Since December is a busy month for many, we’re going to take a slightly different approach with Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future; a little non-ficiton a little fiction. But don’t let the size scare you off. Check out the special directions at the end of this post.
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.
About Ed Finn:
Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where he is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English. He is also an affiliate faculty member of the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology program.
Ed’s research and teaching explore digital narratives, contemporary culture and the intersection of the humanities, arts and sciences. He is currently working on a book about the changing nature of reading in the digital era. He completed his PhD in English and American literature at Stanford University in 2011. Before graduate school Ed worked as a journalist at Time, Slate and Popular Science. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University in 2002 with a Comparative Literature major and certificates in Applications of Computing, Creative Writing and European Cultural Studies.
To earn 2 CE credits read the Foreword, Preface and Introduction, any three stories, and the Interview at the end of the book. (Feel free to read the whole book if you’d like.) If you’re having trouble choosing which stories to read, each of them has a “Story Notes” at the end which should give you a good idea of the topic of the story. Then answer the following three questions in a 300 word blog post or a three minute video posted to your blog:
- Which stories did you choose to read an why?
- What did you / what can librarians learn from this book?
- How might the focus of this book impact library service?
- How might the focus of this book impact library users?
If you would like to plan ahead, next month’s book will be Inner Navigation by Erik Jonsson.
Please contact the Information Services Team if you’d like to check out any of these titles from the Commission. Thanks.