The Copia Institute (the think tank arm of Techdirt) set out to examine the nature of work and the future of work, with the end goal of helping to invent some better futures beyond the “gig economy apocalypse”, and more specific futures than “it’ll be okay”. They brought together a collection of thinkers: entrepreneurs, technologists, activists, journalists, philanthropists, lawyers, academics, who came up with a variety of different scenarios. They then gave those scenarios to a bunch of science and speculative fiction authors…including me.
The Working Futures anthology contains 14 stories, including two of mine. Some are upbeat and optimistic. Some, not so much. Many are deeply, deeply, in between: stuck in a world where “it’s complicated” is a fair way to describe things. All of them help paint possible pictures of what work might mean in the future.
Techdirt had some kind words to say about my stories:
“Trash Talk” by Holly Schofield explores the kind of job that probably doesn’t get much attention when people talk about “the future of work”: jobs that require manual labor. Many people seem to assume that those will just be entirely automated away but, as this story explores, it’s possible that we’ll just enhance humans with machines, rather than replacing them altogether. And sometimes that might create some, well, tricky situations.
— Techdirt, October 11, 2019
“Generation Gap”, by Holly Schofield. This is Holly’s second story in our collection and among the many things we loved about it was how it really painted a picture of a potentially very different world — which held the possibility of being beautiful, but also possibly terrifying. Or perhaps something in between. And it raises questions about how our future world will connect with the past.
— Techdirt, October 14, 2019
You can find a discussion of this fascinating topic and of this anthology at Boing Boing. And you can pick up a copy (kindle or paperback) of Working Futures at the Working Futures website.