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Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (Anchor Library of Science) Paperback – September 16, 1987
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From Library Journal
Nanotechnology, or molecular technology, involves the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules, something the human body already does.In Engines of Creation , Drexler attempts to predict, justify, quantify, and caution us about this important new field in engineering. His book could have been the first and foremost discussion of this fascinating subject. But Drexler strays from the topic with annoying regularity. He devotes too little space to the possibilities of nanotechnology and too much to esoteric and opinionated discussions of philosophy, politics, information science, defense, human relations, etc. Nanotechnology will indeed become a reality, and the public needs to be informed. It is therefore unfortunate that Engines of Creation was not written more clearly or directly. Kurt O. Baumgartner, International Minerals & Chemical Corp., Terre Haute, Ind.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
This brilliant work heralds the new age of nanotechnology, which will give us thorough and inexpensive control of the structure of matter. Drexler examines the enormous implications of these developments for medicine, the economy, and the environment, and makes astounding yet well-founded projections for the future.
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Top customer reviews
It's also available online as a download for $1.00 from the author. The online edition also has some updates in it.
This is about the best overview of the conceptual space of nanotechnology you can get right now - even after 24+ years. It's brilliant, it's conscise, it's visionary. It *is* a little much. Accept that and enjoy, and it may become your favorite popular science book.
I think much of what Drexler proposes is impossible - as impossible as full human consciousness emulation and interstellar travel anyway. It seems to annoy or overwhelm some readers that Drexler goes so far. It bothered me every now and then. Given a century or three, who knows. It's dubious science, as it reaches beyond tested theories, but it is *great* hard science fiction. Plenty of real science, and I found nothing truly erroneous.
If you are looking for something grittier, Drexler's newer books (and work) build on this. For second opinions I recommend Soft Machines and Nanomedicine: basic capabilities - they are more scholarship oriented. Read Engines first: it's hard to put down and it covers so much.
If you are interested in nanotechnology, read this book.
That is all.
...I'm impressed with what the author and his peers have deeply pondered on preventing nanotechnological disasters, either from accident or from conscious intention of some malefactor. When one realizes a technology that can terraform planets can also readily destroy them... and us, one becomes a bit careful in how the technology is handled. The entire Part 3 of Drexler's book, "Engines of Destruction," is devoted to this issue.
For my complete review of this book and for other book and movie
reviews, please visit my site [...]
--Richard Brodie, author, Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme