Robert Forward, the author, is a physicist and lets you in to the wonderful future of technology. He outlines what breakthroughs must be made before these new technologies will be possible. For instance, with the development of high tensile strength materials it will be possible to make an equatorial space elevator, and ride an elevator to orbit. Just a little matter of figuring out how to make cable with 10 million pounds per square inch tensile strength... approximating the strength of single crystal carbon whiskers already available in the laboratory. There are even more futuristic discussions, like how to produce a zero gravity condition right here on the surface of the earth. Not something for the faint of heart. Read it and be let in on how physics can often be used to predict the future. The title comes from proclamation of another physicist, Arthur Clarke, that "sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".