Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge” as Want to Read:
Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Leading and up-and-coming scientists and science writers cast their minds one million years into the future to imagine the fate of the human and/or extraterrestrial galaxy.
This volume of fifteen new, specially commissioned essays by notable journalists and scholars such as Rudy Rucker, Jim Holt, and Gregory Benford presents a series of speculations on the most radical but
Paperback, 330 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Atlas Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Year Million, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Year Million

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge
Omar Rodriguez-Rodriguez
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: future
One of the few books I've read that literally deserves the "awe-inspiring" label. Looking forward to reading it again to squeeze more juice out of it. ...more
Brown Robin
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books with such a special audience, you don't need my advice. Either you are hip to the ideas and scales of concern covered here or you are not. This set of essays is highly recommended if you are the former.

Of course, idly curious folks should also give it a try. The trick with such speculation is the applicability of the material to everyday, or even slightly less ordinary, life. I find most of my attention these days on global, century ahead time scales, simply because ci
Ethan Hulbert
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me tell ya, this book is wild. Who ever thinks of the year 1,000,000? I mean come on, it’s 2018 as I write this. We might think of timeframes as far back as a few thousand years to the Ancient Egyptians or whatever. But the year 3000 sounds super futuristic and far off. The year 1000000 is hard to comprehend. It’s 997,982 years away! That’s insane.

And this book writes about it.

“Far Edge of Knowledge” for sure. The stuff in this book blew me away. It’s hard to even make predictions at this sc
Hayley Dunning
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Variable chapters, but plenty to ponder.
Wayne Woodman
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was an ok read but a lot of it was beyond the scope of my imagination and some of it was quite technical.
P.J. Wetzel
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having spent a whole lot of time thinking about the distant future as I write Ice King, set in 635,037 A.D., I was super-excited to read this compilation of fourteen noted scientists' take on what the world might be like in the year 1,000,000 A.D.

Although there's plenty of food for thought here, I come away feeling that Broderick's compilation was too limited in scope for my liking. The vast majority of the discussions either stay so deadly cautious with their grounding in present reality as to
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Futurists and fans of hard sci-fi
Year Million is an anthology of essays about the far future, seeking to answer the question of what life will be like in the Year Million -- assuming life lasts that long. The essayists are mostly sci-fi and science writers; their writing is sometimes technical but always readable.

The central problem with the book is that a million years is an awfully long time. Asking a science writer to predict life in the Year Million is presumably a thousand times more unreasonable than asking William the Co
Stephie Iris Williams
This was not a great book. I found most of the chapters to be far fetched. Of course, it isn't easy to write about the far future.

Being an anthology, some chapters were better than others.

I thought the chapter written by Jim Holt was interesting. He use the Copernican Principle and a probability to find that, indeed, humans would be around in a million years, as well as, numbers and humor. However, while numbers, according to his logic, will be around, the same argument cannot find that someth
Scott Lerch
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
These visions of the future were all surprisingly similar but all had interesting twists and were well thought out. Basically, the descendants of humans will probably be immortal super intelligences (if we don't kill ourselves) and we'll eventually live in something like a dyson sphere. There were interesting thoughts on whether we dismantle the universe and add to our dyson sphere or slowly colonize the universe (oddly none of the scientists were ready to realistically admit the possibility of ...more
Sep 20, 2009 marked it as to-read
This is a collection of essays which cover what things might be like 997,991 years from now (approximately) and beyond. This includes technology, astronomic and terrestrial phenomena, biological developments, etc. This includes assumptions of existence, extinction, or irrelevance of humans.

One of my favorite items from the book is the explanation of evolution as preferring fecundity and survivability for the sake of propagation to permanence, hence the non-existence of immortal life forms. It co
John Wyss
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I only made it a little more than half way through this book. I should have known that speculating about the year million was just that, pure speculation. I was skeptical going in, and almost everything I read proved that skepticism true. The very first essay was the best I read. Unlike the others, it was actually based on current mathematical and philosophical principles to extrapolate information about the distant future. The rest basically made huge jumps, without any concrete evidence to bac ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nerd-stuff
Disappointing. Aside from mediocre writing by most of the contributors, it was particularly annoying that the editor didn't take time to explain some of the terminology (computronium? Matroishka Brains?) given how many authors discussed the topics. Evidently this future in which we become the Internet, turn all matter to living computers, and exist as concentric shells of energy-capturing sails around a star or planet, was introduced by a fellow named Dyson and accepted by most as a foregone con ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Some fascinating articles--the best by far is the one about humor and numbers--separated into three or four sections. The biggest flaw of the book is that too many articles in each section are so similar. They're saying the same things the other writers are saying, so the editor, Damien Broderick, comes off as a bit lazy. That being said, there are some fascinating looks at how the human race will have evolved by its millionth year which means our descendants will see us as far more primitive th ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a compilation of essays on ponderings of what lies in the future for us, like a million years or so. My first reaction was we can barely imagine what is in store in 100 years. Think back to 1913 or so and our state of technology and what we thought we knew was right.

Many of these essays are truly thought provoking and fascinating. Taking on aspects of technology, exploration, and the ultimate fate of universe boggles the imagination. The book goes a long way in bringing many of thes
Frederick Gault
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, science
An excellent survey of contemporary speculation about the long future of humanity. What is striking is how different some of these visions are. Will be all uploaded to a grand Virtual Reality running of "computronium" (a computer made by dismantling the planets)? About the only thing all the authors agree on is that humans will not live in a Star Trek like Universe "meat in tin cans" due to the impossibly long time it takes to get anywhere due to the speed limit of c. ...more
Daniel Messer
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book, like many diverse collections of essays, is filled with good stuff and not so good stuff. I loved the essays on the far expanses of time and the universe, heat death, and the cosmic horizon. Other essays on evolution, prolonging life, and the like were very good too. Others weren't so great but I must stress that this is because I wasn't as interested in them. The writing on every piece was sound and solid, so my interests notwithstanding, this was a damned decent book. ...more
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Well, I must admit, I thought I'd find this a lot more intriguing than I did. Some of the writers seemed to stray off-topic, in my opinion, and go right to the end of the universe rather than sticking to the year one million. Some entries I just couldn't get into due to the writing style and leaving me wondering what point the writer was trying to make. Something of a disappointment, I'm afraid, although some interesting postulations on future technologies. ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
An important meditation (self-reflection) on our human civilization. What is the meaning of our continued generational existence? Will we have all the matter and energy do our bidding? -- an assimilation of resources that seems to define industry and the success of civilization. These are not questions that are precisely answered in the book, but in discussing these issues the book forces you to examine your own beliefs about the nature of humanity and its place in the universe.
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This anthology of forecasts by scientists and researchers about the year 1 million A.D. is for advanced readers of scifi and those with a solid foundation and interest in physics. It covers topics such as the matrioshka brain, dyson swarms, kardashev type I and II civs, computronium, nanotechnology, and of the course the singularity. Highly recommended.
Garrett Mccutcheon
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
While there were interesting points, much of the material was recycled (Dyson spheres, Matroiska brains, Kardashev I/II civilizations). In all a mediocre output easily bested by gifted speculative fiction writers.
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fascinating look into the far distant future of humankind and the universe.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: divulgacion
Just the article on laughter and math was worth the entire book to me.
Some articles are somewhat repetitive though.
Brian Rivard
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Good solid brain-stretching book for all you science geeks out there.
Jun 24, 2008 added it
Shelves: shelved
so far kind of 'really? no, probably not really.' which is kind of 'meh.'
update: shelved.
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
More unreadable than not.
Dec 14, 2010 is currently reading it
Excellent set of essays speculating on the state of humanity and technology one million years from now.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love that it takes you well beyond the obvious time difference (e.g., 10 years, 100 years, etc.) It is a well done collection of great perspectives.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Essays reveal a lot about the authors' presuppositions and values. ...more
Scott Allen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 12, 2013
Guillermo Ortega
rated it liked it
Oct 16, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2)
  • Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3)
  • Engine Summer
  • Islands in the Net
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)
  • Homeland (Little Brother, #2)
  • The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
  • Get in Trouble
  • Jughead, Vol. 1
  • Legends of the American Desert: Sojourns in the Greater Southwest
  • Carnival
  • The Caves of Steel (Robot #1)
  • The Hormone Jungle
  • The Einstein Intersection
  • Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles, #3)
  • The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture #10)
  • Deserted Cities of the Heart
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Discover lots of new and upcoming nonfiction reads this spring with our author interviews, articles, and book lists!   Interviews with...
4 likes · 2 comments
“Even if we become glowing clouds of ectoplasm, there's going to be something we're competing for - and most of us will feel as though we're getting screwed.” 9 likes
More quotes…