomended for those that would like know the situation of leading tecnologies and its near future.
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  • Joaquin Garza
    January 1, 1970
    Increible, emocionante e interesante. Asi deberian ser todos los libros de divulgacion. Cumple su cometido de tal manera que deja a uno asombrado y contento de haber leído un libro de ciencia de 335 paginas, amen de darle una serie interesantísima de temas de conversación.Creo que el libro funciona tan bien porque mezcla y balancea la posibilidad de tecnologías e investigaciones en desarrollo con un humor y una accesibilidad sumamente finos. A tal punto que está lleno de referencias nerds e incl Increible, emocionante e interesante. Asi deberian ser todos los libros de divulgacion. Cumple su cometido de tal manera que deja a uno asombrado y contento de haber leído un libro de ciencia de 335 paginas, amen de darle una serie interesantísima de temas de conversación.Creo que el libro funciona tan bien porque mezcla y balancea la posibilidad de tecnologías e investigaciones en desarrollo con un humor y una accesibilidad sumamente finos. A tal punto que está lleno de referencias nerds e incluso de chistes de doble sentido, mientras presenta de forma seria lo que implicaría ver alguna de estas tecnologías en nuestras vidas. Las diez tecnologías son:a) Acceso barato al espaciob) Minería de asteroidesc) La famosa fusiond) Materiales inteligentes y autónomose) Construcción robotizadaf) Realidad aumentadag) Ingeniería genética h) Medicina focalizadai) Impresión de órganos en 3Dj) Interaccion biológica-ciberneticaAlgo que hace tan identificable al libro es que una parte de la idea subyacente (y por lo que se afianza bastante de esta serie de referencias nerds) es que cosas que antes solo hemos visto en películas y libros de Ciencia Ficcion que amamos puede de alguna forma llegar a ser posible en el futuro. Cosas que hemos visto en lugares como The Expanse (humanos viviendo en asteroides con diferencias fisiológicas versus los de la tierra), Flubber y El Planeta del Tesoro (materiales metamórficos), Volver al Futuro (Don Fusion), Jurassic Park (des-extincion, aunque a lo sumo mamuts y dientes de sable) y la otra novela de Michael Crichton, Prey (nanobots). Incluso casas inteligentes y robotizadas como las que hacia muchísimo tiempo se veian en caricaturas de Walt Disney (la casa remolque) o Warner (Design for living).También es de notar lo justo y balanceado que resulta el estudio de los Weinersmith al presentar en cada capitulo los riesgos de cada una de las tecnologías. Cada uno de estos riesgos tienen que ver casi siempre con problemas muy del dia de hoy: riesgos ambientales, riesgos de terrorismo riesgos de potenciar la desigualdad y riesgos de privacidad.Esto genera, junto al estilo en el que el libro se entrega, una lectura verdaderamente esclarecedora. Aunque me hubiera gustado ver mas diagramas (el libro trae como seis) y menos caricaturas, recomiendo ampliamente su lectura. De nuevo, ojala asi fueran todos los libros de divulgacion.
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  • Meow
    January 1, 1970
    I’d been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and finally got my hands on a copy. It was well worth keeping it at the top of my “wanna read desperately” books.This husband and wife team have put together an amazing thing here. Each chapter really reads like a short story. All you’ve heard, all you have thought of, for future realities can be found here along with the obligatory “robot” . Expertly researched, fantastic illustrations and jokes dispersed from beginning to end, thi I’d been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and finally got my hands on a copy. It was well worth keeping it at the top of my “wanna read desperately” books.This husband and wife team have put together an amazing thing here. Each chapter really reads like a short story. All you’ve heard, all you have thought of, for future realities can be found here along with the obligatory “robot” . Expertly researched, fantastic illustrations and jokes dispersed from beginning to end, this is easily a book that everyone should at least take a look at. I loved this!
