In about 1980-81 I took a book out of my local library. It was a hardback, quite large and was a history timeline of the future. It had nice illustrations (on the cover and inside), not hand drawn as I remember but almost photographic (and glossy) in quality. I recall that in the future we'd have skin implants, though I can't remember why, and there would be a nuclear explosion in Rio. I'd love to get hold of the book again and see how things have worked out. Does anyone have any ideas what this book might be called please?

  • 1
    Possibly HG Wells' The Shape of Things to Come? Jul 29 '12 at 21:27
  • Hmm. The timeline instantly makes me think of many Heinlein novels, but I don't recall one that matches that description; his included a timeline at the beginning, but the books themselves weren't timelines.
    – K-H-W
    Sep 20 '12 at 0:45
  • I don't think it's Heinlein. I just checked out the chart in the anthology The Past Through Tomorrow, and there's nothing about Rio getting nuked (Buenos Aires was destroyed in Starship Troopers).
    – Joe L.
    Dec 8 '14 at 13:36
  • This may be a stretch, but maybe it's something to do with the Rio Blanco project, a real test done in 1972 where nukes were used to release natural gas from gas shale. Possibly the inspiration for the Howard Fast short story, The Wound.
    – Joe L.
    Dec 8 '14 at 13:53
  • Or the Rio Curuca impact, a mini-Tungasca incident that left a one mile wide crater in Brazil in 1930.
    – Joe L.
    Dec 8 '14 at 14:28

Probably Brian Stableford, The Third Millennium. A history of the world: AD 2000-3000. First published in 1985.

cover image

  • Hi, Thank you for your answer but I'm not sure that this is the one. For two reasons really; the publication date is too late and the book itself was primarily presented as an illustrated glossy coffee table book...I think this more of a novel...perhaps though someone who has this book could describe its appearance? Thanks again, Justin Jul 30 '12 at 22:34
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    The Third Millennium is a large format book, not quite a coffee-table book, but close; it was about 8 by 11, but with the hinge on the shorter side. It definitely is not a novel. Sep 14 '12 at 20:29
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    Pretty sure this is it, I remember that engineered artificial skin was in The Third Millennium (this summary mentions "photosynthetic suits grafted to human skin" and "cosmetic body modification such as skin with pockets, flashing irises, fur"), and this article by the author says that they decided to have the final nuclear skirmish in their history be between Brazil and Argentina in 2079--the OP may be misremembering the attack on Buenos Aires mentioned there, or there might have been some other hostilities in Rio.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jul 17 '16 at 22:40

It may be History Of The Future. The cover was glossy with the earth inside a rose set against a space background? I cannot remember the author or publisher and have had no luck either

  • You are thinking of History of the Future: A Chronology, see the paperback cover version here which matches what you describe. This doesn't really match the question though, it was more new-agey and sort of general (I don't think it featured predictions about specific events with specific dates, or specific fashion trends like skin grafts) and also it was published in 1989.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jul 17 '16 at 22:12

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