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I'm Working on That (Star Trek Series): A Trek from Science Fiction to Science Fact

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2003

    Science Fiction or Science Fact?

    This is a unique book that examines the connection between the science fiction universe of Star Trek and our current understanding of science fact. Inspired by Shatner¿s curiosity about how things work and the uncanny embodiment of 1960¿s Star Trek gadgetry, such as the flip-open communicator, in what are now common consumer products ¿ Bill and Chip toured the country, with many fun adventures along the way, to find out what other Star Trek inventions are likely to pop into reality in the near future. To look for answers, they visited some of the premier think-tanks and universities in the US, posing the question to a host of leading researchers, including luminaries such as Edward Tellar (father of the hydrogen bomb ¿ Los Alamos Labs), Eric Drexler (leading nanotechnologist - Foresight Institute) and Marc Millis (propulsion visionary - NASA). Using Star Trek episodes as a light-hearted guide, particularly reminiscent for the real fans that can recognize an episode in a few sound bites, all areas of Star Trek science and technology are examined. Teleportation, warp drive, time travel, computer science, robotics, genetics and nanotechnology are some of the hottest topics on the agenda. The book raises the question, does science fiction help us invent technology and explore science by providing compelling visions of what might be possible? What comes first, the invention, or the fantasy about the invention? These are questions I also find myself asking as a researcher, one who had the good fortune to meet the authors during their visit to Xerox PARC, described in Chapter 8, Get Smart. Star Trek certainly inspired me in my career and influenced many of my colleagues who are also Star Trek enthusiasts. Reading this book you will discover that even the great physicist Stephen Hawkins is a fan, who¿s passing comments led to the title of this book. There is no doubt in my mind that a strong connection exists between science fantasy and science endeavor, and drives many of us to push the limits of what is possible. The book does an excellent job of bringing these issues to the fore, and I can recommend the result as a good read. You¿ll have flash backs to all the best Star Trek episodes and find the commentary and technology discussions enjoyable, sometimes humorous, but always well informed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2002

    Entertaining and usually accurate

    Disclosure: I've actually only ready an excerpt from the book on MSNBC. In the excerpt, I learned Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in an "X-15 jet" (actually the rocket-powered Bell X-1). In spite of such goofs, it's an oddly entertaining mixture of behind-the-scenes stories about Trek and extremely simple descriptions about the problems with Star Trek technology in the real world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2002

    Entertainingly educational...delicious brain dessert

    "Intensely informative, thought provoking, humorous, irreverant, historical and futuristic, with an immense overview of the present...... Vastly broadens the readers conversational skills without the text book side effect of "cotton brain"! A vicarious journey into the laboratories and thoughts of the milleniums greatest minds. Put this on your bedside table and you'll look forward to getting into bed each night even if you're married!! Absolutely no age or gender boundaries with this book. Enter 25 in the quantity box and be done with your seasonal gift hunting!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2002

    Fascination with the Future

    For this neo-Trekkie with a fascination with the future, 'I'm Working on That: A Trek from Science Fiction to Science Fact', is an entertaining look at how our imaginations have converged with reality and how technology is impacting our lives now and will, exponentially, change the way we live tomorrow. The book should resonate even more with those well versed in the toys and voyages of the Enterprise. Chip Walter and William Shatner explore where fiction meets reality in a smart style that is absorbing, tangible, and fun, and will engage the novice futurist as well as those conversant in the theories and foresights of Kurzweil, Moravec, Teller, von Neumann, and their contemporaries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    High Tech "On The Road" Is Ride Worth Taking

    Readers who embrace science, want to explore and understand today's innovations, but would run screaming from a "Trek" convention will love this book. Cool stuff we learn about as the authors traverse the country and its research labs! Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    Mind travelling at the speed of thought!

    I found the book enlightening, and especially enjoyed the author's style of writing with a practical, down-to-earth, philosophical sense of humor. I felt like I accompanied the Captain, and his sidekick Chip, on their earthbound journey trying to catch a glimpse of the near future. I've never seriously pondered many of the aspects of the universe that they discussed in the book, nor the inventions that may some day help us better understand the meaning of it all. However, after coming to grips with the size of the universe, and the difficulty we'd have if we ever did leave this earthbound orb, I was relieved to learn that we may just as easily take a virtual trip out of the galaxy someday soon. As a baby boomer from the sixties, I want to follow the Moody Blues, who sang about "flying to the sun, without burning a wing." If we can shed this ball and chain we call a body, we may just discover that we can get from here to there without traversing the distance in between. Does anyone know what the speed of thought is? Perhaps this is a subject for another book, at another time? Meanwhile, I encourage you to cozy up with this thought provoking book this autumn, and see what rears up from your own imagination!

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