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Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,867 ratings  ·  619 reviews
From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, an illustrated investigation into future technologies

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar colony already?

In this book, Zach and Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of the transformative technologies that are c
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  3,867 ratings  ·  619 reviews


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Mario the lone bookwolf
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 0-technology
I devour tech nonfiction books, especially those who give a good overview and I tend to incidentally analyze how the authors' professions, ideas, and outlook influence how different the future extrapolations can be.

In this case, it´s as perfect as it can be, because Weinersmith is a parasitologist with a progressive perspective on the ten mostly techy topics and, most importantly, a podcaster who knows how to entertain an audience. Jay, no dry science in the house.

Access to space, asteroid minin
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J.L.   Sutton
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Why stop at seven margaritas when you can just print a new liver?”

Predictions from futurists are not all equal or equally entertaining. Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith's Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything was interesting, compelling and (replete with references to D&D, Star Trek, Star Wars and the robot uprising of 2027) was relatable in a geeky way. Weinersmith looks at how emerging technologies will impact our everyday reality and change our perc
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ✺❂❤❣
Q:
Fortunately, predicting the future is pretty easy. People do it all the time. Getting your prediction right is a bit harder, but honestly, does anyone really care? (c)
Q:
There was a study in 2011 called “Are Talking Heads Blowing Hot Air,”* in which the predictive abilities of twenty-six pundits were assessed. Predictive powers ranged from mostly right to usually wrong.*
For most people, the pleasure of reading this study was the discovery that certain individuals were not just intolerable moron
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Marie
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book delves into technological realms that the authors feel could see gigantic leaps in our access to and use of in the future.  This novel was written by husband and wife pair, the former, a cartoonist and the latter, a noted Rice University Researcher.  They interviewed many scientists across various fields of study to learn about up and coming technologies.  They start each segment by explaining where we are with a certain technology, then discuss where research is heading, what the futu ...more
Sonja Arlow
Sep 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine you are at a dinner party and you meet a new person, let’s call him Bob. Now you quickly realise that Bob is super intelligent, and you start having the most interesting conversations. The problem is Bob spits when he talks. Its highly annoying (and unhygienic) and you end up cutting the chat short.

Reading this book was something like that. The content is highly interesting, but the way it was told was off-putting.

If you can ignored the juvenile humour and the cringe worthy cartoons what
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Jenna
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
File:Spaceship Kawaii.gif
"You promised me Mars colonies, and all I got was all of human knowledge indexed and available to everyone on Earth for free."

Remember watching "Back to the Future" and thinking we'd have hoverboards and self-tying shoes by now? Does it ever frustrate you that technology doesn't progress FASTER than what it does? Like, "What the heck are those scientists doing? They can't grow us new bodies yet?? What's the big hold up, this one is falling apart!". I love to read technology books and they're
...more
Trish
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so here's the thing. I really LOVE science. Granted, I'm not the greatest at maths, but I love biology as well as chemistry and at least am really into what physics means. *lol*
Which might be the reason why I also love non-fiction books as much as any others ... if they are done right. Moreover, I've been a fan of comics and the age-old "what if" question.
Ergo, a book combining that sounded great. Problem was, it didn't work 100%.

I had never heard of the authors before but checked out some
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Paperclippe
If you're a citizen of the internet, you've seen Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Trust me, you have. If you think you haven't, go google "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal," and then be like, "Oh yeah, that," and then come back to this review.

So, Zach and Kelly wrote a book.

Pals, it's fantastic.

So, it's funny. You were probably expecting that.

So, it's got comics. You were probably expecting that.

