Category Archives: events

The future of writing (and reading)

Have we unleashed an orgy of trivia? Will robots manipulate our souls? Where’s the experimental writing?

These were some of the questions asked during a superb evening of writers (fiction, non-fiction and marketeer) talking about the future of their craft and answering a broad range of questions from a lively audience.

We touched on the democratisation of publishing, the future of the eBook and whether the big publishers are dying. Finishing up with the speculation that the future is one of artificial intelligence scripting our lives via mass produced personalised messages.

You can read more about it in an article by SilverWood Books.

I want to say a huge thank you to the organisers of the Fitzrovia Festival (“the people live here festival”) for inviting me to host the evening. Thanks also to Etienne Gilfillan for the ‘band’ photo above (left to right: Hannah Kowszun, Helena Halme, Stephen Oram and Allen Ashley) and to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for providing the venue (and wine and nibbles).

Sadly, the camera ran out of space so we didn’t capture it all. However, you can watch most of it here… 

 

An evening of prosthetic reality

Prosthetic envy. That was the theme of the Virtual Futures Salon at the end of last month.

Three out of four panellists had prosthetic limbs and were keen to talk openly about what that meant for them. One of them was James A.H. Young who you may have seen on the BBC recently.

They told their stories, pondered and discussed what had led to them having prosthetics, how good their limbs actually are and what the general public’s reaction is like.

Surprisingly, they had stories of people exlaiming how ‘cool’ the prosthetics are and asking how they could get one. To which, of course, there’s a reply which includes, ‘you’ll have to cut a limb off first.’

Luke Robert Mason introduced the evening, referring to Limbo ’90, which is a book I read as part of my research for the evening’s story, Loans for Limbs. It’s a 1950 book by Bernard Wolfebilled as being the first book to “project the present-day concept known as ‘cybernetics’ to its logical and terrifying conclusion.” It’s well worth a read.

Here’s me reading Loans for Limbs for the first time in public.

Afterwards, some of the audience asked me how to get a written copy; if you join my mailing list before 17 June you’ll get it in the June email a few days later.


If you liked this you might also like the free near-future collection: S{t}imulation, Foodflix and Joined At The Chip.


photo credit: Roboarm via photopin (license)

A whole month of special features

I was very pleased to be the Special Featured Author during May for the fantastic b00kr3vi3s blog.

Over the course of the month there were five different features, including an exclusive story co-written by me and the (very) young Ash Creedon.

It was fun to do, of course, and because I wasn’t constrained by the typical format of a generic Q&A I could explore topics in a little more depth than usual. Although, not in great depth so don’t be put off from reading them.

You can find the five features here:


Photo Credit: Jigsaw postcard via photopin (license)