Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise Of Robotic Sports

By Brad Stone

Simon & Schuster

In the early nineties, a visionary special-effects guru named Marc Thorpe conjured a field of dreams different from any the world had seen before: It would be framed by unbreakable plastic instead of cornstalks; populated not by ghostly ballplayers but by remote-controlled robots, armed to the steely teeth, fighting in a booby-trapped ring. If you built it, they’d come all right….

In Gearheads, Newsweek technology correspondent Brad Stone examines the history of robotic sports, from their cultish early years at universities and sci-fi conventions to today’s televised extravaganzas — and the turmoil that threatened the whole enterprise almost from the beginning.

By turns a lively historical narrative, a legal thriller, and an exploration of a cultural and technological phenomenon, Gearheads is a funny and fascinating look at the sport of the future today.

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