Writings in Science

A History of the Future

Fiction - Science Fiction
656 Pages
Reviewed on 10/23/2016
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Author Biography

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Writings in Science: A History of the Future by Tom Hendricks is a dazzling portrait of the world millions of years from now, as seen through the eyes of the character called “I.” It is the kind of sci-fi that can be characterized as visionary. The author uses different genres to focus on a setting that features humanity at a very advanced stage, grappling with the problem of survival in a failing world. Considering the state of the world and how fast technology advances, this story many not take that long to happen. The author shows a lot of ingenuity in creating new cultures and governments, offering access to other planets, but it is what humankind does in the face of extreme adversity that will capture the hearts of readers.

There is a lot I enjoyed in this book. It’s a little gem featuring all sorts of writing and art. I enjoyed the dialogues and the drama. I enjoyed the beautiful prose, engaging and constant. I enjoyed the idea of preserving human heritage and memories through journaling and other forms of art. There is variety in the writing, but it doesn’t make it boring to read, perhaps because the stories are like dreams interrupted at dawn. The author uses a lot of symbols to paint a reality of a very distant future. Then there are the compelling characters, geniuses, aliens, and robots. Writings in Science: A History of the Future by Tom Hendricks asks many philosophical and ethical questions, including the fate of humanity vis-à-vis rapidly growing science. It’s a work that will be adored by fans of sci-fi, short stories, futuristic essays and fantasy.

Ray Simmons

Writings in Science (A History of the Future) by Tom Hendricks is billed as A Novel of Stories, Essays, Poems, and Plays. This is probably, at least structurally speaking, one of the most experimental novels I have read in a long time. Many sections read like the musings of an intelligent human being who thinks quite a lot about science, man, art, the universe, and the future. That man would be author Tom Hendricks. At around 400 pages, this is a lot of serious but sometimes whimsical musing. It is organized into “bottles” instead of chapters. (I told you it was experimental.) It is huge in scope, imagining a dying Earth millions of years in the future, and a protagonist running around collecting these literary tidbits as a history of Earth. This is quite a project, and this is quite a book. I liked it because it allowed my mind to ramble as I read Tom Hendricks's viewpoint on many different topics, presented to me in different ways.

Writings in Science is, in many aspects, a stunning achievement. To tie all these topics and literary mediums into one book is no simple task, but Tom Hendricks does a great job. I enjoyed the essays more than I did the poems, plays, or stories. He hit on some topics that I have written on myself, and even came to a similar conclusion sometimes. The poems, jokes, and plays are good and, though I prefer straightforward prose in a novel for the most part, I found this a very interesting book.

Kathryn Bennett

Writings in Science: A History of the Future by Tom Hendricks is a collection of poems, essays and stories all compiled into a novel, written in two parts. The reader is taken to a world where the earth is no longer viable and is, in fact, dying because of the sun. People are leaving the blue planet in droves and one man with the name of "I" works to gather his favorite science writings to preserve them as a legacy for the future. Follow the history in this book and all of the changes that have happened to the planet before it began its death throes.

The first thing I can say about this book by Tom Hendricks is wow. It may not be the longest science fiction book ever, but it delivers on what it says that it will - a great span of information, a literal treat for your eyes as you read. The breadth of information is wonderful and the format with two parts and a collection of writings is fantastic. You don't get to meet just one group of characters like in most books, but many groups, all of them rich and fascinating. It is hard to know where to start in sharing my thoughts on this book other than just how much I enjoyed it. Anything theatrical has to go into my favorites category because of my love of the theater. This is not the usual book, but if you like unique reads and science fiction, you will enjoy this book, and who knows, you may learn how to prowl like a house cat while you're reading.

Romuald Dzemo

Writings in Science: A History of the Future by Tom Hendricks is an unusual novel, a story of humankind’s becoming, millions of years in the future. Using a combination of different styles — drama, prose, journaling, and even graffiti — the author records what seems like a dream of a world we can’t yet see. But could this be possible? Readers are led into a world where science thrives. From the art of building perfect robots, to navigating other planets and receiving aliens, this book — slim as it seems — offers a lot of entertainment. The enterprise of “I,” the main protagonist, is huge and challenging.

Can the memories of this world and its history be preserved when it goes extinct? Can its civilization thrive against the crisis that threatens to bring it down? These are questions so beautifully explored in this brilliant work. Writings in Science: A History of the Future can’t be read as a novel with a linear plot; no, it’s a compendium of beautiful writings depicting the future of humankind and the world human beings inhabit. At times it is philosophical, asking questions that modern man has to answer, with the problem of climate change. At times it reads like poetry. But what I enjoyed the most was the drama, couched in very beautiful and intelligent language. Tom Hendricks is a gifted writer, and there is no doubt that his stories, essays and drama are very provocative, especially for readers who love rethinking the future. I will surely be going back to read some of my favorite parts.

Arya Fomonyuy

Dystopian, apocalyptic, and sci-fi are words that describe a part or an aspect of this book. Writings in Science: A History of the Future by Tom Hendricks is a beautiful collection of stories, dialogues, essays, and many things in between, depicting the world millions of years in the future.

It is curious the author names the protagonist, the man assembling pieces of art, and stories of human civilizations, the “I.” But there is a passage to the collective “We” in the second part of the book, which changes a lot about the story, marking a great moment of consciousness. This passage is also portrayed in the writing. The author covers a variety of themes in a variety of styles, including ethical issues, scientific inventions, culture and politics. What makes the story so beautiful is that it provokes the reader to reflect on the crucial issues of climate change and the fate of humanity many years from now.

Most of the time, what grips me in a book is the plot. I enjoy reading complex plots with so many surprises, but Writings in Science: A History of the Future gloriously paints a picture of the world at the dawn of its apocalypse, an evolved humanity, and powerful science. The setting is captivating. I was drawn in by the images the author conjured through the beautiful writing. Readers will enjoy the drama that features in the stories, the tight prose in the essays, and the compelling, somewhat symbolic characters. Tom Hendricks exhibits a very rich imagination in this entertaining work.