Future Please

Mag Surf Hoverboard

Future, Please: Hoverboards!

Everyone wants a hoverboard, and anyone who says they don’t is lying.

Credit NASA Goddard

Future, Please: Geoengineering

Earlier this week, Al Gore said it would be “utterly mad” to combat climate change with large-scale geoengineering projects. For what it’s worth, we agree – and the sooner we start, the better.

Cold Fusion

Future, Please: Cold Fusion

Limitless, clean energy! Cold fusion is the perfect MacGuffin for any techno-thriller: the hero possess the key to a future of unlimited free energy, if only the establishment would listen or the oil tycoons would...

Asteroid Mining

Future, Please: Asteroid Mining

With otherwise credible, intelligent players lining up behind real-world asteroid mining ventures, it’s worth a look at how well this beloved SF industry makes the transition to an economic and engineering reality. Is it worth...

Cybernetic Society

Future, Please: Cybernetic Society

Many beloved fictional settings feature societies free from the corruption, meaningless toil, and irrational wastage plaguing modern human societies. These planned societies don’t promise a perfect world – there are no interesting stories in perfect...

Underwater Cities

Future, Please: Underwater Cities

From the ever-iterating myth of Atlantis to the underwater utopias of post-Golden Age science fiction, we were promised a better world beneath the waves. Atlantis: The Ultimate Suburban Flight A city where the artist would...

Frickin Laser Beams

Future, Please: Frickin Lasers

The theoretical underpinnings are nearly a century old, and the first solid-state lasers date to the 1950s. Sixty years later, why can’t I buy a laser pistol at Walmart? 

power armor and jet pacls

Future, Please: Power Armor and Jet Packs

Science fiction provides inspiration and escape, but it’s also a project buffer for future engineers. Quirky and inspirational ideas, beyond reach of the writer’s contemporaries, can remain in circulation as fiction while the rest of...