Why our 'amazing' science fiction future fizzled

At the 1964 New York World’s Fair, people stood in line for hours to look at a strange sight.

They wanted to see the “Futurama,” a miniaturized replica of a typical 21st century American city that featured moving sidewalks, computer-guided cars zipping along congestion-free highways and resort hotels beneath the sea.

Forty years later, we’re still waiting for those congestion-free highways — along with the jet pack, the paperless office and all those “Star Trek”-like gadgets that were supposed to make 21st-century life so easy.

Daniel Wilson has been waiting as well. He’s looked at the future we imagined for ourselves in pulp comic books, old science magazines and cheesy sci-fi movies from the 1950s, and came up with one question.

Why isn’t the future what it used to be?

“I feel entitled to have all this technology that’s been promised at a certain time,” says Wilson, author of “Where’s My Jetpack?” “I look up and say, ‘Where’s all this stuff?’ ”

Some of that futuristic stuff, it turns out, is already here.

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