from the get-to-work dept
Last week, I gave you a heads up and a preview of our latest project from our think tank, the Copia Institute: our brand new anthology of speculative fiction about the future of work, called Working Futures. The book is now available in both ebook and paperback format at Amazon (initially, we’ll be publishing it exclusively through Amazon, though we plan to offer other options down the road). You can purchase the ebook for $2.99, the paperpack for $9.99, or both combined for $10.99 (or, if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read it for free). The book has 14 wonderful stories and comes in at over 200 pages. You can also purchase the special custom deck of cards we used to help us create the scenarios that were given to the authors as “prompts” to inspire the various stories. And you can download the PDF of the prompts as well, if you’d like to see them.
Last week, I wrote about the process by which this project came together — how we built the custom deck of cards, what we did with them, and how we got sci-fi writers to make use of them. This week, with the actual launch of the book, I wanted to zoom in a bit on the actual stories in the book. Over the next few days, I’ll talk a bit about some of the stories in the book, and what made them stand out when we were choosing the stories for the book:
The Machine Starts by Liam Hogan is a quick fun story that envisions the role of humans in a world in which computer AI is pretty much all pervasive, and an entity known as “The Machine”, whose powers are so great that it resulted in the demise of the today’s generation of internet giants. But with something so powerful and all knowing, why would it need to hire people? Well, as this story demonstrates, there are always situations in which human perception will be able to do things that artificial intelligence cannot.
The Chaperone by Andrew Dana Hudson is, in some ways, a flipside to the story by Hogan that precedes it. In that story we learn about how a human can assist an AI, whereas in the Chaperone, we learn about how AI’s might assist humans. For better and for worse. Hudson described his story in a pretty straightforward tweet: “My #solarpunk novellete, “The Chaperone,” is for everyone who watched Her (2013) and thought, “cool future, but this doesn’t seem like *our* future?where’s the late stage capitalism, political upheaval and climate change??”
The Funeral Company by Katharine Dow might conceivably take place in a similar world to the one in Hudson’s novellette above, though on the other side of the country. It describes a very different kind of job that might crop up in a world of pervasive information and data about everyone — and also how some people might respond to not wanting to live in such a world.
That’s it for today. I’ll have more later in the week about some of the other stories in the book. If any of the three snippets above intrigue you, or you can’t wait to hear about the other stories… feel free to go ahead and pick up the book.