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[GUEST POST+GIVEAWAY] Brenda Cooper on VISIONS OF THE FUTURE and the Lifeboat Foundation

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction, fantasy, and poetry. Her most recent novel, Edge of Dark, is a current nominee for the Phillip. K. Dick Award. For more information, Brenda’s website is at www.brenda-cooper.com.

Visions of the Future

by Brenda Cooper

I’m really pleased that SF Signal let me do a guest post about a book I’m pretty excited about.

A few years ago, I was being interviewed in an online forum led by the Washington Post on futurist topics. A man named Eric Klien pinged me and suggested I take a look at the Lifeboat Foundation, which I promptly joined.

Lifeboat does something that needs to be done – it thinks about how to protect humanity from outside threats and from ourselves.

I’ve stayed in touch with Lifeboat since then, and I’m really impressed with the people I’ve met through them. I recently donated a reprinted story to a meaty, fabulous anthology called Visions of the Future. It includes work by Robert Sawyer, Catherine Asaro, Allan Steele, Ramez Naam, Kevin J. Anderson, and many more. The book was edited by Jason Batt and contains essays as well as stories. It’s 679 pages long in trade paperback. That’s a lot of words and stories about the future.

I asked Eric Klien if I could ask him a few questions for this post, and he graciously said yes:

Brenda Cooper: Please succinctly describe the Lifeboat Foundation’s mission.

Eric Klien: The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.

Lifeboat Foundation is pursuing a variety of options, including helping to accelerate the development of technologies to defend humanity, such as new methods to combat viruses, effective nanotechnological defensive strategies, and even self-sustaining space colonies in case the other defensive strategies fail.

BC: How does science fiction contribution to that mission?”

EK: It enables us to think about possible scenarios that may actually occur in the future. Science fiction often becomes ‘science fact’ over time.

BC: Who else is part of Lifeboat?

EK: Our board members include Ray Kurzweil and Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman, Eric S. Maskin, Richard J. Roberts, and Wole Soyinka.

BC: Do you think science fiction has helped us avoid serious threats in the past? Why or why not, and what threats?

EK: I believe that science fiction that has discussed a world destroyed by nuclear war has discouraged leaders from launching such a war.

BC: Name three of your favorite books that fit the mission.

EK: The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future In This Century — On Earth and Beyond, and Visions of the Future.

Eric has donated a copy of the trade paperback version of Visions of the Future for a giveaway here on SF Signal.

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:

  1. Send an email to contest at sfsignal dot com. (That’s us).
  2. In the subject line, enter “Visions of the Future”
  3. In the body of the email, please provide a mailing address so the prize can be sent as soon as possible. (The winning address is used only to mail the prize. All other address info will be purged once the giveaway ends.)
  4. Geographic restrictions: This giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S.
  5. The giveaway will end Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 (9:00 PM U.S. Central time). The winner will be selected at random, notified, and announced shortly thereafter.

Good luck!

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