New Book to Take a Comic (and Serious) Look at 10 Emerging Technologies

Soonish book cover
"Soonish" (Penguin Press, 2017), by Zach and Kelly Weinersmith, is set to release Oct. 17. (Image credit: Penguin Press)

A new book will probe the future of technology from a scientific — and comedic — angle, exploring what's coming next, what the future will really be like and what it will take to get that space elevator or moon colony running.

Zach and Kelly Weinersmith, the author of the online SMBC Comics and a biologist/podcaster, respectively, are aiming for an Oct. 17 release of the book, titled "Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything" (Penguin Press, 2017).

The husband-and-wife team investigate 10 developing fields of science and technology to figure out how they'd be used and the obstacles keeping them from becoming a reality, integrating interviews with scientists, original research and — of course — silly, irreverent comics. The promotional materials suggest space-based topics, including colonization, asteroid mining, deep space exploration and the aforementioned space elevator.

Right now, potential readers can preorder the book online, where an animated space elevator is slowly climbing past different additional perks based on preorder numbers, such as a recorded podcast discussing the book, signed bookplates and a live Q&A for the people that sign up.

The authors describe the work in true webcomic form in the graphic below.

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Sarah Lewin
Associate Editor

Sarah Lewin started writing for in June of 2015 as a Staff Writer and became Associate Editor in 2019 . Her work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, Quanta Magazine, Wired, The Scientist, Science Friday and WGBH's Inside NOVA. Sarah has an MA from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and an AB in mathematics from Brown University. When not writing, reading or thinking about space, Sarah enjoys musical theatre and mathematical papercraft. She is currently Assistant News Editor at Scientific American. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahExplains.