March 5th, 2010


March Books 8) Profiles of the Future, by Arthur C. Clarke

Classic book of essays by Clarke, originally written in 1962 mostly for Playboy, and updated by him in 1999 - so the first edition was written when he was a little older than I am now, and the revision when he was 82; will I be reviewing old blog posts for republication in 2049? It is all good solid stuff about the future of technology and space flight, and the nature of the universe. One notable miss is that he doesn't seem to have been very worried about environmental concerns, at that stage anyway. One remarkable hit is the chapter "Voices from the Sky", where he looks at the coming revolution in worldwide communication and predicts global media, GPS, fax machines, teleconferencing and ebooks (and admits in an afterword that the biggest mistake of the essay is not realising how quickly it would happen). Anyway, it's yet another reminder of how Clarke shaped our world.