I read lots of science fiction, because it allows exploring the impact of science and technology on our society, and the impact of our societies on technology development in ways and forms that philosophy of technology usually doesn’t. Or rather SF (when the SF is not just the backdrop for some other story) is a more entertaining and accessible form of hermeneutic exercise, that weaves rich tapestries that include emotions, psychology and social complexity. Reading SF wasn’t always more than entertainment like that for me, but at some point I caught up with SF, or it caught up with me, when SF started to be about technologies I have some working knowledge of.
Bryan Alexander, a long time online peer and friend for well over a decade, likewise sees SF, especially near future SF, as a good way to explore emerging future that already seem almost possible. He writes “In a recent talk at the New Media Consortium’s 2016 conference, I recommended that education and technology professionals pay strong attention to science fiction, and folks got excited, wanting recommendations. So I’ve assembled some (below)“. His list contains a group sourced overview of recent near future SF books, with some 25 titles.
I know and read half of the books on the list, and last night loaded up my e-reader with the other half.
If you want to discuss those books keep an eye on Bryan’s blog, as you’re sure to get some good conversations around these books there.
(photos made during the 2015 Gogbot Festival, the yearly mash up of art, music and technology into a cyberpunk festival in my home town Enschede.)
Related: Enjoying Indie SF, March 2016