On Display: The Future: Nonfiction, Novels and Film

In September 1956, Modern Mechanix magazine ran an article titled “Your Telephone of Tomorrow.” In a summary of the article, it was predicted that people would eventually have “a tiny, touchtone, color videophone” (pictured at right).

Your Phone of Tomorrow Modern Mechanix, September 1956
Your Phone of Tomorrow
Modern Mechanix, September 1956

The science (and art) of prediction is known as forecasting. For this display, I’ve pulled a small sampling of books from our collection that deal with forecasting. Multiple industries and settings are represented, including finance, economics, population demography, management, tourism, energy, food supply, environment, politics, science, marketing, academia, and others. (Predictive analysis, a related process, is out of the scope of this display, but I’ve included Nate Silver’s book The Signal and the Noise here as a gateway.)

I’ve also included novels and films that are set in a future time. Both science fiction and mainstream fiction are here, and dystopia titles such as The Hunger Games are also on the display.

Browse the Pinterest page to see the entire selection of books, and if you see something of interest that is not on display, come to the Reference Desk and we can get it for you.

Today, we use our tiny, color videophones for FaceTime to keep in touch with people, and for many other things not envisioned back in 1956. I hope you’ll be interested in taking a little time away from your “phone of tomorrow” to read and/or watch some of these great titles from our collection.