- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2988 KB
- Print Length: 563 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (9 Sept. 2014)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00H7LUR3K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 61 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,995,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future Kindle Edition
"This new anthology justly deserves to be ranked alongside the very best collections published within science fiction: Terry Carr's Universe, Damon Knight's Orbit, or Robert Silverberg's New Dimensions."--LA Review of Books
"[A]group of visionaries have banded together to offer stories that are more utopian, which they hope will contribute to a more positive future.... ...The stories still offer plenty of drama, death and destruction, but many have a sort of happy ending."--New York Times
"This collection could be the shot in the arm our imaginations need. It's an important book, and not just for the fiction."--Wall Street Journal --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Born of an initiative at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, this remarkable collection unites a diverse group of celebrated authors, prominent scientists, and creative visionaries who contributed works of "techno-optimism" that challenge us to imagine fully, think broadly, and do Big Stuff.
Inside this volume you will find a rich blend of science fiction stories, nonfiction essays, and illustrations. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future is a manifesto and a blueprint that sounds a clarion call to people everywhere to reclaim our future from grieving over what was and celebrate all that can be achieved.
Charlie Jane Anders
James L. Cambias
Kathleen Ann Goonan
Lawrence M. Krauss
Geoffrey A. Landis
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Top international reviews
If you want a better future and all you can think of is showing the problems getting worse before they get better... It makes sense, but I am sick of stories that do nothing but back up the viewpoint that life is horrible.
I won't be finishing the fourth story. I feel like I'm being told to go out and riot about things in everything I read, this is not what I bought the book for.
And so this book. Finally, a group of thinkers who are letting their imagination go huge - moonshot huge - once again. But in this case, not even beyond the scope of our current technology. Here is a collection of stories well grounded in the possible - if only we would think big enough. The well-researched, technologically feasible ideas presented here will satisfy anyone who enjoys thinking big.
We need more of this!
I bought to book to support the idea of imagining a better future. So I'd say there is a failure of imagination.
il nous manque une traduction de ce bel ouvrage en français.
General disappointment aside, some of the stories are real gems. Vandana Singh's "Entanglement" has to be my favorite - the prospect of deep intertwining of lives around the world is fascinating, but more than that, Singh presents each perspective in a delightful manner, deeply envisioned in their place, yet also deeply entangled (in ways that aren't clear until the end). Second favorite is probably "Degrees of freedom" by Karl Schroeder, a hopeful look at how similar technology could make governments irrelevant and allow real collective decision-making, in a tale focused on a father and son learning to understand one another. James Cambias' "Periapsis" was also nicely done - much more far-fetched technology-wise, but a sweet tale with a fun romantic and surprising ending.
My impression is the "big name" writers didn't really put their best efforts into this volume, but there are a few pieces of great writing and inspirational story-telling here, so I'm not unhappy I purchased it. Maybe there will be a follow-on volume with a bit more even quality.
The stories in this collection cover topics including space exploration, entrepreneurship, drones, civil liberties, education, climate change, and more, book-ended by Stephenson's Tall Tower, a 20 km steel structure that could cut space launch costs in half-for starters. Stephenson opens with a classically Heinleinian engineering epic of how the Tower is built--think "The Roads Must Roll" or "Blowups Happen". Bruce Sterling closes with the same tower 200 years in the future, inhabited by the decadent and wicked religious dreamers of an Earth that is being abandoned by the Ascended Masters, and the quixotic quest of a cowboy to ride his old horse to the very top. My two very favorite stories were "By the time we get to Arizona" by Madeline Ashby, who provides a The Prisoner inspired take on reforming American's Kafkaesque immigration system with a six week panopticon trial period in a model border town, and "Degrees of Freedom" Karl Schroeder, who uses augmented reality to provide a fascinating and inspiration lens on democracy, legitimacy, and collective decision making. Not everyone manages to hit as solidly, but there's no filler here, and very few reused ideas.
I've rarely seen such a creative, energetic, and yet solidly themed collection. The tent-poles are pieces from masters of the genre, names that you should recognize like Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin and Cory Doctorow. All these major talents bring their A game, and fans of any of them should check out the collection. This might just be some of the best science fiction you'll read in a long time: Retro without being old-fashioned, optimistic without being panglossian.
Disclosure notice: While I am a grad student at ASU and have been following Hieroglyph's progress eagerly since it's inception, I have no financial or institutional connection to it. I just think it's super cool.
((Addendum: And Lawrence Krauss is a blowhard. Skip the introduction))
The stories were mixed. Some I liked pretty well, and some I didn't care anything about. That's about normal for me - I rarely read fiction, because I can't bring myself to care about the characters or the writer.
These stories almost always made sense. Competent writing... it's sometimes enough. Good job.
More books like this, please. Keep publishing these more interesting authors.
Thus, at least half of the stories fail to meet the title criteria.
It's scary that we're so short of visions for a better future.