Thanks for all the future cities of the past, David Jefferis

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Recently, I wrote a guest post for the science-fiction blog io9.com, for their feature on “Future Metro”, entitled “The city is a battlesuit for surviving the future”.

It referred to a talk I’d given at Webstock covering similar territory – and both the talk and the post featured images from the Usbourne book “The World of the Future: Future Cities” by Kenneth Gatland and David Jefferis.

Tom Coates shared those images with me as we reminisced about the book – and the influence it had on us during our formative years.

Many other people of my generation have remarked on it and other books in the series looking at future engineering and technology as being early inspirations.

Imagine my surprise when one of the authors of this ur-object showed up in the comments of my io9 piece – and my dismay as he – very politely – complained about a lack of credit.

David – my apologies.

It was remiss of me not to credit the image, and also not to fully acknowledge the impact your book had on me when I was young. Thank you very much for your work, and thank you for taking the time to comment on my writing. I hope posting this helps make up for that.

David is still writing on science, engineering and technology – and running a couple of sites that are still right up my street: Starcruzer and Scale Model News – the latter with childhood hero and total mind-gangster Mat Irvine!

Irvine used to create special effects for Dr Who and Blakes’ 7, then come on Saturday morning kids tv shows to tell you how you could do exactly the same with your pocket money that afternoon.

He was an early DIY/Maker culture hero – but that’s for another blog post…

2 comments
  1. Chuan said:

    Haha loved these books when I was a young kid as well, and they did have a pro-found effect on our outlook. The timelines were always a bit scary in that trying to project 50 – 100 years into the future as an 8 year old definitely did your head in. All the same, good stuff, the chapter on human cloning was definitely quite creepy with the multiple David Bowmans ..!

    -

    Weirdly, and co-incidentally was also digging up some Tom Baker Dr. Who episodes from a friend’s harddisk earlier this morning. How odd to see this post today: kind of like circuit-bending my past and present.

    – Chuan

  2. Your gracious apology more than accepted!

    Great too, to see the vid with Mat in it.

    You’ll be pleased to know that, like a fine wine, he ages well…

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