This past week, I got hold of a copy of Stan Schmidt's new book, "The Coming Convergence," and I'm delighted to recommend it to others.
Just to remind those of you who might not remember, Stan is the editor of Analog magazine and therefore the editor who has published most of my stories. He's also writing an introduction to my book, "I Remember the Future." As editor of Analog, Stan has had a chance to see a lot of other writers imagine the future, but he's also a writer who has done his own share of imagining where current trends might lead. And he's done this before, in both his fiction and nonfiction.
In this case, the convergence he refers to in the title of the book is the convergence of technologies. Stan points out that a lot of technologies that originally seemed unrelated ended up working together to create something new. A few examples include the Internet and 3-D medical imaging. Stan looks at the way technologies converged in the past to speculate on how they will converge in the future; throughout the book, he explores subjects like biotechnology and nanotechnology, and he posits a variety of "metaconvergences" that will lead to dramatic changes.
If you're a science fiction writer like me, I suspect you'll come up with a lot of neat ideas for stories from reading the book. And even if you're not a writer, I think you'll find the book thought-provoking. We're going to be living in the future Stan describes, and reading his book is a good way to prepare yourself for it.