Best-selling author Neal Stephenson will participate in a dialogue called Science and the Imagination as a part of the keynote session on Monday, October 21, during ASTC’s 2013 Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Stephenson is an author of historical and science fiction, a technology consultant, and a video game designer. He is perhaps best known for his novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, and Snow Crash, which presented compelling, socially and culturally rich visions of human futures while also prefiguring the development of major technologies such as social networking, nanorobotics, and 3D printers. He also penned The Baroque Cycle, a sprawling three-volume work (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) about the history of ideas in 17th and 18th century Europe, and co-created The Mongoliad, a collaborative work of transmedia fiction produced in collaboration with filmmakers, martial artists, computer programmers, and video game designers. His most recent novel, REAMDE, transforms the now-quotidian realm of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) into a global minefield of criminality, religious extremism, and geopolitical intrigue.
Stephenson will be joined by Ed Finn, founding director of Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. Finn is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English. His research and teaching explore digital narratives, contemporary culture, and the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences. He is currently working on a book about the changing nature of reading in the digital era titled The Social Lives of Books. He completed his PhD in English and American literature at Stanford University in 2011. Before graduate school Ed worked as a journalist at Time, Slate, and Popular Science.