You have to hand it to yesterday's science fiction writers and futurologists: They portrayed futures where people got off their butts and did interesting things in the physical world: flying around in jetpacks, building underwater cities with the help of artificial gills and trained dolphins, colonizing the moon, etc. These visionary projects seem a far cry from the allegedly "futuristic" stuff popular in the real early 21st Century, like sitting in front of your computer all day and pretending you have a "second life" online. Wilson explores the current state of the more interesting technologies from futures past, demonstrates some of their weaknesses and impracticalities, and points to individuals, companies and organizations still working on things sort of like what people my age (late 40's) and older remember hearing in our youth about the wonders of the 21st Century.
Wilson's book could have benefitted from some better fact checking, however. Specifially in his chapter on "Cryogenic Freezing," he erroneously states that "dozens of companies" offer cryonics services. In fact, only two organizations that I know of -- Alcor Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Cryonics Institute in Clinton Township, Michigan -- perform cryonic suspensions and storage of patients. And they don't run as "companies," which implies profit-seeking; instead they run as not-for-profit organizations that stay in existence in defiance of market signals, not unlike progressive talk radio in the U.S.
Wilson also erroneously implies that the cryogenic dewars which store cryonics patients need electricity to maintain their liquid nitrogen temperature, when in fact they work passively, without electricity, like thermos bottles. And he ignores or doesn't know about progress in the vitrification of the human brain, which bypasses the formation of damaging ice crystals.
These and some other mistakes aside, Wilson has performed a service by adding to the growing body of literature that asks, "Why does the real world in the 21st Century look so lame?" He also encourages the reader who wants these kinds of things to become a lot more assertive about acquiring them. "Get out there, raise your voice, and demand your personal jetpack -- the magnificent future of humankind depends on it."