Future Rising: A Journey from the Past to the Edge of Tomorrow
“Weaving together ideas and insights from science, philosophy, art, and more, Future Rising traces a pathway along the emergence of intelligent life, through what makes us uniquely capable of imagining and creating different futures, to the profound challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities, that come with this.
Beguiling, serendipitous, often-startling, and ultimately life-affirming, in Future Rising, Andrew Maynard will change how you think about the future and how it impacts us in the present.”
“Andrew Maynard implores the reader to understand our relationship to technology and plan ahead so that when the future rises to meet us, we are prepared to make it a future of which we can be proud”
― Kelly Weinersmith, author of Soonish
Note from the Author
Future Rising had something of an interesting start in life. I was looking for ideas for what to write next, and a colleague introduced me to High Heel by Summer Brennan. The book came up in the context of exploring what it might mean to write about the future as an object — a somewhat unusual idea, but one that caught my imagination.
High Heel immediately appealed to me in the way it weaves together over a hundred short chapters to tell a broad and complex story about sexual identity and gender.
Inspired, I started to play around with the idea of using different perspectives on the future to weave together a similarly complex picture from seemingly simple components. The result was a series of sixty essays that, together, form an intertwined and multidimensional tapestry around what the future is, our relationship with it, and our responsibility to it.
The result was a book that is a rather personal, serendipitous and complex exploration of the future and one that, underneath its seeming simplicity, captures complex ideas in a way that would be near-impossible if I was writing from a single perspective.
Like Films from the Future, this is not a book that is written or presented in a way that lends itself to being a best seller — I clearly don’t learn from my mistakes! It doesn’t fit neatly into any genre, and is idiosyncratic in its style and form. And yet, I would argue quite passionately that it is its style and form that make it such an important and uique perspective on our repationship with the future at a time when we perhaps have more influence over it than at any previous point in human history.
And that original idea of writing about the future as an object? Read closely, and you can still see echoes of this in the final book.
I do hope you find value in this book — for all its simplicity, I believe it reveals ways of thinking about the future that are hard to find elsewhere