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  • Sintija Buhanovska
    January 1, 1970
    "Soonish" ir grāmata, kurā autori zinātniski asprātīgā veidā pastāsta par 10 šobrīd aktuālām tehnoloģiju tendencēm, kas, iespējams, jau drīz mainīs vai vismaz ietekmēs mūsu ikdienu. No Visuma izpētes līdz iedzimtu slimību izskaušanai - tik plaša ir grāmatas tematika. Lai lasīšana būtu aizraujošāka, darbā ir gana asprātīgas karikatūras, turklāt visnotaļ sarežģītās zinātniskās idejas autori prot izklāstīt koncentrēti, izmantojot salīdzinājumus un humoru. Darbs, kuru šobrīd slavē un aicina izlasīt "Soonish" ir grāmata, kurā autori zinātniski asprātīgā veidā pastāsta par 10 šobrīd aktuālām tehnoloģiju tendencēm, kas, iespējams, jau drīz mainīs vai vismaz ietekmēs mūsu ikdienu. No Visuma izpētes līdz iedzimtu slimību izskaušanai - tik plaša ir grāmatas tematika. Lai lasīšana būtu aizraujošāka, darbā ir gana asprātīgas karikatūras, turklāt visnotaļ sarežģītās zinātniskās idejas autori prot izklāstīt koncentrēti, izmantojot salīdzinājumus un humoru. Darbs, kuru šobrīd slavē un aicina izlasīt arī ārzemju biznesa žurnāli. Iesaku izlasīt tiem, kuri ikdienā par tehnoloģijām un zinātni neinteresējas, bet reizēm vēlas saprast, kas tad īsti notiek.
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  • Lisa Kucharski
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed the book and the humor involved. It's nice to see what different people are seeing as the "on the horizon" tech. It's written with humor but also explains the reality of where things are and how far they are from happening be it, costly to well... we haven't worked out all the bugs yet... hmmm.The book covers 10 "areas". 1. Space Traveling. 2. Asteroid Mining 3. Fusion Power. 4. Programmable Matter (my fave) 5. Robotic Construction. 6. Augmented Reality 7. Synthetic Biology (yikes). 8. P Enjoyed the book and the humor involved. It's nice to see what different people are seeing as the "on the horizon" tech. It's written with humor but also explains the reality of where things are and how far they are from happening be it, costly to well... we haven't worked out all the bugs yet... hmmm.The book covers 10 "areas". 1. Space Traveling. 2. Asteroid Mining 3. Fusion Power. 4. Programmable Matter (my fave) 5. Robotic Construction. 6. Augmented Reality 7. Synthetic Biology (yikes). 8. Precision Medicine (still tricky). 9. Bioprinting (like as in to print a liver) 10 Brain Computer Interface (fork in the brain)Then it ends with chapters that didn't make it.If you have a nerd friend and are wondering what to get them this would be a good book, though you should also check to see they don't have it already. I'm reading an advanced copy so I didn't get to see the color cartoons which are throughout the book as well.The best thing about the book is the examination of where we are and why things are slowly progressing... that analysis of what it takes to make something happen... the shining idea and the crash of reality. However the way people are approaching the reality to make things happen are very interesting. If you need a good dose of humor with your science probably a good book for you. I just like humor everywhere so it works for me.
