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Publisher's Summary

From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a hilarious investigation into future technologies - from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3-D organ printing.

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

In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next - from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research and interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.

New technologies are almost never the work of isolated geniuses with a neat idea. A given future technology may need any number of intermediate technologies to develop first, and many of these critical advances may appear to be irrelevant when they are first discovered. The journey to progress is full of strange detours and blind alleys that tell us so much about the human mind and the march of civilization. To this end, Soonish investigates 10 different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.

©2017 Zach Weinersmith and Kelly Weinersmith (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really Good-ish!

This book does a great job of walking through the technology trends of the current age, diving in to the consequences without getting as deep into it as Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. The book is technically sound, interesting, well-written, and funny.

Fair warning: As an audiobook, you'll hear "footnote" a lot during the performance. You'll probably get used to it, but if you can't get past the steady interruption you'll be annoyed.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bravo, encore!

There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this book.
The content, as complex and confounding as it is, was easy to understand and it really got me thinking.
The presentation, masterful. I love and share your sense of humor and will hold up with you during the uprising in 2027 (perhaps in a coffee shop in Bowling Green). If my science classes were taught by Zach & Kelly I would have had a much greater understanding of all things science and probably be continuing Einsteins work today.
Footnote: It’s my opinion and I have a right to it!
Please make more stuff like this...

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining and Easy Listen*

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

The concepts in this book were very easy to follow. The only thing I found annoying were the persistent footnotes that interrupted the flow of the book. I guess these are to be expected with this type of content.

Which character – as performed by Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith – was your favorite?

Both Kelly and Zach performed great. I wish we could have heard more of Zach though.

Did Soonish inspire you to do anything?

Soonish did not inspire me to do anything, or dive deeper into the rabbit hole[s]. It just was fun and entertaining.

Any additional comments?

Addition comments/suggestions - Way less footnotes.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Foot Note . . . Hell, Oh God, Damn it, Dumbass!

This book had a humor level that would have been great for my nine-year old, science loving son. The language, though not too offensive, was riddled with phrases that I'm trying to prevent from creeping into his vocabulary. For me that put it in an awkward space that reminded me of being read to by my sixth grade teacher only with mild swearing. Still, bits and pieces of the content are worth contemplating.

57 of 65 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

As fascinating as it is not funny

Unlike some reviewers I have not heard of Zach and Kelly before this but I thought they did a great job with this book! It covered a breadth of scientific topics and explained things exceptionally well. Depending on your knowledge, some sections will probably be a little more rudimentary than others.

While I appreciated the light hearted approach to subjects covered, I honestly didn’t find their jokes funny, they fell flat on most occasions. If you look at the goodreads reviews you’ll realize I’m not the only one who thought this. However, this didn’t take away from the book (most of the time) because they were superb at keeping the subject matter fascinating and I learned a lot and think most people who read this will too!

Audible vs the print version? While I love listening to audiobooks sometimes I do feel books are better as print. I thought this would be one of them due to the comics. However, I don’t think you need this book in the print as the comics are few and far between. Plus Kelly (narrates most of the book) does a great job! Well worth your credit.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Read This Book Soon! (-ish)

This book is at least an order of magnitude more fascinating than funny, which is impressive because it is quite funny! I gained a much less clear, but much more nuanced and accurate idea of what four future holds. If a person likes new technology at all in any form, I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Future

The Weinersmiths’ book is to popular science/futurology what John Oliver is to investigative journalism

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Content good - reader annoying

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The content is good and interesting and perhaps inspiring.... The author choose to read and I found hard to listen to. Listen to the sample recording before purchasing. I recommend the other co-author give it a go, or find a professional.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting subjects, needlessly humorized

The spacefaring and nanobot-material chapters were truly great. The biomass and organprinting chapters not so much. But I can see that is purely based on my personal interest, so shouldn't hold you back. I liked the structure of the book. All the chapters are sort of standalone, which made for an easy to understand book.

I found the humor to be too much though. They try hard to make subjects more exciting by joking a lot. But for their audience (nerdy popular science people), they should've known that rocket science doesn't need jokes. Nerds don't find rocket science boring! Also, I think they should have hired a professional narrator for recording it. It shows that narrating is not for everyone.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A bit goofy but highly enjoyable

Most books aimed at bringing high science to the masses tend to lay the science on pretty heavy while playing the humor card sparingly. I imagine this is because most scientists’ sense of humor run either to the absurd or to the obscure due to a lack of socialization. The humor in this book skewed more to the absurd with a healthy dose of Dad-joke vibe, but in a charming way. While not everyone’s cup of tea, I found the sense of humor rather fun, enlivening the prose in ways that made the subject matter relatable.
The narration could have been better, but the personal asides felt more real and off-the-cuff coming from the author than I imagine it would have coming from a narrator. It made the whole book feel less like a lecture and more like sitting down at a dinner party with a couple of scientist friends and asking them “So what is it you do for a living, exactly?”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful