Climate fiction, or “cli fi,” can be a dreary genre. Storytellers like to make a grim business of climate change, populating their narratives with a humorless onslaught of death, destruction, drowned monuments, and starving children. Margaret Atwood is the conspicuous exception, somehow managing to tackle the subject, including these familiar elements, with deadpan wit and an irreverent playfulness, making it both more interesting and believable. The flood is coming, her MaddAddam trilogy promises, but there is hope.
You just don’t see many illuminated manuscripts these days. There’s a good reason why: They take a long time to make.
I learned this recently when I set out to commission a thoroughly modern illuminated manuscript: not a religious text, but an interview with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies, a professor at Arizona State University and the author of books like How to Build a Time Machine.
On October 2, 2014, Future Tense and Issues in Science and Technology hosted an event in Washington, DC inspired by Project Hieroglyph.
Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
Slate – Future Tense
Science fiction has inspired scientists and political activists, but it should be an inspiration for municipal governments too.
Slate – Future Tense
When I wrote a novel about a Nigerian space program, I didn’t expect it to be so close to the truth.
Deji Bryce Olukotun
Slate – Future Tense
A short story from Hieroglyph, a new science fiction anthology.
Charlie Jane Anders
In his 1984 film The Terminator and its sequels, James Cameron imagines a dystopic future in which armies of intelligent robots move with startling suddenness from positions of servility to utter and violent dominance, destroying civilization and driving humankind to the brink of extinction.
This, of course, is pure science fiction. There’s little reason to believe things will unfold that way. First, they would take all our jobs and wreck our economy.
This is the nightmare narrative of our future with robots and artificial intelligence. The utopian version of this tale—one accepted by many powerful people in industry and government—involves a …read more
A voice cries out in the desert:
“Know thyself, not thy selfies!”
“Digital media will not save you!”
“The zero is not whole and the one is not The One!”
Technically, we’re not in the desert—we’re in a dusty parking lot in downtown Phoenix. And the voice is not coming from the Prophet Isaiah, but from professor Ron Broglio, whom I’ve ordained as a Minister of the Digital Tabernacle. As people wander into the massive circus tent at Arizona State University’s Emerge: Carnival of the Future, they are greeted by a pair of shifty evangelists preaching the analog Word. (Disclosure: …read more
The good thing about performing music with drones is that they always show up for rehearsal on time. The bad thing is that they might suddenly drop out of the air and onto your head.
I learned all this while putting together a piece called “Drone Confidential” for Arizona State University’s Emerge, a “Carnival of the Future” that was held in Phoenix recently. Emerge is an annual circus of cool new technologies in performance, dedicated to showing how artists and machines can work together to create something awesome. …read more
I recently read about the launches of both an “ultrasecure” mobile phone for protecting privacy and a clip-on camera that takes a picture of everything you do at 30-second intervals. Our cultural relationship with data is more complicated and contradictory than it has ever been, and our debates on the subject almost always center on privacy. But privacy, the notion that only you should be able to control information about yourself, cloaks a deeper tension between information and meaning, between databases and insights.
By Sarah Rothbard This post originally appeared on Zócalo Public Square. Zócalo Public Square is a partnership of the New America Foundation and Arizona State University; Future Tense is a partenrship of New America, ASU, and Slate. When Michael M. Crow, the president of Arizona State University, introduced Craig R. Barrett, the former CEO and […]
By Torie Bosch Science panels don’t normally involve a striptease, even a G-rated one. But on Saturday, March 30, Neil deGrasse Tyson took off his shirt to prove a point about the stars, science, and art. It happened at Arizona State University during “The Science of Storytelling,” a panel featuring Tyson, Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, […]
By Adam Sneed Cyborgs have arrived on Earth, but there’s no reason to worry. They’re nothing like the cold machine-men from The Terminator. Cybernetic technologies that integrate with the human body is something you could soon be able to try for yourself—in fact, you might even want to. Cyborgs and bionic life forms were the […]