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  • Drobinsky Alexander
    January 1, 1970
    I failed to learn anything new from this book , probably because this book is a compilation of known latest technologies so any person who are follows up science news already familiar with most of content of this book besides jokes of doubtful quality.Also I found a bit offending an oversimplified explanation of basic science terms combined with nice while not exactly correct metaphors provided for easier understanding. On another hand I would like to thank authors for comprehensive list of pers I failed to learn anything new from this book , probably because this book is a compilation of known latest technologies so any person who are follows up science news already familiar with most of content of this book besides jokes of doubtful quality.Also I found a bit offending an oversimplified explanation of basic science terms combined with nice while not exactly correct metaphors provided for easier understanding. On another hand I would like to thank authors for comprehensive list of perspective technologies :)
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  • Jack Heath
    January 1, 1970
    This is the perfect book for people who find most pop science either too gloomy or too optimistic. The authors have gone to enormous trouble to explain emerging technologies in a cautiously hopeful way, with plenty of little-known details and some gleefully childish jokes along the way.Even if you already think you know what a space elevator is, or who Dr Gerald Bull was, or what augmented reality can do, or how 3D printers might revolutionise housing, I strongly advise you to read it. You might This is the perfect book for people who find most pop science either too gloomy or too optimistic. The authors have gone to enormous trouble to explain emerging technologies in a cautiously hopeful way, with plenty of little-known details and some gleefully childish jokes along the way.Even if you already think you know what a space elevator is, or who Dr Gerald Bull was, or what augmented reality can do, or how 3D printers might revolutionise housing, I strongly advise you to read it. You might just be around to see the future SOONISH predicts. I'm awaiting it with equal parts excitement and dread!
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  • Noah Goats
    January 1, 1970
    This was pretty good. The Weinersmiths have a knack for explaining technology in terms that can easily be understood by the layman, making Soonish a very readable book. I noticed several other reviewers here have praised this book for being funny. I would say that it’s written in a light and humorous tone, but it’s not really “funny” because the individual jokes never quite land. But that’s okay. It’s interesting.I listened to this in audiobook form. The authors read it themselves. You can tell This was pretty good. The Weinersmiths have a knack for explaining technology in terms that can easily be understood by the layman, making Soonish a very readable book. I noticed several other reviewers here have praised this book for being funny. I would say that it’s written in a light and humorous tone, but it’s not really “funny” because the individual jokes never quite land. But that’s okay. It’s interesting.I listened to this in audiobook form. The authors read it themselves. You can tell they aren’t professionals, but they still do a fine job.
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  • Peter Mcloughlin
    January 1, 1970
    I had problems with the layout and illustrations but that may have to do with the way I approach books. fairly good on the science with one misstep. i think she underestimates the prospects for quantum computing which might be on the verge of taking off as I write. Anyway not a book for me but that doesn't mean it is a bad book.
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  • Chintushig Tumenbayar
    January 1, 1970
    Ирээдүйг өөрчлөх 10 технологийн нээлттэй танилцах таатай байлаа. Эрдэмтэд зохион бүтээгчид төдий л ил гардаггүй, бүтээл нь биеллээ олсны дараагаар хүрдэг учир энэ төрлийн ярилцлага материал шинэ харах өнцөг өгдөг юм шиг санангддаг шүү. Энэ ном ч тэрийгээ хийж чадлаа.
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  • Matty-Swytla
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this is a good book for people who know very little about latest technologies and developing scientific fields, but it may fall a little short for those who know more. It's still a good overview of most promising technologies and I'd recommend it, but somehow I expected a little more. I understand science had to be brought to a very simple level, but a little trust in readers wouldn't go amiss. The humour, though, didn't just fall flat but completely missed the point too many times to coun Well, this is a good book for people who know very little about latest technologies and developing scientific fields, but it may fall a little short for those who know more. It's still a good overview of most promising technologies and I'd recommend it, but somehow I expected a little more. I understand science had to be brought to a very simple level, but a little trust in readers wouldn't go amiss. The humour, though, didn't just fall flat but completely missed the point too many times to count. It was also a bit too immature for my taste and sometimes painfully shoved in when no humour was needed. (But kudos for trying to make science books more fun.)I did enjoy the space exploration chapter, which is my favourite of the book, but that doesn't outwigh the troubles this book slowly compiled. I was also disappointed in the cartoons that often didn't contribute to the science but tried to interject some more humour. Why not let pictures speak for themselves, illustrate the technologies, rather than the authors arguing with each other?