What you might not have been expecting was one of the most thoroughly researched, best explained,
...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Soonish
Ten Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything
by Dr. Kelly Weinersmith; Zach Weinersmith
This is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary.
This book is an informative and fun book to read. Not only does it give the reader ideas for what might be coming along in the future and what that might mean for mankind (good or bad) but it is done in a very humorous way! It sure got a few chuckles and giggles out of me! That's the best way to read science! Make
...more
Carlos
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such an interesting book, I have to admit that some of the information is a little bit too complex for the average person but the humor imbedded into the book helps the reader to process all the information a little better. There were some amazing ideas explored in the book (such as a elevator to an asteroid to make space exploration cheaper, meteor mining and advances in medicine) , but there were some crazy ones that seemed a little to farfetched (such as mirror humans), but overall t ...more
Patrick
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was bamboozled.


I read a fantastic book called “Filmish” which uses a comic-book format to discuss the history of cinema.

When I saw a book called “Soonish”, which promised “a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies”, I imagined a science-focused “Filmish”.

This was not that book.

The illustrations were sparse and amateurish, the humor falls flat in most places, and although the science is accurate enough, the writing is juvenile and condescending at times.

This book would be
...more
Virginia
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a really fun collection of ten technologies currently in R&D. The Weinersmiths combine fact and humor to create a book that's so informative and silly you'll want to read it again and again.

Zach Weinersmith is the creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a popular geek webcomic great for fans of XKCD. His wife, Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, is an accomplished scientist whose work has been featured through many popular science venues. They worked together to explain complicated technology
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Lindsay
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been a big fan of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal from Zach Weinersmith for years and I've read some of Kelly Weinersmith writing on her field of paristology before, so I had a fairly good idea what to expect with this book. Insightful thinking and research about popular science with comics and humor throughout. It delivers on that very well, providing an excellent summary of the frontiers of technology towards the end of the second decade of this century. Clearly it will date quickly, bu ...more
Tim
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book is looking at our world and tries to make predictions where science and technology will lead us. The book is split into sections: ‘the universe’, ‘stuff’, and ‘you’ containing a range of topics such as asteroid mining, augmented reality, brain-computer interfaces, and space elevators. As well as diving into the science, Soonish explores some of the economic and ethical implications around these technologies
The skills of a scientist are paired with those of a cartoonist which means this
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Jose Moa
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is about a indeterminate but near in time future,it extrapoles but not too much already existing technologies ,for in some way depict the world of tomorrow,mainly in the biological,medical,astronautic and information and comunication tecnologies,all with its advantages and dangers,the book also explains the today situation of technologies as astronautic,nuclear fussion reactors,3D printing,augmented reality,brain-computer interfaces,sinthetic biology etc.
The book written by a scientific and a
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Drobinsky Alexander
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I failed to learn anything new from this book , probably because this book is a compilation of known latest technologies so any person who are follows up science news already familiar with most of content of this book besides jokes of doubtful quality.
Also I found a bit offending an oversimplified explanation of basic science terms combined with nice while not exactly correct metaphors provided for easier understanding.
On another hand I would like to thank authors for comprehensive list of pers
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Meow
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’d been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and finally got my hands on a copy. It was well worth keeping it at the top of my “wanna read desperately” books.

This husband and wife team have put together an amazing thing here. Each chapter really reads like a short story. All you’ve heard, all you have thought of, for future realities can be found here along with the obligatory “robot” .

Expertly researched, fantastic illustrations and jokes dispersed from beginning to end, thi
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Bryan Alexander
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful and deeply researched look into the possible future of certain technologies, Soonish is a fine feast for the mind.

We read this for my online book club. Several posts have tons of material: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 (tk).
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Cathy
So, finally getting round to this... not really.... my NetGalley version only consists of the introduction and the first two chapters: How to get into space cheaply and asteroid mining. Once I realized that, I mostly skimmed and just perused a bit here and there.

Entertaining, amusing style, that borders on slightly silly. Amusing, very simple comic strips—I recommend reading the ebook version on something that allows colour. Easy to understand explanations of complex topics. Space elevators, reu
...more
Shabbeer Hassan
A "what-if" kinda book exploring the future, what can be and its left to the readers in a way whether it would be so. Delightfully written with tongue-in-cheek humour, which might not appeal to everyone but if you like the darn good webcomic, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (smbc), then you would like this one too.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Peter Tillman
I didn't like the smartass writing style, the humor left me cold, I didn't much like the cartoons, and I wasn't learning anything. 1.5 stars, rounded up.

