Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 382
Soonish, by the Weinersmith couple Kelly and Zach, is a deep dive into a set of ten emerging technologies that will rapidly change our society, for better or for worse. The two stipulate in the beginning of the book that there's really no telling what will actually happen with technology in the coming decades. So many different ideas emerge from different areas of study that impact research in ways we could never predict. This is their feeble attempt (by their own admission) at predicting what technology will look like in the nebulous future, coming "soonish".
Broken down into three sections, the first area to discuss is space, "The Final Frontier". Essentially, the couple explores the idea, postulated in the title of one of the early chapters, that "the final frontier is too . . . expensive" and that cheap access to space is one of the groundbreaking areas of study currently. They outline new developments from reusable rockets like SpaceX is pioneering, adaptable wing and engine designs to undergo fluid transition after entering supersonic travel, and much more, to break down how people are trying to make space cheaper to get to and how we'll fund it (including asteroid mining).
The second section deals with the future of stuff—how things like nuclear fusion and 3D printing will affect the way humans consume goods. Will fusion become a viable power source in the future, if it's ever actually achieved? Will we be able to create instantaneous, detailed 3D printing devices, and will we embark on whole worlds of augmented and virtual reality while the world we know is populated by robots and synthetically created humans?
The final section is the future of the human body—how will we change and what technologies are being developed to bring about that change. Most importantly, they delve into the world of nanotechnology and programmable-delivery medicines (essentially injecting nanomachines into the human body to make repairs and deliver medicines).
This book dives into the weird world of close-to-home science fiction and how we're bringing it about. For a witty, frank discussion of what the world will look like in "soonish" years, this book delivers an effective summary of the idea that we have no idea what to expect, while also showing glimpses of what we're trying to make happen.
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