The publisher decided that the twelfth edition of Technology and the Future (2012) would be the last. Ironically, the book is a victim in part of changing technology, since many of its articles are available on the internet and those that are not, as well as the additional material I've provided, are not sufficient to justify the current price. Nonetheless, the book is not out of print and copies continue to be available directly from the publisher (Cengage Learning) as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers. It's also rented by the semester (by Amazon, among others) and sold as a PDF e-book (probably pirated). And of course used copies (the bane of authors and publishers) are widely available.
When it was first published in 1972 the book was called Technology and Man's Future, and the original publisher was the College Division of St. Martin's Press. I had just received my Ph.D. two years earlier and I based my book proposal on the syllabus for a course I was teaching at Syracuse University. St. Martin's had never published anything in this field before and had no idea what kind of market there might be for it. They did a no-frills job on production, priced it $8.95 ($51.23 in 2016 dollars) but nevertheless promoted it effectively and built a decent-sized market. I produced the first manuscript with a typewriter, scissors and paste, wrapped it carefully, took it to the post office, and waited several weeks for the galleys to arrive.
The book evidently found a large enough market that St. Martin's asked me to prepare a second edition, which came out five years later, in 1977, with better production values and an additional 100 pages. A third edition followed in 1981, as my concept of the book matured and the selection of articles changed with the changing times and the growth of literature on technology and society. Reflecting the social and political changes that had taken place in the intervening years, the fourth edition, published in 1986, became Technology and the Future. The fifth came out in 1990 with blurbs from users on the back cover. My favorite was: "This should be required reading for every college student."
The sixth edition, published in 1993, marked over twenty years in print with an increasing focus on computers and information technology. Appropriately enough, not long afterwards, I proudly announced the creation of a web site for the book. While a web site for a book is essential these days, it was a rarity when the seventh edition was published in 1997. As the internet exploded, growing at 20 percent a month, the publishing industry was in turmoil. The eighth edition (2000) bore the imprint of Bedford/St. Martin's, formerly St. Martin's college division. 2003 saw the emergence of the ninth edition with an eye-catching orange cover and with a raft of new articles, including a controversial essay by techno-entrepreneur Bill Joy, titled "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us." By that time, the publisher had become Wadsworth, a division of Thompson Learning, a large multinational firm, which also published the tenth edition in 2006. Thompson's Wadsworth unit published the eleventh and twelfth editions in 2009 and 2013, respectively.
During this period, the publishing scene became even more chaotic. Thompson Learning became Cengage Learning in 2007, after being sold to a private equity consortium in 2006. Sinking under the billions of dollars in debt it had acquired through buyouts and acquisitions, Cengage filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in 2013. When it emerged from bankruptcy about nine months later, the company announced it had decided to focus on digital study guides and other educational supplements, with hardcopy textbooks apparently an afterthought. In this context, Technology and the Future, now selling for $128.95 (discounted to $111.29 at Amazon) became a victim of the changing world that was its focus and that is chronicled in its twelve editions.