â€œHaving come of age in the Star Wars era, Iâ€™m part of the post-moon-landing, post-Worldâ€™s Fairs generation, and thus was once very certain that by no later than the year 2000 we would most definitely be living in the future. And in that glorious future, we would have long ago traded in our dirt-streaked Hyundais and battered Kia Sportages for shiny metal backpacks with jet engines welded to them.â€â€”from Chapter One
Jetpack Dreams: One Manâ€™s Up and Down (but Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was
By Mac Montandon
â€œWhereâ€™s my jetpack?â€ This simple question from a friend started Mac Montandon on a quest for the promised new millennium that never quite arrived: a world where any person, at any time, could strap on a rocket and take flight.
In Jetpack Dreams, Montandon discovers the history of this most elusive form of personal transportationâ€”from its earliest popular appearance (in a science fiction story published in 1928) to the modern engineers, pilots, and other hopefuls still determined to realize the dream. Along the way, he stumbles upon Internet forums for jetpack enthusiasts, attends the first ever â€œInternational Rocketbelt Convention,â€ and unearths the true story behind a bizarre mid-1990s case of kidnapping, imprisonment, and murderâ€”all for the sake of a jetpack.
Mac Montandon has written for the New York Times, Radar, Salon, Details, Spin, New York Magazine, and Interview, among others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Check out his website at www.jetpackdreams.com.
â€œReading this book is as fun as zooming through the sky with a rocket on your back. And better yet, you wonâ€™t break your collarbone doing it.â€Â â€”A.J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically
â€œJetpack Dreams is a delightful and engrossing story of the quest for one of humankindâ€™s greatest technological fantasiesâ€”to strap on a device and fly like a bird.â€Â â€”Mark Frauenfelder, Editor-in-Chief of Make magazine and founder of BoingBoing.net
â€œMac Montandonâ€™s rollicking investigation into why we donâ€™t have jetpacks is almost enough to make up for the fact that we donâ€™t have jetpacks.â€ â€”Daniel Radosh, author of Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture
â€œMontandonâ€™s entertaining adventures highlight a strange footnote of the space age.â€â€”Booklist
â€œThis snappily written, often funny book should attract dreamers of both sexes and all ages.â€â€”Publishers Weekly
â€œA breezy niche history of a staple of pulp adventuresâ€¦An amusing collection of stories about individuals of varying degrees of eccentricity who are devoting much of their lives and personal fortunes to a near-impossible dream.â€â€”Kirkus Reviews