Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, some of today's leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries have come together in this anthology of stories, set in the near future, that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction
Born of an initiative at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, this remarkable collection unites a diverse group of celebrated authors, prominent scientists, and creative visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Charlie Jane Anders, David Brin, and Neal Stephenson—who contributed works of "techno-optimism" that challenge us to imagine fully, think broadly, and do Big Stuff.
Inside this volume you will find marvels of imagination and possibility, including a steel tower so tall that the stratosphere is just an elevator ride away . . . a drone-powered Internet . . . crowdfunded robots descending on the moon . . . cities that work like a single cell of algae powered entirely by the sun . . . and much more.
Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.
The editors of this gripping anthology "believe that if we want to create a better future, we need to start with better dreams" and counter the trend of dystopian and apocalyptic visions of tomorrow. Neal Stephenson, who founded Project Hieroglyph to "rekindle grand technological ambitions through the power of storytelling," fittingly lives up to that goal with "Atmosph ra Incognita": it plausibly describes an entrepreneur's plan to construct a tower that would be 20,000 meters tall, and whose top would be "for all practical purposes in outer space." The science and the narrative are perfectly blended. Other stories explore the implications of using neuroscience to "cure" individuals whose brains are deemed abnormal, and of replacing the trucking industry with robot trucks and the Amazon/UPS "droneport." Karl Schroeder's "Degrees of Freedom" is particularly clever, featuring a future where a soi-disant democratic government suppresses data about voter turnout, and "Big Data" is used by the public to increase participation in decision-making. The editors' ambition is successfully realized in this fine anthology that any optimistic futurist will appreciate.