Described in the blurb as 'a vivid love-letter to quiet men in pullovers', this is a fascinating account of those ingenious engineers who invented the technologies of the future, often on a shoestring budget. It opens with the arrival of the first V2 noted by the British Interplanetary Society in a London pub, and we soon read of a surreal meeting between Arthur C Clark, the famous science-fiction writer, and C S Lewis. We learn how Britain cancelled its space program and how Ernest Benn was a good friend to Concorde. The story covers other technologies such as computer games, mobile telephones and mind-boggling efforts with the human genome. It makes for compulsive reading and is the sort of book only British endeavours could produce. It deserves to sell and sell.
About the Author
Francis Spufford, a former Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year (1997), has edited two acclaimed literary anthologies and a collection of essays about the history of technology. His first book, I May Be Some Time, won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of 1996, the Banff Mountain Book Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. His second, The Child That Books Built, gave Neil Gaiman 'the peculiar feeling that there was now a book I didn't need to write'. His third, Backroom Boys, was called 'as nearly perfect as makes no difference' by the Daily Telegraph and was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.