CNN talk show host/newspaper columnist/author King takes on the future here, asking various movers and shakers their...


FUTURE TALK: Conversations A bout Tomorrow with Today's Most Provocative Personalities

CNN talk show host/newspaper columnist/author King takes on the future here, asking various movers and shakers their thoughts on what the next century holds. King (Tell It to the King, 1988; When You're from Brooklyn, 1992; etc.) and co-author Piper divide the book up into categories that include politics, science, medicine, technology, transportation, arts and entertainment, media, and vocations. Those interviewed range from Stephen Jay Gould and General John Shalikashvili to Bill Gates, Bob Costas, and Maya Angelou, all of them offering insights of varying quality. Some fascinate, such as Dr. C. Everett Koop's suggestion of electronic home care as a way to enable the elderly to remain quasi-independent. The former US surgeon general outlines a scenario in which a TV could remind people to take their medication, with another machine perhaps delivering the pill itself. Another intriguing possibility is immunizing children prenatally. Among the more mundane forecasts is the elimination of prime-time TV schedules as advances in technology allow people to decide when they will watch certain shows; tires that can be driven for up to 50 miles with no air in them; and jumpsuits as office ""uniforms."" The predictability of some forecasts can be attributed in part to the mundanity of King's questions. For instance, the most intelligent sportscaster around, Bob Costas, is reduced to the trivial when asked if sports uniforms will get wilder. Costas's response: Teams will continue to change uniforms every few years. Themes do arise, in particular society's increasing tendency toward isolation and the inadequacy of today's educational facilities to prepare tomorrow's workforce. Quibbles aside, King fans and millennium watchers should be pleased with this look into what the 21st century has in store. A breezy prose rendering of the interview style that has made King a one-man multimedia mogul.

Pub Date: April 1, 1998


Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1998

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