The driving motors behind many of these changes will be artificial life (A-Life) and unconventional computing. How exactly they will impact on our world is still an open question. But in the spirit of collective intelligence, this anthology brings together 38 scientists and authors, working in pairs, to imagine what life (and A-Life) will look like in the year 2070. Every kind of technology is imagined: from lie-detection glasses to military swarmbots, brain-interfacing implants to synthetically ‘grown’ skyscrapers, revolution-inciting computer games to synthetically engineered haute cuisine. All artificial life is here.
Featuring scientific contributions from: Martyn Amos, J. Mark Bishop, Seth Bullock, Stephen Dunne, James Dyke, Christian Jantzen, Francesco Mondada, James D. O'Shea, Andrew Philippides, Lenka Pitonakova, Steen Rasmussen, Thomas S. Ray, Micah Rosenkind, James Snowdon, Susan Stepney, Germán Terrazas, Andrew Vardy and Alan Winfield.
Supported by TRUCE (Training and Research in Unconventional Computation in Europe).
Science is always telling stories. Whether in the creation myths of evolution or the Big Bang, or in the eureka moments of science history, narrative – just as much as metaphor – is a key tool in the scientist’s surprisingly literary toolkit. Perhaps the most interesting use of story is the thought experiment, the intuition pump, that draws on the most instinctive parts of the imagination to crack otherwise perplexing problems.
From Newton's Bucket, to Maxwell’s Demon, from Einstein's Lift to Schrödinger’s Cat – all are examples of 'fiction' being used at the highest level, not just to explain, but to deduce, to prove. In this unique anthology, authors have collaborated with leading scientists, to bounce literary, human narratives against purely theoretical ones, alloying together real stories with abstract ones, to produce truly extraordinary results.
Full list of thought experiments: The Twin Paradox, The Grandfather Paradox, Maxwell's Demon, Laplace's Demon, Mary's Room, The Chinese Room, Schrödinger's Cat, Galileo's Boat, The Infinite Monkey Typing Pool, Einstein in a LIft, Einstein Chasing a Beam of Light, Newton's Bucket, Olber's Paradox.
How will storytelling respond to this new and emerging science of sleep? Here, 14 authors have been invited to work with key scientists to explore various aspects of sleep research: from the possibilities of ‘sleep engineering’ and ‘overnight therapies’, to future-tech ways of harnessing sleep’s problem-solving powers, to the challenges posed by our increasingly 24-hour lifestyles. Just as new hypotheses are being put forward, old hunches are also being confirmed (there’s now a scientific basis for the time-worn advice ‘to sleep on a problem’). As these responses show, sleep and the spinning of stories are still very much entwined.
Featuring scientific contributions from: Prof Russell G. Foster, Isabel Hutchison, Dr. Simon Kyle, Dr. Penny Lewis, Dr. Paul Reading, Stephanie Romiszewski, Prof Robert Stickgold, Prof Manuel Schabus, Prof Ed Watkins, Prof Adam Zeman, Dr. Thomas Wehr.
This project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.
Which of these would you wager is pure science fiction, and which currently being developed in the lab? Such is the speed and excitement of today’s bio-medical research – sprinting from the starting gun that was the Human Genome Project – it’s sometimes hard to tell. In a unique collaboration, fourteen short story writers have been invited to explore the increasingly grey area between the fantastical and that which is already within our reach. Closely collaborating with scientists and ethicists working at the forefronts of their respective fields, each writer has been tasked with predicting some of the potential ‘ethical side-effects’ of this ground-breaking work. Not all progress, after all, is progressive. And dark forces are afoot that threaten to hi-jack what many declared would be ‘the century of biology’.
'Fascinating reading.' - Financial Times
'An exhilarating read.' - The Short Review
Toby Litt's Bio-Punk story 'Call it ''The Bug'' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title' short-listed for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.
As an independent beltrunner mining asteroids in the frontier of space, Collier South is a dying breed. Scrounging and cutting corners to work cheap, Collier isn’t a stranger to lean times and make-do repairs; in fact his onboard computer hasn’t had outside maintenance in years and its beginning to show its personal quirks.
When Collier finds an asteroid that shows promise, he thinks he’s bought himself some time. But his claim is stolen out from under him by his vindictive ex-lover and her shiny new corporate ship. Powerless against the omnipotent mining corporations, Collier has always been too stubborn to give-up without a fight. Broke and desperate, Collier has one last chance to land a strike. If he doesn’t come back with ore, he’ll end up destitute and trading his own biologicals for his next meal.
What he discovers in the farthest reaches of the belt has the power to change his life and the fate of the entire system forever. That is, if Collier and his onboard computer can keep his discovery out of corporate hands.
Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love-letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book - by the philosopher Kant.
As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other, and they learn that they are not alone.
Jack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.
Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour.
Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom. It is an extraordinary novel.
'A writer of rare elegance and beauty, Caldwell doesn't just get inside her characters' minds. She perches in the precarious chambers of their hearts, telling their stories truthfully and tenderly.' Independent
Multitudes is the beautiful debut story collection from the acclaimed, prize-winning novelist and playwright Lucy Caldwell
From Belfast to London and back again the ten stories that comprise Caldwell's first collection explore the many facets of growing up - the pain and the heartache, the tenderness and the joy, the fleeting and the formative - or 'the drunkenness of things being various'. Stories of longing and belonging, they culminate with the heart-wrenching and unforgettable title story.