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Nov 07, 2014
As one of the contributors to the Hieroglyph anthology, I was invited down to the White House in early October 2014 to talk about optimistic futures
The Hieroglyph anthology has certainly had legs. It brought a whole bunch of us authors and the editors to the White House to talk to the Office of Science and Technology Policy about how to engage a new generation of young people to go into the science and engineering professions.
Below is a photo of us taken by Ruth Wylie on October 2, 2014. Left to right are myself, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Edd Finn, Elizabeth Bear, Kevin Bankston, Kathryn Cramer, Vandana Singh, Ted Chiang, Madeline Ashby, Lee Konstantinou, and Neal Stephenson.
We also discussed other issues, particularly the future of governance and how to manage thorny issues such as climate change. My own story in the anthology, "Degrees of Freedom," is all about governance, so I was in my element.
This is where science fiction and strategic foresight meet for me--in events like this one. Oddly enough, this is not the first time I've participated in such a hybrid event; much of my history with foresight for the Canadian government and army has involved using my talents as an SF writer to both filter and refine ideas that come from foresight. I did my Masters thesis on how to employ storytelling methods to communicate foresight findings.
This visit to Washington was the capstone to a season of travels and adventures that took me to San Jose in August (for the Cognitive Computing forum), to UCLA in September (for the Digital Cash conference), and most recently to Phoenix for the World Bank's Evoke project. I'm now happily settling in at home to work on a new novel, but hopefully this is just a hiatus and I can get out to more speaking gigs soon.
Oct 15, 2014
Project Hieroglyph presents: Stories and Visions for a Better Future
Wednesday, October 22, 7:00pm (Doors open at 6:00)
Co-hosted with Changing Hands Bookstore
Nine authors and scientists will share their ambitious, optimistic visions of the near future in a series of conversations and Big Idea pitches. Presenters will include authors Kim Stanley Robinson, Madeline Ashby, Karl Schroeder, Kathleen Ann Goonan, James L. Cambias, and Brenda Cooper; Hieroglyph co-editors Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer; and acclaimed cosmologist and astrobiologist Paul Davies. Learn more and buy tickets today!
Sep 16, 2014
We're touring for this one. Details below
Neal Stephenson's inspired vision to inspire a new generation to enter the sciences and engineering, the Hieroglyph Project, has launched its self-titled anthology. We held a book launch here in Toronto on Sept. 13, which was well attended, and will be doing more events over the next month, all across North America.
Here's what people are saying about Hieroglyph so far:
Goodreads (average rating of 4.6 out of 5 so far)
Slate (story excerpt)
io9 (Madeline Ashby's story excerpted)
There's going to be a lot more; this is just a sample. Meanwhile, we're doing launch events across the country. I'll be attending two more, myself: on October 2, I'll be in Washington, and we'll be discussing Hieroglyph at the World Bank Narrative Hackathon in Phoenix, AZ October 21-25th. Hope you can make one of those!
(My story in the anthology is "Degrees of Freedom," which is about a separatist Haida nation in the Pacific Northwest that uses new technologies of governance to render the current national and provincial governments in the region obsolete.)
Jul 23, 2014
The first episodes of the graphic novel version of SoS have been collected in a single volume. You can buy it now!
Run on over to Blind Ferret and you can pick up the print edition of Sun of Suns, Vol. 1. This volume collects the first episodes of the story. You'll meet all the main characters here: Hayden Griffin, our sullen hero; Lady Venera Fanning, mad princess and spymaster; Martor the ship's go-fer, and even the pirate Dentius and his men.
The script for this excellent adaptation is by Jeff Moss, the ink's by Guy Allen, and color by Michael Birkhofer.
This was an amazing project and I had great fun working with such talented artists to bring my visions of Virga to life. I hope you enjoy the result.
May 09, 2014
My latest "scenario fiction" for the Canadian military is out
Back in 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a short novel, which they named Crisis in Zefra, about future peacekeeping and the evolution of the military in the 21st century. Zefra did very well; you can learn more about it elsewhere on my site. In 2010, they commissioned a second project.
Crisis in Urlia is now published. You can read it online for free or download the PDF. Where Zefra concentrated on military evolution on the squad level, Urlia is about command-and-control, and includes a vision of a crowdsourced military that some might find downright shocking, as well as side forays into online nations and religions, post-agricultural food supplies, and 3d printed buildings.
These works view the future through a particular lens (that of the military) but include as broad (practically epic, in fact) synopsis as I could craft of all the changes facing humanity and our environment over the next thirty years or so. In terms of the rigour that went into them, they're probably my best science fiction.
Apr 07, 2014
The intersection of installation art and fiction
On Saturday, May 3 and Sunday May 4, 2014, I will be hosting a workshop called Feedback Loops, on the mutual influence of art and speculative fiction, at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery here in Toronto. Using the works on view as starting points for narrative development, participants will learn the mechanics of writing and refining a speculative short story, resulting in an original piece of fiction that may be published in the gallery's online journal Switch On.
The workshop is being co-hosted by the Power Plant, the International Festival of Authors, and the Humber School for Writers. If you're interested in attending, please contact the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000.