AN Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson
One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next?"

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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.

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About Mark Stevenson

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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.
Published February 3, 2011 by Avery. 386 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for AN Optimist's Tour of the Future

The Guardian

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Twenty-first century futures talk betrays an odd collective state of mind.

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of AN Optimist's Tour of the Fut...

The Guardian

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This book is fantastic if you're interested in science or technology or even if you're just worried about the future.

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of AN Optimist's Tour of the Fut...

The Bookbag

Covering everything from robots to the environment, space exploration to eternal life, the book tracks Stevenson as he treks around the globe, meeting people on the cutting edge of science, and turning their babble into clear descriptions, ideas and explanations Joe Bloggs can understand.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of AN Optimist's Tour of the Fut...


With plenty of references to IBM’s Deep Blue, and robots joining together and taking over humanity (a la Skynet), the journey through the future of robotics seems a bit more real.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of AN Optimist's Tour of the Fut...

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