Thursday, March 1, 2007

Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (1979)

Examining the cover to the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century you can instantly feel its paleo-futuristic glow. With colonies in space, solar heated houses, amazing sports, (which obviously take place in freefall), and wristwatch TV it's almost too much for just one blog to handle, but we shall try. Stay tuned for more as we crack this book wide open in the coming weeks.


A special thanks to JesseM for turning me on to this book series after reading my post about the EPCOT book The Future World of Transporation.

12 comments:

Brett said...

I look forward to these posts -- I read the Usborne books over and over as a kid, and most of my friends did too. So thanks in advance for the big chunk of paleo-futuristic nostalgia coming my way!

petiny said...

looks perfect, I like these "old-school-looking" :o))

Paul said...

I had the "Usborne Book of the Future" as a child of which "Future Cities" was one of three parts that were also sold seperately as in the example under scruting. TUBotB influenced me profoundly. its vision of a future, almost none of which has come to pass, is for me still the default vision of the future that I was promised when I was young. I want my future back.

One thing the British authors did get right was mobile phones. Only in Usborne's world, they were incorporated into a wrist watch and had four aerials that popped out of the watch at right angles. The radio link was via a vast antennae farm in geosynchronous orbit, so eople would no longer be unable to summon help when stranded, waterless, in the middle of the desert. Satellite phones may have struggled to compete with terrestrial mobiles, but they do exist and have their niches (people wandering around deserts...)

Paul M. Cray said...

I'm not sure if my Blogger profile work properly, so I'll give my web address here: http://atomicrazor.blogs.com

Reg said...

A wrist watch TV would be awesome, but only if it got cable. There's nothing really worth watching on basic anymore. >.<

Rollen said...

Excellent. I loved this book when I was in elementary school. Was this the one that featured the Olympic Games on the moon? (And I think the spaceport on Earth was in Zaire, if I remember correctly...)

Paul M. Cray said...

It was indded: a Lunar olympics in 2020. At the time, it seemed perfectly reasonable. There was description of the Olympic flame being brought from Earth. Zaire as the site of the spaceport seems very plausible. An African astronaut was pictured jogging across the regolith carrying the flame in a sealed container.

73man said...

I just came across this blog and seeing the cover of this book brings back so many memories of it for me. I loaned this book from my public library when I was about 10 and loved it so much. Thank you for making this grown man feel all good inside.

Contamination said...

Oh Wow!
I used to have this book along with Future Robots and Transport.

Sniff, I don't know where they are now.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

I loved this book as a youngster, and I still have it. In fact, I still have the entire three parts of the Future series. This book was one of the books that actually inspired me to become what I am today: a town and regional planner.

Sydney Cast said...

I remember the page on pollution and future cities. I'd love it if you could scan and post that up it incredibly bleak

Lancelot said...

Check out the pointless museum for full copies of the
Usborne World of the Future books.

I love these books, and many of the predictions did come to pass, I have seen articles in the press which compared the Future Cities book with the present state of cities and many of the predictions, distance retailing, large flat screen TVs, video cameras, email, etc. are a reality.

They did an amazon job for 1979.