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  • Vegantrav
    January 1, 1970
    Soonish is a rarity among popular science books on the technology of the future: it addresses but moves beyond the scientific aspects of the technology and asks and largely answers questions of feasibility and economics. Sadly, the answer for many of the fields that the authors address is that the technology is still so primitive that it is not feasible in the near future and may not be feasible for even many decades hence or even ever, and even for the technology that is feasible, the costs are Soonish is a rarity among popular science books on the technology of the future: it addresses but moves beyond the scientific aspects of the technology and asks and largely answers questions of feasibility and economics. Sadly, the answer for many of the fields that the authors address is that the technology is still so primitive that it is not feasible in the near future and may not be feasible for even many decades hence or even ever, and even for the technology that is feasible, the costs are often so outrageous that, barring major changes to national and international economies, it is unlikely that the technologies will ever be fully developed because the cost is so prohibitive.The book is very grounded in reality, and so the general tone about the development of the future technologies examined is on the pessimistic side, but the book is still very informative and is seasoned with just the right amount of humor and a conversational tone to keep it from being overly technical. It's written by authors who are themselves non-experts in the fields that they are discussing, so the material is readily accessible to anyone who is reasonably scientifically literate.
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  • Cristina
    January 1, 1970
    Power couple SMBC cartoonist & Rice University professor pick apart ten burgeoning fields of research: from space elevators, nanorobot swarms, 3D organ printing to brain-computer interfaces... and beyond! It’s no small feat predicting how upcoming technological advancements will play out -- both accidental discoveries and the complex dynamics of interacting fields of research can really throw a wrench in timelines (we were promised self-tying shoes and hoverboards damnit!), but the Wienersmi Power couple SMBC cartoonist & Rice University professor pick apart ten burgeoning fields of research: from space elevators, nanorobot swarms, 3D organ printing to brain-computer interfaces... and beyond! It’s no small feat predicting how upcoming technological advancements will play out -- both accidental discoveries and the complex dynamics of interacting fields of research can really throw a wrench in timelines (we were promised self-tying shoes and hoverboards damnit!), but the Wienersmiths do a fantastic job of presenting what’s out there, where it’s likely headed, and what we can expect to see Soonish.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    If you’ve paid any attention to the technologies in this book (AR, 3D printing, space elevators, etc), you won’t find much that’s new. The authors go on about each technology at excessive length, with no real overarching narrative nor any new reporting. Not recommended.
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  • Kyle Bunkers
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy SMBC, then you will enjoy this book. The authors do a good job of injecting their humor into well-done explanations of possible future technologies. They do a very fair job of evaluating what a possible future technology will do, its benefits and possible downsides, and they get a good spread of experts. The topics covered range from energy to biology to space travel.I didn't notice any major errors in any of the areas I was familiar with and so would give pretty high confidence in If you enjoy SMBC, then you will enjoy this book. The authors do a good job of injecting their humor into well-done explanations of possible future technologies. They do a very fair job of evaluating what a possible future technology will do, its benefits and possible downsides, and they get a good spread of experts. The topics covered range from energy to biology to space travel.I didn't notice any major errors in any of the areas I was familiar with and so would give pretty high confidence in all that they said. The one minor error that I noticed was in the fusion section. I happen to work in magnetically confined fusion. They said that to heat plasmas "They electrocute it, microwave it, and fire a beam of neutrons at it". We most assuredly do not fire a beam of neutrons at it, but we fire a beam of neutrals (that is a particle with no net charge, or non-plasma). This technology is quite interesting on its own (look up netural beam injection on wikipedia). This is a common misinterpretation ("neutron" for "neutral" since they sound similar), though.Otherwise, I definitely recommend the book, but I like the style of humor. If you don't like SMBC, then you probably won't like the style of the book.
