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Stories and Visions for a Better Future

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration—must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: “Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place.”

In 2012, Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on “moon shot ideas” that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world. 

From Publishers Weekly

May 25, 2015 – 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.
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Sep 09, 2014
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Print Length: 560 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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