Fast pyrolysis for production of liquids has developed considerably since the first experiments in the late 1970s. Many reactors and processes have been investigated and developed to the point where fast pyrolysis is now an accepted feasible and viable route to renewable liquid fuels, chemicals and derived products. It is also now clear that liquid products offer significant advantages in storage and transport over gas and heat. These advantages have caused greater attention to be paid to fast pyrolysis, leading to significant advances in process development. The technology of fast pyrolysis for liquids is noteworthy for the wide range of reactor configurations that have been developed to meet the stringent requirements for high yields of useful liquids, for use as a fuel in boilers, engines and turbines and as a source of chemical commodities. This review summarizes the key features of fast pyrolysis and the resultant liquid product and describes the major reaction systems and processes that have been developed over the last 20 years.