Note that this is a minority opinion, and I'm unusually grumpy around the holidays. I'm giving up after skimming about halfway. Back it goes!
Lisa Kucharski
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book and the humor involved. It's nice to see what different people are seeing as the "on the horizon" tech. It's written with humor but also explains the reality of where things are and how far they are from happening be it, costly to well... we haven't worked out all the bugs yet... hmmm.

The book covers 10 "areas". 1. Space Traveling. 2. Asteroid Mining 3. Fusion Power. 4. Programmable Matter (my fave) 5. Robotic Construction. 6. Augmented Reality 7. Synthetic Biology (yikes). 8. P
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Hank
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-clean-2018
For me, too much humor not enough content. I think I like more in depth types of science books rather than survey types and as always, humor is subjective and it just wasn't my type.

With those negatives out front, Weinersmith really does a good job of giving you/us the current state of a wide variety of science. Just enough information to be coherent discussing them at parties and in my case enough information that I became curious and went to find more.

A good, well thought out book that just di
...more
Thomas Ray
Dec 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Soonish

Talks about the space elevator with almost no technical details about the idea. A much better starting place is https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space...
It would be a vertical cable almost long enough to wrap completely around the Earth, under such enormous tension that we'll have to wait until far-stronger, lighter materials are developed. There'd be an asteroid-sized counterweight at the top. It would spin with the Earth, eastward--cutting across the north-south orbits of all the satelli
...more
Sazedul Waheed Nitol
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. The authors tried to speculate about future technological & engineering scenarios of different sectors and the challenges we might face in those sectors. Authors discussed these issues in details and tried to maintain a light tone. But I think that readers who don't have a strong background in science would find it difficult to finish the book as there's a lot of science jargon in every other page. ...more
Chris
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books2017
If you’ve paid any attention to the technologies in this book (AR, 3D printing, space elevators, etc), you won’t find much that’s new. The authors go on about each technology at excessive length, with no real overarching narrative nor any new reporting. Not recommended.
Sara
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ut-online-lib
Mostly entertaining and funny overview of tech innovations that could either make it for us or break us as humans. Liked the silly cartoons and the info was engaging without being stuffy. Overall, an enjoyable book.
Jeff
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and interesting read. Soonish is about “ten emerging technologies that’ll improve and/or ruin everything”. Dr. Kelly Weinersmith does the heavy lifting with the science writing while her husband, Zach, adds the mostly humorous, sometimes scientific cartoons found throughout the book.

I’ve read my share of future science books which present the “oh, wow” and “shiny-happy” version of the future, and I think what sets this one apart is the way the Weinersmiths present not only the “w
...more
Vegantrav
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Soonish is a rarity among popular science books on the technology of the future: it addresses but moves beyond the scientific aspects of the technology and asks and largely answers questions of feasibility and economics. Sadly, the answer for many of the fields that the authors address is that the technology is still so primitive that it is not feasible in the near future and may not be feasible for even many decades hence or even ever, and even for the technology that is feasible, the costs are ...more
Matty-Swytla
Well, this is a good book for people who know very little about latest technologies and developing scientific fields, but it may fall a little short for those who know more. It's still a good overview of most promising technologies and I'd recommend it, but somehow I expected a little more. I understand science had to be brought to a very simple level, but a little trust in readers wouldn't go amiss. The humour, though, didn't just fall flat but completely missed the point too many times to coun ...more
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Dr. Kelly Weinersmith is adjunct faculty Biosciences department at Rice University, where she studies parasites that manipulate the behavior of their hosts. She also cohosts Science…sort of, which is one of the top 20 natural science podcasts. Kelly spoke at Smithsonian magazine’s The Future Is Here Festival in 2015, and her work has been featured in The Atlantic, National Geographic, BBC World, S ...more

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