“The more we surround ourselves with technology, the more uncanny our lives become. Enter Stephen Oram: with Bradbury’s clear-sightedness and Pangborn’s wit, he pulls ways to live out from under modernity’s “cacophony of crap”.”
Simon Ings, Arts Editor, New Scientist.
“Oram is a soothsayer for this century’s relationship with technology. His stories will take you on a wild ride through the infinite consequences of advances in IoT, AI and more but be warned: his stories leave a mark.”
Chris Thornett, Editor Linux User & Developer Magazine.
“Both Kubrick’s exhibition and Oram’s collection should set the rest of us thinking about science and its possible repercussions.”
Chris Nuttall, The Financial Times
“Stephen Oram combines the sharp edginess of a JG Ballard with the vaulting inventiveness of a modernist Ovid […] the least didactic writer around […] a thoughtful entertainer. An author rapidly establishing himself as the leading voice on how technology may determine the ways in which societies and individuals are structured in the years to come.”
In June this year I was invited to Oxford University by the International Neuroethics Society for a symposium on human brain organoids and other novel entities. As you can imagine it was a fascinating afternoon and another one of those moments when I felt as if science fiction could never be as strange as the real science itself.
There was talk of gastruloids, novel entities and chimeras. We discussed how to measure consciousness, the ethical valuation of moral status, developing a human brain inside an animal and that the closer we get to human brain surrogates the more pressing the ethical issues become.
Whether to write dystopian or utopian stories is an ongoing choice for science fiction writers and something I’m often questioned about. I’ve been pondering this for a while and my thoughts to date are featured in this month’s Focus, the British Science Fiction Association’s magazine for writers.
As the editor says, “Stephen discusses the implications for writers and also explores whether it’s a binary choice between the two.”
PS this was written before the current crisis, but it’s probably even more pertinent now.
Some of the short pieces of near-future fiction that appear in my collections or that I’ve blogged about come from projects I’ve worked on with scientists and technology experts.
If you’d like to know more about the projects, such as what they are, who they’re with, why I do them and how they run, then select projects from the menu above.
As well as those mentioned on the projects page I have two new ones that I’m scoping with King’s College London at the moment, both of which involve writing competitions. I’ll say more here when I can, but it’s also worth keeping an eye on my events page.
And just to round off… a lot of my near-future fiction is inspired by the science, the technology and the people I come across during these projects, not just the stories that come directly from them. I’m very privileged to get these behind the scenes opportunities and I’m grateful to everyone who makes them happen.