An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "what's Next?"

Front Cover
Avery, 2011 - Technology & Engineering - 373 pages
2 Reviews
In the tradition of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, a smart and entertaining guide to the future of civilization

When unexpectedly confronted with his own mortality, Mark Stevenson-a writer, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to ponder what the future holds for our species. "The past is a foreign country," writes Stevenson. "By my analysis it's a bit like France-in that I've been to parts of it and eaten some nice food there. But the future? The future is an unknown territory-and there isn't a guidebook." Thus, his ambition was born.

Stevenson set out simply, asking, "What's next?" and then traveled the globe in pursuit of the answers. Along the way, he visited the Australian outback to visit the farmers who can save us from climate change, met a robot with mood swings, and talked to the Spaniard who's putting a hotel in space. While some might be overwhelmed, or even dismayed by the looming realities of genome sequencing, synthetic biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson remains, well, optimistic. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to break down these sometimes complicated discoveries, An Optimist's Tour of the Future paints a wonderfully readable, and completely enthralling portrait of where we'll be when we grow up- and why it's not so scary.

Watch a Video

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sbarrow57 - LibraryThing

A very interesting book that gives a whirlwind tour of future technologies that could change the world we live in. I paticularily enjoyed the wide range of subjects the author covers. He seems to have ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - simbacat - LibraryThing

It is good to read about the great things people are doing that little is actually said about. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Mark Stevenson is codirector of Flow Associates, Britain's most respected cultural learning consultancy, and ReAgency, a leading organization that promotes science communication. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information