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Science fiction is a vital part of popular culture, influencing the way we all look at the world. TV shows like Star Trek and movies from Forbidden Planet to Inception have influenced scientists to enter the profession and have shaped our futures. Science fiction doesn't set out to predict what will happen - it's far more about how human beings react to "What if?..." - but it is fascinating to see how science fiction and reality sometimes converge, sometimes take extraordinarily different paths.
Ten Billion Tomorrows brings to life a whole host of science fiction topics, from the virtual environment of The Matrix and the intelligent computer HAL in 2001, to force fields, ray guns and cyborgs. We discover how science fiction has excited us with possibilities, whether it is Star Trek's holodeck inspiring makers of iconic video games Doom and Quake to create the virtual interactive worlds that transformed gaming, or the strange physics that has made real cloaking devices possible. Mixing remarkable science with the imagination of our greatest science fiction writers, Ten Billion Tomorrows will delight science fiction lovers and popular science devotees alike.
BRIAN CLEGG holds a physics degree from Cambridge and has written regular columns, features, and reviews for numerous magazines. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.