Soonish | Book Review

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin EverythingSoonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith is an enjoyable romp through the possibilities of near future technology. Light-hearted but informative, the authors explain how technologies in nascent stages today may underpin the way we live tomorrow. Underscore the word “may”. While Soonish exuberates in the ways technology could improve our daily lives, the authors harbor a healthy aversion to prophesy.

Rather than make specific predictions, Soonish presents categories of technology which, if the conditions are right, could significantly alter the way we live the middle and last part of this century. Soonish explores cheap access to space; asteroid mining; fusion; programmable matter; robotic construction; augmented reality; synthetic biology; precision, personalized medicine; bioprinting; and brain-computer interfaces. Each chapter gives a clear, easy-to-understand synopsis of the current science as well as concerns and specific thoughts on how developments in the field might change daily life.

Cartoons and dad jokes abound, but they are endearing and, quite often, actually funny. But I’m a dad, so I get dad jokes.

Read Soonish soon. The content will likely be dated in a few short years and, if there’s not another updated edition, the relevance of this book will expire. That said, it is a great book for right now. Fun, accessible and thought-provoking.

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