Renowned futurist, technologist, and author Brian David Johnson, who left his position at the Intel Corporation in January, will be joining Arizona State University as Futurist in Residence for spring 2016 at the Center for Science and the Imagination and as a Professor of Practice in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.
In this volume, eleven young authors use science fiction storytelling to explore human futures shaped by excursions through space and time.
Imagine a world devoid of animal life except for humans. Or a future where medical advances enable people to live for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Would life be as sweet if there was no end in sight, or without our pets to greet us at the door at the end of a long day? These are just a few of the quandaries explored in “Living Tomorrow,” a new anthology of creative, thought-provoking visions of the future crafted by young people ages 13-25 from across the United States and worldwide.
In this volume, 11 young authors use science fiction storytelling to explore a diverse range of possible futures shaped by biological and environmental challenges and solutions.
Dawn Gilpin, associate professor of public relations and social media at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, answers CSI’s 5 Burning Questions.
One person’s utopia is another’s dystopia, but both perspectives have one thing in common—hope for humanity is taken away when all the questions are answered for us.
“What if I told you that the future could be found threaded through the words of this anthology? Would you believe it?” – Brian David Johnson, Futurist
Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age (1995) has had a significant impact on many people; not only is it one of the precursors to the Center for Science and the Imagination, but it has also been used by the likes of Amazon for code words related to the […]
Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, Intel and the Society for Science & the Public are proud to announce the winners of their competition, “The Future – Powered by Fiction.” The competition challenged young people ages 13-25 from all over the world to share their visions for possible futures inspired by real science and technology. To see a full list of winners, visit: http://isef.tomorrow-projects.com/results/
On May 14, 2014, Intel futurist Brian David Johnson took to Google Hangouts to announce the winners of The Future – Powered by Fiction, a competition that challenged young people worldwide to think critically and creatively about possible futures we can build together. The competition is part […]
This post is part of CSI’s Thoughtful Optimism and Science Fiction project. To learn more about the project, visit http://csi.asu.edu/category/optimism/. Listening to my co-readers react to the stories in Cory Doctorow’s A Place So Foreign and Eight More (2003), I’m thinking about how Doctorow’s free-culture politics and Creative […]
Time-traveling, a fantasy carnival and superhero fiction. We read a trio of Cory Doctorow short stories from the collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More (2003) – “A Place So Foreign,” “Return to Pleasure Island,” and “The Super Man and the Bugout” – and noticed a common trend between these radically different stories.
Space exploration has always been driven by both the imagination of the individual and the political will of nations. When the United States decided to go to the Moon it was an inherently political endeavor, part of the Cold War arms race; however, the majesty of the journey itself inspired the imaginations of millions of people to dream of traveling far beyond the Moon.
Near-future science fiction is notorious for its inaccurate predictions – from Blade Runner’s Replicants to the Back to the Future hover boards that people sarcastically mention at New Year’s parties. However, Kim Stanley Robinson’s dark political adventure Red Mars (1993) is spot-on with its predictions about virtual reality.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars (1993) initially presents a markedly optimistic vision of the future. The terraforming technology he envisions has enormous potential: it enables colonists to leave an environmentally devastated planet Earth to create a utopian society out in space.
Have you ever thought about robots? I mean really thought about them. They are so prevalent in science fiction that it is easy to take the existence of robots for granted. But someone had to invent robots at some point, and for some reason. The answer can be found partially in the etymology of the word: the English robot comes from the Czech robota, meaning forced or compulsory labor. The term “robot” in its original use would be unfamiliar to modern audiences; it was first used by Karel Čapek in his work R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), a science fiction play from 1920.
Like any genre, science fiction has changed over the years. Just as romance novels evolved from sociopolitical fairytales to the popular, racy stories of today, so too science fiction has transformed. In the Golden Age, science fiction stories were mostly forays into the fantastic, the unreal: they were sweeping epics; they were grandiose space operas; they were explorations of sublime worlds, outlandish technologies, futuristic and expansive societies. Characters in this kind of science fiction were often merely vehicles for traversing strange narrative universes, the author’s intricately-fashioned galaxies and dreams.
Contemporary science fiction storytelling is dominated by gloomy, dystopian narratives. The Thoughtful Optimism and Science Fiction project at the Center for Science and the Imagination is an attempt to uncover an alternative history of the genre that focuses on more hopeful and inspiring visions of the future that are still thoughtful, critical and complex. A group of student researchers has been hard at work since 2013, laying the foundation for a public database and a series of essays, reflections and comments about the history of thoughtfully optimistic thinking.