Cover image for Hieroglyph : stories and visions for a better future
Title:
Hieroglyph : stories and visions for a better future
Author:
Cramer, Kathryn, 1962-
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, 2014.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 532 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
Contents:
Foreward / Lawrence M. Krauss -- Preface, Innovation starvation / Neal Stephenson -- Introduction, a blueprint for better dreams / Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer -- Atmosphæra incognita / Neal Stephenson -- Girl in wave, wave in girl / Kathleen Ann Goonan -- By the time we get to Arizona / Madeline Ashby -- Man who sold the moon / Cory Doctorow -- Johnny Appledrone vs. the FAA / Lee Konstantinou -- Degrees of freedom / Karl Schroeder -- Two scenarios for the future of solar energy / Annalee Newitz -- Hotel in Antarctica / Geoffrey A. Landis -- Periapis / James L. Cambias -- Man who sold the stars / Gregory Benford -- Entanglement / Vandana Singh -- Elephant angels / Brenda Cooper -- Covenant / Elizabeth Bear -- Quantum telepathy / Rudy Rucker -- Transition generation / David Brin -- Day it all ended / Charlie Jane Anders -- Tall tower / Bruce Sterling. -- Science and science fiction, an interview with Paul Davies.
ISBN:
9780062204691
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Neal Stephenson, the science fiction author, was born on October 31, 1959 in Maryland. He graduated from Boston University in 1981 with a B.A. in Geography with a minor in physics. His first novel, The Big U, was published in 1984. It received little attention and stayed out of print until Stephenson allowed it to be reprinted in 2001.

His second novel was Zodiac: The Eco-Thriller was published in 1988, but it was his novel Snow Crash (1992) that brought him popularity. It fused memetics, computer viruses, and other high-tech themes with Sumerian mythology.

Neal Stephenson has won several awards: Hugo for Best Novel for The Diamond Age (1996), the Arthur C. Clarke for Best Novel for Quicksilver (2004), and the Prometheus Award for Best Novel for The System of the World (2005).

He recently completed the The Baroque Cycle Trilogy, a series of historical novels. It consists of eight books and was originally published in three volumes and Reamde. His latest novel is entitled The Rise and Fall of D. O. D. O.

Stephenson also writes under the pseudonym Stephen Bury.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 "Atmosphæra 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. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.