Futures Brought to Life, brought to life

That post on worldbuilding I wrote a little while back was fairly well received, which was gratifying—it’s always nice when people like a thing you wrote, of course, but it’s nicer still when the point you felt you were trying to make has been taken in the spirit in which you felt you were making it.

This bodes well for the much longer chapter on the same theme that I was writing on either side of the last winter solstice. The book in which it appears is being launched tomorrow (Friday 28th July 2023), in Vienna; the Time’s Up team are throwing a little party to celebrate which I greatly wish I could attend, but it’s a long way to go for an evening out.

(If you, dear reader, should be in the area, I’m sure you would be welcome to drop by; just tell Tim and Tina I said so, and don’t abuse the hospitality.)

The book is titled Futures Brought to Life, after the 2022 conference/symposium which first gathered its contributing authors together. It’s being published as a physical object, which is both appropriate—experiential futuring, much like design fiction, understands and relies upon the indisputable power of physical things—and gratifying. Having published a fair few journal papers and a fair few chapters over the years, I always feel that much more “real” as an author when I get my hands on the physical book in which a chapter of mine appears. Journal papers, meanwhile, feel like a weird version of blogging: that same sense of throwing something ephemeral out into the ether, albeit after a writing process of great duration, horrible intensity, and frustrating formal and tonal constraints.

The downside of a physical-only publication, however, is that it can be hard for people to get a hold of. I should note that FBtL is unusually affordable for what is in some ways an academic book—just €12 plus shipping, if you drop Time’s Up an email. But times are hard and money’s to tight to mention, and besides, who wants to wait for things in this world of immediacy?

But I have good news! Time’s Up assure me that the conditions of publication with what is basically an in-house university press mean that I retain the rights to reproduce my chapter elsewhere. Furthermore, they quite like the idea of there being a chunk of it out in the world where it can be found easily—a sort of promotional loss-leader piece, if you like.

So what I’m going to do is to divide the chapter up into five chunks, and publish one chunk a day here at VCTB over the course of next week. On the last day of the run, Friday 4th August, I will also upload a PDF of the full text, complete with all the pertinent citational details for those of you who need such things.

There is no obligation, of course—not least because there’d be no way to enforce such a thing—but I hope that, if you read my chapter here and find it interesting and relevant, that you’ll place an order for the whole book.

(Which, I would remind you, features contributions from experts and edge-riders in the field of experiential futuring, all of whom are of far greater stature and wisdom than myself, and costs only €12 for nearly 200 pages of high-quality thinking!)

And if you’d like to boost the hell out of my chapter, or the book—or both!—on whatever channels of social interaction you prefer, then please know that both I and the Time’s Up team would be very grateful for it.

OK, then: watch this space next week, eh? And after the chapter is done with, there will be more worldbuilding-related news to come…



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