Blueprint for a Battlestar

Through stunning images, including 75 illustrations created exclusively for this book, 25 remarkable and memorable technologies from the world of sci-fi are explored.

With expertly written text by NASA insider Rod Pyle, each concept is explained and dissected to reveal the real science behind it. Some are temptingly within our reach—such as cyborgs and artificial intelligence—others are further off, but fast approaching reality (think bio-ports or cloaking devices). All are fascinating and make wonderful explorations into the science of the future as we understand it today.

Synopsis
Through stunning images, including 75 illustrations created exclusively for this book, 25 remarkable and memorable technologies from the world of sci-fi are explored. With expertly written text by NASA insider Rod Pyle, each concept is explained and dissected to reveal the real science behind it. Some are temptingly within our reach—such as cyborgs and artificial intelligence—others are further off, but fast approaching reality (think bio-ports or cloaking devices). All are fascinating and make wonderful explorations into the science of the future as we understand it today.
Rod Pyle is a space author, journalist and historian. He has written ten books on space history, exploration and development for major publishers that have been published in seven languages.

First line: "The cool thing about the future is that it always gives you something to look forward to."

So nice to hear that - very true - sentiment for a change.

Page 84: Living in a Space Colony chapter begins. Page 85 shows half page drawing of an O'Neill Island (a Cylinder) and the chapter starts with O'Neill's story. "In 1977, he founded The Space Studies Institute to provide a forum for his ideas about settling people off Earth" Talks of SSI Bernal Spheres, Stanford Tori, the SEDS Act and more. Nicely done.

Two chapters on 'moving without the light speed limit' and stellar-ranged transportation with many references to Freeman Dyson (SSI's second President) specifically in relation to his work on the Orion project. A Dyson Sphere diagram gets a full page (page 163). There's a full chapter on Nanotech, mentioning K. Eric Drexler's classic "Engines of Creation" (Drexler was Gerard K. O'Neill's MIT grad student and did hands-on engineering of the first Mass Driver before starting to seriously dig into the question: How small can self-replicating machines be made to then make big, huge, worthwhile things?)

If off-planet living isn't your personal area of interest it still should be telling in that it is an area of my own experience and though that part was short (6 total pages dedicated to O'Neill "Colonies" followed by a section on Mars plans) I wasn't disappointed. Typically if you grab a resource on many topics and find that the one that you know something about is off the mark it should be a red flag that the items you don't know about are also going to be weak for knowledge.. but when the topic that you do know about is done well then it can be a gauge for the similar integrity of the other parts.

Prefer to remain stuck on a planetary surface? The book offers chapters on Terraforming, New Dinosaurs via old DNA, cities of "the future", Fembots, plugging your head directly into the net and, of course, Jetsons cars, jet packs and hoverboards.

No index, but a nice "Sources" bibliography for each chapter.

Nice colorful pages, high quality thick glossy pages so the graphics don't bleed through, fabric page attachment so the pages lie flat and should last while cheap glue books crack and fail. This is a quality book.

Not a text book, not huge detail, but stimulating and covering a wide range of topics. Bought mine at a store on a recent trip to Australia (it just came out and they had a stack with a nice display, not hidden away but proudly displayed. Good promotion.). I came back home and had to look for it on Amazon.

Glad to have found it.

Excellent for a gift.