Satisfying soul food for the inner geek

(Kirkus Reviews)

Tech Republic: Ten Best Reads of 2015

Science fiction is a vital part of popular culture, influencing the way we all look at the world.

TV shows like Star Trek and movies from Forbidden Planet to Inception have influenced scientists to enter the profession and have shaped our futures. Science fiction doesn't set out to predict the future — it's far more about exploring "What if?..." — but it is fascinating to see how science fiction and reality sometimes converge, sometimes take extraordinarily different paths.

Ten Billion Tomorrows brings to life a whole host of science fiction topics, from the virtual environment of The Matrix and the intelligent computer HAL in 2001, to force fields, ray guns and cyborgs. We discover how science fiction has motivated us to think differently, whether it is Star Trek's holodeck inspiring makers of iconic video games Doom and Quake to create the virtual interactive worlds that transformed gaming, or the strange physics that has made real cloaking devices possible. Mixing remarkable science with the imagination of our greatest science fiction writers, Ten Billion Tomorrows will delight science fiction lovers and popular science devotees alike.

You can hear an interview with Brian by Bob McDonald on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks here:

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Enter the name for this tabbed section: Reviews


Trained in physics but steeped in sci-fi, the author takes readers on an amiable stroll into worlds that once seemed improbable, reminding them that science fiction, by definition, has to have some grounding in reality and "requires at least a hat tip toward what is physically possible.”… ​​ Satisfying soul food for your inner geek: an enjoyable tour of science fact and fiction by a writer who obviously revels in both. Kirkus Reviews

Mr. Clegg’s “Ten Billion Tomorrows” is a fascinating miscellany of enlivening facts and observations by an author steeped in (modern) myths and modern science.He juxtaposes informed discussions of SF works (such as James Blish’s clever meditation on instantaneous interstellar communication, “Beep”) with recondite scientific theories (in this case, the ideas of physicist Paul Dirac and more recent experiments in quantum entanglement). And he illustrates how science and technology have diverged or will diverge from iconic SF predictions… Mr. Clegg supplies a bevy of other fascinating intersections between SF and science. Michael Saler, Wall Street Journal

The book offers some fascinating insight into contemporary scientific research and technologies that are currently in use and in development… highly accessible and suitable for any reader interested in science fiction, or anyone excited by the potential of technology. Publishers’ Weekly

Fast moving and highly readable… it’s surprising to discover how much science fiction themes have genuine real-world counterparts - and how much real science Clegg is able to communicate simply by using science fiction tropes as a springboard. Andrew May, Fortean Times

Brian Clegg’s books are always enjoyable and informative to read, but this one has the added attraction that it flits so quickly from one subject to another that you never quite know what’s coming next. If there’s such a thing as an ‘edge of the seat’ popular science book, this is it! Popular Science website

In his new book, 10 Billion Tomorrows, British science writer Brian Clegg shows the subtle and significant ways that science fiction has shaped our present, and continues to shape our future. Quirks and Quarks, CBC

Ten Billion Tomorrows is the type of book that will have readers reciting fun facts to anyone who will listen… a great read for anyone who comes to it with a passion for the science behind science fiction Bill Jones, A. V. Club

Someone once said that prediction is very hard - especially about the future. Brian Clegg examines how the predictions of science fiction have been both startlingly right and hilariously wrong. From space elevators to robotics, from intelligent computers to. Cyborgs, this is an affectionate romp by a leading science writer and sci-fi enthusiast covering the waterfront of the classic science fiction tropes. Henry Gee - Palaeontologist and science fiction author

In his new book, Ten Billion Tomorrows, Clegg dives deep into the sci-fi canon, exploring what happens when science meets wishful thinking (spoiler: cool stuff). Sarah Sloat, Inverse Magazine

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