predictions intro


As we all should be held accountable for predictions published in the past, in the future tense, the time seems ripe for new check-ups on my own and other people’s.

My first venture into the “futures” game was in 1964 as editor of New Scientist, when I asked almost 100 scientists and scholars to state their expectations for “The World in 1984”, the year already made fictionally notorious by George Orwell. When the time came, I checked those predictions against the outcome, with some remarkable hits and misses, in 1984 and After (called 1984 and Beyond in the Viking US edition). Meanwhile other future-oriented books and TV programmes of mine dwelt particularly on military matters, on food production, and on space travel.

My main writing and editing on predictions

  • 1988 Future Earth – a contributing editor, for Croome Helm, etc.
  • 1986 The Green Machines – author, for Putnam, etc.
  • 1984 “1984” – storyline for an exhibition on future technology at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
  • 1983 1984 and After / 1984 and Beyond author, for Century and Viking
  • 1979 Nuclear Nightmares – author for BBC, Viking, etc. (& BBC-TV programme, same title)
  • 1978 Spaceships of the Mind – author, for BBC, Viking, etc (& BBC-TV series, same title)
  • 1970 Living Tomorrow – author, for Penguin Education
  • 1969 Technopolis – author, for McGibbon & Kee, Shuster, etc.
  • 1968 Unless Peace Comes – editor, for Allen Lane, Viking etc.
  • 1967 “The World in a Box” — script for live show BBC-TV, 50 min.
  • 1967 The Environment Game – author, for Secker, Holt, etc.
  • 1965 The World in 1984: the Complete New Scientist Series (2 volumes, editor) for Penguin etc.
  • Plus various book chapters, articles. lectures, etc.


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