The Washington Post said
If we could Google a crystal ball and predict where our lives will be in 10, 20 or 100 years, what would it say? Take a glimpse with noted futurists and Washington Post reporters.
About this series: Beyond the Future is a weeklong series of live Web chats with noted experts and Washington Post reporters examining the kinds of technological advancements the world could see in 20, 50 or even 100 years. Related news on the subject can be found on the Science and Tech Frontier pages of washingtonpost.com.
The chat began with
Brenda Cooper: Good morning from the west coast. As a science fiction writer and a futurist, I know that neither writers or futurists are terribly good predictors. After all, we still don’t have rocket-packs or aircars or large underwater cities. But every once in awhile we get something right or can start a discussion that leads to future innovations. I’m looking forward to this chat.
Rockville, Md.: What I really hate to read in a discussion is “That is not real. It is science fiction.” I came from an era of SF when writers were like Heinlein and Clarke and knew science and fiction and wrote to get us ready for a future. Not “THE” future, but ready for what was on the way. Now we need good science fiction even more to explain our world and our choices. But where is it in the mainstream? All I see are people in rubber faces. Who wants to have a realistic go at global warming and perhaps a character who says “Wait a minute. We are getting warmer. Is that good or bad?”
How about spelling out energy choices and showing what it would be to live with hydrogen as fuel? Lots to be done? Where is today’s Heinlein or Clarke or even Philip K. Dick?
Cooper is the
CIO for the City of Kirkland, Washington.
She started her technology career in aerospace, at
There, one of her projects was working on
knowledge engineering in the
very early days of artificial intelligence research. She has been in the
public sector for the last thirteen years, first at the
City of Longview
for seven years, and now at the
City of Kirkland for seven. Her
technology interests include
municipal connectivity deployments and
regional collaboration for service delivery.
She earned a B.A. in Business with an emphasis in
Management Information Systems
California State University at Fullerton.
Brenda writes articles for Glen Hiemstra’s Futurist.com and is part of the Futurist.com speaking team, delivering a wide range of talks from keynote addresses for conferences to small group facilitations about the future. Key values at Futurist.com include a belief in the ability to create a positive future.
A published science fiction writer, her short stories have appeared in Analog, Oceans of the Mind, Strange Horizons, and various anthologies. Brenda’s collaborative fiction with Larry Niven has appeared in Analog and Asimov’s. She and Larry have a novel, Building Harlequin’s Moon about which Publisher’s Weekly said
Fans of both hard and softer, psychological SF will welcome veteran Niven and newcomer Cooper’s well-written tale of a 60,000-year layover in space, in which physical challenges of world building are matched by social challenges of collaboration among disparate groups. After arriving in an inhospitable solar system, the Earth Born, colonists on an interstellar journey, need to refuel their ship, John Glenn, with antimatter. Since they lack laborers, the Earth Born construct a moon where they can build a particle collider and raise a work force, the Moon Born. Destined to be abandoned, the Moon Born struggle to gain as much knowledge and technology as they can before the Earth Born depart. Some of the technology includes artificial intelligences, whose unrestricted use caused the Earth Born to flee Earth in the first place. Niven and Cooper provide complicated characters, particularly the AI, which struggle with realistic moral dilemmas…
Her publications include
The War of the Flowers,
Ice and Mirrors,
Dawn of Sorrows,
A Lingering Scent of Bacon,
The Horses of the High Hills,
The Terror Bard,
Space Ship One:
One Small Step for Commercial Space,
California the Golden State`s Choice is Good for
Her recent books include The Silver Ship and the Sea (which won the Endeavour award), Wings of Creation, The Diamond Deep, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera for a New Age, Reading the Wind, Dogs of War, The Creative Fire, and Mayan December.
Read Smart Cities Go to the Dogs. Read Brenda’s blog!