Non-Fiction Reviews


Profiles of the Future

(1999) Arthur C. Clarke, Victor Gollancz, £18.99, hdbk, 213pp, ISBN 0-575-06790-X

Extremely overpriced update (not the first such) of Clarke’s original 1962 speculations on the future. Actually this seems less like an ‘update’ than it does an annotated version, since there is precious little new material here, other than Clarke’s comments on the accuracy (or not) of his predictions. Yes, these glimpses of possible future developments are entertaining, and the casual reader may have more faith in Clarke’s ability to look ahead than in their own, but (as Clarke himself would admit) the future’s uncertainties are enough to undo anyone’s guesses, no matter how well qualified. If you’re curious about this book, I’d suggest picking up an old second-hand copy (funny, I know where you can get one...) rather than spend nearly 20 quid on this slim volume.

Tony Chester


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