David Christian

Future Stories

Future Stories

A user's guide to the future

Summary

'David Christian's approach to understanding history can help all of us learn to prepare for the future' - Bill Gates

A user's guide to the future: from the algorithms in DNA to why time is like a cocktail glass, interstellar migrations, transhumanism, the fate of the galaxy, and the last black hole...

Every second of our lives - whether we're looking both ways before crossing the street, celebrating the birth of a baby, or moving to a new city - we must cope with an unknowable future by telling stories about what will happen next. Where is the future, the place where we set those stories? Can we trust our future stories? And what sort of futures do they show us?

David Christian, historian and bestselling author of Origin Story, is renowned for pioneering the emerging discipline of Big History, which surveys the whole of the past. But with Future Stories, he casts his sharp analytical eye forward, offering an introduction to the strange world of the future, and a guide to what we think we know about it at all scales, from the predictive mechanisms of single-celled organisms and tomato plants to the merging of colossal galaxies billions of years from now.

Drawing together science, history and philosophy from a huge range of places and times, Christian explores how we prepare for uncertain futures, including the future of human evolution, artificial intelligence, interstellar travel, and more. By linking the study of the past much more closely to the study of the future, we can begin to imagine what the world will look like in the next hundred years and consider solutions to the biggest challenges facing us all.