War in 2080: The Future of Military Technology

War in 2080 -- 1981 pb cover

War in 2080: The Future of Military Technology by David Langford is the author's first solo book, drawing heavily on his enthusiasm for SF and thus on SF authors' speculations. First edition (as detailed further down this page) still available!

  • Publication Date (Second Edition): 1981
  • Publisher: Sphere, London
  • Format: A-format paperback
  • ISBN: 0722153937
  • Page Count: 242
  • Cover Artist: Unknown
  • Availability: Out of print

The blurb below was composed by the publishers.

In 1980 I published an errata sheet for this first edition, and this is usually included with copies of the hardback acquired from me. Here's an HTML version for anyone who has this edition but not the inserted sheet.

War in 2080 was reasonably well reviewed, and I should dig out some of the more fulsome response for insertion below. If only I could remember what happened to the clippings file....

  • Publication Date (First Edition): 1979
  • Publisher: David & Charles/Westbridge, Devonshire
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 0715376616
  • Page Count: 229
  • Cover Artist: Andrew Farmer
  • Availability: From David Langford
War in 2080 -- 1st ed cover

First Edition Blurb

Since the beginnings of recorded history, war, although on occasion encouraging technological advance, has been a blight upon our species. It was war that destroyed the library at Alexandria, so losing to us much of the wisdom of the ancients; it was war that destroyed Dresden, until then regarded as one of the most architecturally beautiful cities of Europe. Sadly, we still have not learnt the lessons of the past, and the present comparative peace of the world is maintained solely by the ever-present threat of a war more destructive than any that has gone before. And it seems likely that war will harry Man for centuries to come.

War in 2080 looks at the trends of current military technology and scientific progress and extrapolates these into the future, working on the assumption that human civilization will expand too swiftly to be destroyed by the military. Introductory chapters deal with the present and the near future, considering war and weaponry confined to the Earth and its vicinity. Later discussion centres on interplanetary and even interstellar war, examining such 'science-fiction' concepts as planet-busters, deathrays and ecological war, but bearing constantly in mind that, for such warfare to be possible, new strategies must be invented and many logistical problems solved. Attention is also given to the possibilities of encountering hostile intelligences, possibly of a higher technological order, elsewhere in the Universe.

The picture painted by War in 2080 is a frightening, even an abhorrent, one -- but it would be blind optimism to ignore it.