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SciFly NYC // 91 // Joining Speculations | #SFReads

Weekly Events 8/26 - 9/1

Hey SciFly Readers!

This week I want to set an idea into motion that I have had for awhile, and have been promising to follow up on, the SciFly / Speculative Futures book club.

If you have been following SciFly long enough to have read my new years resolution post, you will remember that I wanted to get a book club started in 2019 that would bring people together to read speculative fiction, discuss the technologies within the novel and the futures they engender, and catalyze an exploration of the trends, signals, themes, and societal shifts that brought that future about. The goal of this group would be to bring together the speculative community around one text at a time to dig deep into the future it imagines and understand how some of that world-building can be used to inform other speculative critiques, projects, and designs.

So, I am finally biting the bullet and reaching out here to the SciFly community (and to the Speculative Futures community as well separately - join our Slack to connect!) to see who might be interested in joining.

Here is my rough proposal.

SciFly Speculative Fiction Reading Group // SFReads

The SciFly/Speculative Futures Speculative Fiction Reading Group (#SFReads) brings together speculative practitioners, fans of science and speculative fiction, and those who want to explore diverse futures in order read, discuss, and critique speculative fiction novels.

Each month, the group will read one speculative fiction novel and a range of relevant/related texts, videos, articles etc. suggested by group members prior to the start of the novel. At the end of the month, the group will meet up (potentially in person for those in NYC) over Zoom in an organized discussion of the novel and supporting texts. The goal of the discussion will be to pull out themes, critiques, trends, and tools for speculative practice and world-building from each of the novels.

I was thinking of dividing the readings up by quarter, trying to do 3 readings that are themed together each time. At the end of the quarter, the group can potentially have another meeting to discuss larger themes that emerged from the connected readings.

For the first year of the reading group, I would like to break up the readings by technology. So three readings each about a major class of emerging technology such as: cybernetics & bio-interfaces, Big Data, Surveillance & Online Communities, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Future of Production / Digital Fabrication.

In order to get this started, I have put together a short survey to see who might be interested in participating, and any ideas for themes to get started.

I will be super busy with work throughout September, so I propose starting the reading group no earlier than October or November to get everything sorted.

I am also going to create a channel on the Speculative Futures slack #SFReads in order to start some discussions. Please join using the link I posted above and find the channel to chat more in real-time!
Thank you for listening and read on for this week's great speculative events!

"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 

Doc Martens

SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.


Monday | 8/26

Tuesday | 8/27

Wednesday | 8/28

Thursday | 8/29

Friday | 8/30

Saturday | 8/31

Sunday | 9/1

OnGoing [classes, exhibits, shows etc.]


What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, podcasts, and articles this week.

The Promise of Direct Air Capture: Making Stuff Out of Thin Air
by Peter H. Diamandis, MD

Danish designers propose using roaming 3D-printing robots to repair environments
by Rima Sabina Aouf 

The New Servant Class
by Derek Thompson

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Want More Speculation?

Join the NYC Speculative Futures meetup, a group for those interested in Critical Design, Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Discursive Design, Futurism, Science Fiction or any other incarnation of the approach which involves using Design to speculate about alternate futures. We'll be hosting speakers, workshops, and more!
Join Us!

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