“Where’s my jetpack?” A simple question from a friend started Mac Montandon on a quest for his own jetpack—and 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: One Man’s Up and Down (but Mostly Down) Search for the Greatest Invention That Never Was, Montandon discovers the history of this most elusive form of personal transportation—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 “International Rocketbelt Convention,” and unearths the true story behind a bizarre mid-1990s case of kidnapping, imprisonment, and murder—all for the sake of a jetpack.
Mac Montandon has written for the New York Times, Radar, Salon, New York Magazine, and Interview, among others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.