Economics in Science Fiction

In the June issue of Asimov's, James Patrick Kelly laments in his “On the Net” column, the absence of economics as a structural component in science-fiction stories. I hope James will read this post because a new source of economic power creates plenty of trouble in my novel, Freemaker. It's not just the unintended consequences of the new technology, though plenty of those arise. It's the intended consequences of Philip Mahen's machines that create the biggest problems and the nastiest … [Read more...]

Tech-driven Morality in Maker Messiah

Can lifeless technology improve human behavior? In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, psychologist Steven Pinker argues that Western societies have already altered our baser natures for the better, partly through technology. But could a single technical advance create lasting moral improvements in weeks or months, rather than over decades or generations? Despite steady progress in science and technology, there hangs a vast suspicion today over the very idea of technology advancing … [Read more...]