Arthur C Clarke says this is his most important non-fiction, noting it is impossible to predict the future and all attempts to do so in any detail appear ludicrous within a very few years. This book does not try to describe the
future, but to define the boundaries within which possible futures must lie. Extensively revised in 1999 from the original 1962 edition, ideas here also found their way also into 2001: A Space Odyssey
and The Fountains of Paradise
. Often Clarke leaves the original text then comments on how knowledge has grown over 37 years, making for a fascinating reflection on the rapidity of our changing futures. He explores the range of science and technology, defining the inability to envision how the future might be in terms of failures of either nerve or imagination... refusal to accept the implications of science as it already is, or to see how it might one day be. He then systematically, in accessible, non-technical language, sets out what may be theoretically possible--manufacturing and medicine to transport and communications--within the laws of physics. And following Clarke's Second Law
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
states the cases for and against the most fantastical science fiction, including time travel, invisibility and matter transmission. Essential for layman, scientist and science-fiction reader alike. --Gary S. Dalkin
An inquiry into the limits of the possible.
Our problems on Jupiter, Mercury, Venus - conquering Time - transport in the future - overcoming gravity - communications across space - benevolent electronic brains.
The range of this enthralling book is immense: from the re-making of the human mind to the vast reaches of the universe. Newly revised, even the remarkable events of the last decade have affected few of the exciting speculations by Arthur C. Clarke - a scientist whose expert and wide knowledge is matched only by his brilliant imagination.