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Where's My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing…

Where's My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future that…

by Daniel H. Wilson

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An amusing, tongue in cheek look at icons in classic science fiction and how close modern technology has come to achieving them. The design is quite cool, with heavy paper, blue sides and a sci-fi blue, black and silver cover. But in the end, it's still just waiting room material. ( )
1 vote Hamburgerclan | Jun 6, 2011 |
If you are looking for a quick and quirky read then "Where’s My Jetpack" is for you. Have you ever wondered where all those marvellous future inventions that were promised to you as a child have got to? Well this is a funny but factual account of progress so far (or lack of) on many gadgets and machines comic books and science fiction once assured us were just around the corner. Written by Daniel H. Wilson this book covers everything from robot pets to space lasers to teleportation. Having a PhD in Robotics you can be pretty sure he has a firm grasp of the subject material (at very least the robotics elements) and his research has obviously been wide. You may be surprised to read how much progress has been made on some pretty fantastic science and you will almost certainly find Wilson’s humorous style entertaining. In the nicest way possible I would compare his writing to that of many writers of men’s magazines, such as FHM. If you try this book and enjoy it keep a look out for another of Wilsons books, “How to survive a robot uprising”. ( )
  CircAsst | Dec 5, 2009 |
put it down, forgot to pick it up again. Interesting but not so great. Some of these contraptions i never even considered (even though i am a bit of a scifi fan. Some weren't quite informative enough. What has actually been developed is intrigueing though. ( )
  rampaginglibrarian | Nov 17, 2009 |
Shorter and more blurby than I was expecting. Like blog entries, go figure. Clearly-explained science for us non-science folks, with a nice sense of humor. Fun random factoids that are handy at parties. ( )
  kristenn | Oct 7, 2009 |
We live in the 21st-Century, that magical century heralded in the past century as The Future, yet The Future has been somewhat disappointing. Where's my jetpack? : a guide to the amazing science fiction future that never arrived (2007) by Daniel H. Wilson recounts all the great inventions promised to an eager public by science fiction, comic books, World's Fairs, and documentaries that seemingly have never come to pass. Wilson goes through several of these fantastic devices and describes what advances have actually been made and tells how several of them actually exist. Albeit in less than fantastic guises or far to expensive/exclusive for the general populace. Here are some of my favorites:

The jetpack, which works, just not for very long due to fuel limitations.
The zeppelin which once sailed elegantly through the sky until the Hindenberg disaster, but may be making a return.
Teleportation which is possible with particles if not with human beings.
Underwater hotels: one exists but it's not very luxurious. More luxurious hotels are in the works.
Anti-Sleeping pills are available under the brand name Provigil (I'm tempted to get a prescription).
The Space Elevator is theoretically possible and Wilson suggests we submit our plans to the Spaceward Foundation and win a prize (Hey, there's a space elevator blog too!).
And a Moon Colony? It's in the works!

This is a fun little book with a good mix of science and humor that will appeal to anyone's inner geek. ( )
  Othemts | Nov 14, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0747582866, Paperback)

It's the twenty-first century and let's be honest - things are a little disappointing. Contrary to every World's Fair prediction, every futuristic ride at Disneyland and the advertisements on the last page of every comic book, we are not living the future we were promised. By now, life was supposed to be a fully automated, atomic-powered, germ-free Utopia, a place where a grown man could wear a velvet spandex unitard and not be laughed at. Where are the ray guns, the flying cars, and the hoverboards that we expected? What happened to our promised moon colonies? Our robot servants? In "Where's My Jetpack?", roboticist Daniel H Wilson takes a hilarious look at the future we always imagined for ourselves. He exposes groundbreaking technology, spotlights existing prototypes and reveals drawing-board plans. You will learn which technologies are already available, who made them, and where to find them. If the technology is not public, you will learn how to build, buy, or steal it. If it doesn't yet exist, you will learn what barriers stand in the way of making it real. With thirty entries spanning everything from underwater hotels to self-contained skyscraper cities, and superbly illustrated by Richard Horne ("101 Things to Do Before You Die"), "Where's My Jetpack?" is a fascinating, one-of-a-kind look at the world that we always dreamed of and that we're still waiting for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:31 -0400)

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Offers a whimsical look at the science behind the great inventions and technology that still do not exist, covering everything from teleportation to self-contained skyscraper cities, hoverboards, and moon colonies.

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