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Arthur C. Clarke's July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st Century (Omni Book) Hardcover – October 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Series: Omni Book
  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Pub Co (October 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0025258001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0025258006
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Futurists will welcome this book by the science fiction community's prolific dean whose 1963 classic Profiles of the Future defined possible futures, some of which already have come true. Clarke rejects any label as prophet; as per Profiles ' subtitle, he deals with "limits of the possible." In July 20, 2019 , he views a day in the life of the 21st century. The oversize, illustrated book forecasts how people are born, live, and die. We ride orbiting space stations, watch 60-year-old, 8-foot athletes, see that people have been replaced with computers and robots, view most aspects of lifeschools, transportation, medicine, work, movies. These are astonishing but realistic perceptions by a master of the craft who as always writes with skill, wit, clarity, and remarkable intelligence. Clifton E. Wilson, Political Science Dept., Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

"SIR ARTHUR C. CLARKE (1917-2008) wrote the novel and co-authored the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey. He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and he is the only science-fiction writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His fiction and nonfiction have sold more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on May 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Arthur C. Clarke is one of the 20th century's greatest writers of fiction-certainly of science fiction-and, as many of us know, of accessible science writing. However, this book is not an essential piece of his canon. It's interesting, to be sure, some of Clarke's visions of the future are novel and worth thinking about. There are several noteworthy situations outlined, including a possible scenario for World War III (this scenario however, shows the hazards of prophecy... apparently Clarke failed to forsee the fall of the Berlin Wall, for Germany is still referred to here as "East" and "West".) A lot of the writing doesn't really sound like Clarke... especially the medical chapter, it comes off as a bit dry and boring in places, lacking his trademark wit. It almost seems as if these chapters and scenarios were written by someone else and merely edited by Clarke. I'm not knocking the book-it is interesting, nicely laid out, and very professional and highly ambitious in scope-but Clarke has SO MUCH superior material available that there's no reason for you to pick this up unless you've nearly exhausted his output.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of our preeminent futurists got it right on so many issues. Granted he was only looking at about 40 years into the future, but entertaining none the less.
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By Dave on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to read a Arthur C. Clark book anyway since it had been decades since I last read one of his books. This one I targeted to see what the best futurist would have to say about the first part of the 21st century.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you want a typical Clarke yarn, this is not the book you're looking for. However, if you'd like to see where a careful extrapolation of existing technology and trends would lead, this is incredible. Any writer can make up his own future; but few have taken the time and effort to project what the near future will be like both imaginatively and realistically. Clarke picks several aspects of daily life and writes a chapter each, about life 23 years in the future.
You must read this with its release date in mind - 1986 - because that's what makes it so compelling. Clarke's projections are firmly based on actual trends and emerging technologies of that decade. This is not so much a "what if" story as it is one of "where will such-and-such really lead?" His depiction of hospital care is deliberate if a bit dry; the Europe-based third world war is a miniature thriller; and only once does he really depart into a fantasy style. One chapter is nothing so much as a nod to Edgar Allen Poe, and is creepy enough to make you swear off any kind of home automation. But even in that chapter, the specific gadgets and technological capabilities are completely plausible. That's what makes this an engaging book.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book tries to give us a small hint of what the future may be. Arthur Clarke tries to describe the future as his creativity imagine. It was writen in 1986, but I read it in 1997, so some of book's predictions seems idiot to me. In my point of view, Arthur Clarke should focus on a story, not fortune-telling. Of course science ficcion must do some wild guess, but a good book is sustained by the plot, not the situation.
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