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We are humbled and honored to have received some very kind words from people who have read the Tales from 2040 books.

If you enjoyed the Tales from 2040 books, we welcome you to share your own praise.

Praise for Tales from 2040

It’s so incredibly realistic, you’ll forget it’s fiction.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s so incredibly realistic, you’ll forget it’s fiction. You’ll keep asking yourself, Wait, did what I just read really happen? That’s not even the mind-blowing part. That comes later when you realize how easy it would be to actually do what’s in the story, and then you’ll ask, Why hasn’t this happened already? These companies should do exactly what’s in this book immediately, because if they don’t, someone else surely will.

— marshalt

...it was fun to read, and full of hidden gems...

Thank you so much for inviting me to read this book.
“I was hesitant at first because this didn’t seem like the sort of thing I would enjoy, but it was fun to read, and full of hidden gems all over the place. Like, there I was reading about Lady Gaga and found myself in the middle of what may be the best analysis of sex education ever written, and that part in the Facebook story about different generations helped me understand why my children act certain ways that I have been wondering about for years. I don’t think I would have sought out almost any of these things on my own, but it was all so interesting and I learned so much that I am glad I read it all.
“It’s hard to compare to other books because I’ve never heard of anything remotely like it before, but it seems like there’s something in there for everyone.

— K. White

A true visionary, Cardinal sees what others cannot.

A true visionary, Cardinal sees what others cannot.
“Where others see mega-corporations as evil tyrants and their massive power as a threat, Cardinal sees their untapped potential to do good.
“Where others see chaos, Cardinal sees a chessboard; these corporations are his pieces. He moves them with uncommon grace with his pen, solving impossible problems that have stumped mankind for ages, all with an effortlessness that suggests that fixing global iniquities is just a way of passing time for him.
“When others look into the future, they see a dreary wasteland, but Cardinal sees a better world and fortunately for us, he does not just describe it to us, he shows us exactly how to get there.
“Read this book.

— Richard C.

...an instruction manual for fixing America...

Usually people who actually understand economics are all doom and gloom—but listen up. Don’t let the positive attitude fool you—this is not hopey-changey hogwash. I almost didn’t read this because it seemed like a bunch of stupid liberal [expletive]—I mean, come on, Facebook and Lady Gaga? Really?—but this guy knows exactly how business works and what makes people tick.
“Scratch the surface and you’ll see he’s actually really cynical—and that’s a good thing—because hope is not a strategy. Finally someone gets that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Look carefully—you’ll see that every single positive change in every single story is motivated by a good old-fashioned rational incentive. (Just like in the real world!)
“Tales from 2040 is an instruction manual for fixing America—and the world—disguised as interesting stories people would actually want to read.


...a vision of the future I would compare with Orson Welles and Aldous Huxley without all the dystopia...

Wow, this guy does better research than Tom Clancy ... He has a vision of the future I would compare with Orson Welles and Aldous Huxley without all the dystopia ... He has obviously read more about economics than most people who teach it at the college level and is giving away almost a decade’s worth of work in the hopes of actually changing the world ... This book has me thinking, ‘what have I done?’

— Matt Lankford

...I couldn’t put it down.

I just have to say that this book left me speechless.
“The depth of research alone is staggering. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I have to read academic and scientific journals every day.
“You would expect a book with footnotes after every sentence to be boring, but I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the next one.
“P.S. Christopher Cardinal, if you read this, please don’t stop writing!

— Natalia M.

...the quotes ... really made the story come alive!

I loved all the quotes from famous people — they really made the story come alive! They looked so real — I had to keep reminding myself they weren’t! How did you get them to sound so real? Who was the hardest celebrity to write for?

— KJ

A friend of mine since childhood is an author who writes all kinds of books. Once she told me that she was concurrently writing a children’s book as well as a non-fiction reference book about serial killers. I asked her how she could possibly switch back and forth between the two, and she said that it’s easiest to write in the voice of the last thing you read. So after a day of writing about serial killers, she’d read a few children’s books before going to sleep, then be ready to write kid-friendly copy when she woke up.

For the most part, I followed her example and simply immersed myself in the work of the person I was trying to mimic. (Sort of a literary equivalent of method acting research.) For example, before writing a few paragraphs that are supposed to have been said by Rush Limbaugh, I listened to several radio shows and read dozens of transcripts to remind myself of his specific speaking patterns and vocabulary usage.

To answer your second question, the most difficult person to write for, by far, was Marshall Mathers (Eminem). Many people find his subject matter to be immature, distasteful or unimportant, but if one objectively analyzes just his writing, his use of rhythm, meter, and rhyme rivals that of some master poets and is very difficult to match.

...corporations *may be* the only ones who have the power to move society forward...

Full disclosure: Chris is one of my very best friends. I figured I could either comment sounding like an disingenuous shill or a person familiar with this book and his motives for writing it in as honest a way as I can.

As an unapologetic up-with-workers, big-government-loving liberal, I take issue with much of what Chris writes in this volume. This is not because I think he’s wrong, or because he hasn’t presented his position in a thoughtful, clear-eyed, and well-reseached manner. Rather, it’s a reflexive fear that he’s correct: corporations *may be* the only ones who have the power to move society forward at this juncture in history. Chris offers a coherent case — and one that rebuts much of the current conventional wisdom about the proper place of private industry in the social sphere — for an activist, robustly philanthropic corporation like those of the Rockefellers and Carnegies of the early 20th century. He offers it with a true optimism about the sustainability a profit motive can bring to altruistic ventures, and lends weight to that optimism with sound economic, sociological, and psychological research. The hook to his story — presenting it as speculative historical fiction — is all the more remarkable as time ticks by and I watch (having read early drafts of the book) events he predicted already coming to pass. His notion of a near future becomes not just more plausible, but seemingly inevitable as the gap between then and now shrinks.

— Brian Felgar

This is why I want to hire people to write the next books in the series: If Brian had written this book instead, it would be half as long and four times as interesting.

Now, if you had said, This book was a gripping roller-coaster of fun I couldn't put down! then that would have been disingenuous. But saying you fear I may be correct is just about the nicest, most sincere review you could have given.

As for writing about the future and then seeing events I wrote about come to pass, that has been bittersweet.

The most poignant case was the 2012 election going pretty much exactly as I wrote in the book about Apple (Tale #001), even down to fine details which now read like actual history rather than predictions. (They really weren’t meant to be predictions, per se, but rather an alternate, brighter timeline that could happen, given the small changes described in the book.)

Having written most of the book about Facebook, though, in 2006 and 2007, much more time has passed and Facebook has already become a global juggernaut (even without my unrequested suggestions ;) ). Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have already done so much good, but I still wonder how much more could have been done with the simple features described in the book &mdsah; which would work better than ever now.

Thank you, Brian, for your incredible friendship and your incredibly thoughtful review.

Note: Quotes are excerpts and have been edited for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and profanity.