Foreword Reviews

Flash Forward

An Illustrated Guide to Possible (and Not So Possible) Tomorrows

Flash Forward comprises a dozen thought-provoking glimpses into the future, from a variety of creators.

Inspired by the Flash Forward podcast, the book’s twenty-page graphic stories illustrate current ideas, practices, and trends as extrapolated into a hazardous, but not quite dystopian near future. While there are some elements of Twilight Zone-style “getting too much of what you asked for” justice, there’s also a healthy balance of good and bad; these characters are more products of their environments than they are victims of their own bad karma, and several stories showcase their chosen subjects in a positive or neutral way.

The most memorable plots center on the unchecked progression of technologies once perceived as boons, now advanced to a level where the costs of those benefits must be reconsidered. Pirates who liberate expensive therapeutic drugs; people who alter themselves to function with little or no sleep; and deepfake videos are included, all grounded in current science and society. Here, they function as both entertainment and lessons.

Each section is followed by a few pages of text analyzing subjects in greater detail, with references to experts in related fields and science fiction precedents. The full-color art changes styles with each story, helping to establish a visual sense of separate futures, each with their own problems.

Casting a wide net to cover machine-created art, the legalities of space crime, and a world of flexible gender identity, Flash Forward is a fascinating map to imagining the future and all it might deliver.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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