Ryan's Reviews > Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years

Tomorrow Now by Bruce Sterling
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's review
Jul 13, 2010

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bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read in July, 2010

Tomorrow Now is an expansive look at the next fifty years by sci-fi novelist Bruce Sterling. The book's premise is intriguing, but the execution is hit-and-miss.

Sterling's writing style is reminiscent of Tom Friedman (Lexus and the Olive Tree, The World is Flat, etc.), which drove me mildly insane as I read the book. Both authors heavily rely on gimmicky initial caps to drive home Important Concepts, as if trademarking new terms mid-sentence. Far worse, these Important Concepts were mixed into sentences which frolicked and dabbled in ideas to the point of incoherent babbling:

As with the event horizon of a black hole, there seems to be no possible communication between us and a Singularity. Our merely human reality is swallowed in an Einsteinian warp, and not so much an informative photon can creep back to us. However, although the approach of a Vinegean Singularity is easy to dramatize, it's not really relevant to what might really happen in a real posthuman world.

Say what?

Despite frequent confusing passages, this book has some incredible moments which make it well worth struggling through the mucky parts. Oddly, there is even a lengthy description of the conflicts in Chechnya where Sterling writes clearly and vividly, making me wish he authored my high school World History textbook.

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