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  • Varshini
    January 1, 1970
    I want to give this book 10 stars. Or give the authors a way to access cheap space travel so they can collect all the stars from there.(Look, it me trying to be relatable by referencing a chapter from the book).1) Which book gives you not only well-written chapters with understandable analogies for you to wrap around it, but also chapters which didn't make the mark and mourn for them?2) Which book mixes up cannibalism, telepathy, technology, and other t-words all in the same book?3) Which book h I want to give this book 10 stars. Or give the authors a way to access cheap space travel so they can collect all the stars from there.(Look, it me trying to be relatable by referencing a chapter from the book).1) Which book gives you not only well-written chapters with understandable analogies for you to wrap around it, but also chapters which didn't make the mark and mourn for them?2) Which book mixes up cannibalism, telepathy, technology, and other t-words all in the same book?3) Which book has 9 pages of references?4) Which book is the one to change your life?The answer (because this is in a review) is Soonish.I picked up this book after my friend recommended it to me because we both are nerds.I took about 2 months exactly to read it , but I am so happy I took the time to pore through these pages because this is such a good book.I found so many references to other books/academics through this one, and I know I shall go through all of those as well, although I'm not sure if I'll get the same "my world has changed" viewpoint as I did with this book.ALL THE STARS.
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  • Phil
    January 1, 1970
    There are some great ingredients here:- from the authors of the genuinely excellent SMBC comic strip- the book samples from a buffet of different science topics in an accessible way- the authors went out of their way to find interesting or funny anecdotes from major figures in each fieldI was really anticipating (and rooting for) a great book here, but if I'm honest it was merely pretty good. It felt long after a while and I found myself looking ahead to picking another book in my list to read. There are some great ingredients here:- from the authors of the genuinely excellent SMBC comic strip- the book samples from a buffet of different science topics in an accessible way- the authors went out of their way to find interesting or funny anecdotes from major figures in each fieldI was really anticipating (and rooting for) a great book here, but if I'm honest it was merely pretty good. It felt long after a while and I found myself looking ahead to picking another book in my list to read. The chapter format was a little repetitive, maybe there were too many topics, and although I love the authors' sense of humor it got a little stale by the end of the book. Sometimes I had a hard time separating what was scientifically plausible from what just made for witty commentary. Not bad, but not what I was hoping for either.
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  • Gregory
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this silly romp through emerging tech. The science isn't too heavy, the humor is my style, and the authors aren't hype-machines (a common issue with future tech). The authors were right to trim each chapter and section to keep the pace moving (though it does slow down a little near the end).My biggest gripe is that the comics are mostly single-panel. That's fine, but the true strength of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (the web-comic by the same authors) is the long-form. I thoroughly enjoyed this silly romp through emerging tech. The science isn't too heavy, the humor is my style, and the authors aren't hype-machines (a common issue with future tech). The authors were right to trim each chapter and section to keep the pace moving (though it does slow down a little near the end).My biggest gripe is that the comics are mostly single-panel. That's fine, but the true strength of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (the web-comic by the same authors) is the long-form. I think they missed a huge opportunity to create exceptional long-form comics that could be both funny and poignant.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I am interested in finishing this, but it had a hold. Understandable and fun. Not sure what's up with the formatting-- frequently there is a big chunk of blank space after a paragraph, which the reader might assume is the end of the chapter, but it's because there is a cartoon at the top of the next page, with additional text after that. The illustrations aren't so sensitive that they make sense one or two paragraphs out of context.
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  • Darnell
    January 1, 1970
    Good pop science book. Even as someone who reads a fair amount of this subject, I found some new subjects to enjoy, and I appreciated the authors giving a fair amount of space to technical limitations and concerns. Having said that, your enjoyment would probably be related to how much you follow new tech developments. Someone who follows more than I do might not won't find much new, while someone who doesn't touch pop science might find this a fantastic introduction.
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  • Deb Diner
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read as much nonfiction as I should, but I'm very glad I got this as a Chanukah gift; it's an engaging, humorous, well-researched look at where the world may be heading in the next few decades (or not). Reading it also introduced me to the "Science... sort of" podcast, which is informative and delightful. Highly recommend them both!
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