Predictions

Dreamers of the world to come, and their (not always accurate) visions of tomorrow.



 

This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future

By John Brockman

 

John Brockman gets 150 of the world's most provocative thinkers -- from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek to bestselling author Ian McEwan and music revolutionary Brian Eno -- to espouse on what "game-changing scientific ideas and developments" they’ll be around to witness. The result is a blueprint of what could soon be our new reality.

 


Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twen...

By Paul Milo

 

Sometimes tomorrow doesn't work out the way even the brightest minds of today think it will -- and yesterday's picture of today provides a great example: where are the domed cities, vat-grown babies, and weekends in orbit? Paul Milo engagingly chronicles the misfires of 20th-century techno-utopians, and explains why their assumptions were so off the mark. He also studies innovations -- like airplanes -- that defied conventional wisdom and actually worked out.

 


Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

By Michael Lewis

 

The most consistent thing about predictions is that most of them turn out to be quite wrong. Yet there are always a few outliers who manage to spot tomorrow's reality while others are looking at a mirage. In his book The Big Short and in this globe-trotting followup, Michael Lewis anatomizes the global misreading of the blossoming financial crisis -- and spends time with those few people whose clairvoyance has proven, tragically, to have been accurate.

 

 


The Futurist

By James P. Othmer

 

Othmer’s hilarious satire of corporate life and mass media follows a high-priced speaker around the world (Bible conferences, corporate-sponsored orgies on Fiji, etc.) as he tells people what they want to hear about their future. A personal crisis involving celebrities in a space station changes his life forever and forces him to reevaluate the course he has charted.

 

 


Looking Backward: 2000-1887

By Edward Bellamy

 

A sensation when it was published in 1888, Edward Bellamy's fictional portrait of a 21st-century America puts his Bostonian protagonist Julian West to sleep and wakes him up, like Rip Van Winkle, in what would be our present day. "Looking backward" from the year 2000 to 1887, he describes an alternate universe in which all of the world's problems -- war, poverty, crime -- have been solved. Bellamy's panorama of harmony never came true, but his vision was both a bestselling novel and an inspiration to social reformers of his day.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.