September 4, 1962 |
|Occupation||author, technology consultant|
|Notable works||Ventus, Permanence|
Around 2005, the Canadian army tapped me to do a dramatization for a series of foresight workshops they'd done. They had stacks of papers and needed it boiled down to something simple enough for a 4-star general to understand. We decided to do it as a story. That's how I created 'Crisis in Zefra.'
My mother wrote a couple of romances when I was a kid, and I always saw books in our bookshelf with 'Schroeder' on the spine.
Maybe it's because I look into the future professionally, but I see great possibilities for both humanity and our planet. I don't believe the thriving of one has to come at the expense of the other, and I'm deeply concerned to find out whether other people do think that.
Andy Clark refers to humans as 'natural-born cyborgs.' What he means is that we habitually extend and change our body-concept without even thinking twice about it.
I thought of myself as an outsider in a lot of ways as I was growing up. Not in a bad way; more as an observer. I often find myself thinking as an observer of science fiction rather than as a participant.
If I want to speculate wildly about the future, I have my science fiction. Anybody who tells you they can predict the future is either crazy or lying.
Andy Clark has several books you can find on Amazon, including 'Natural Born Cyborgs' and 'Being There.' I particularly recommend 'Being There' to anybody who still thinks the Cartesian separation of mind and body should be taken seriously.
Starting on February 1, 2010, and running through until May 30, I will be Toronto Public Library's Writer in Residence, working out of the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculation at the Lillian H. Smith branch at College and Spadina.
There's no possibility that foresight work will ruin my creativity. It goes to a different area than the creative wellspring of SF.
The way I usually put it is that as an SF writer, I'm never required to be right.
I have been doing technology foresight for a number of years now on the level of scenario design, primarily. I want to become more rigorous with research methodology and statistical methods. I want to shift from creating clever SF scenarios to being a professional forecaster able to make rigorous predictions.
I remember the moon landings, and Apollo was the paradigm by which all progress was measured at that time. And I knew that creating a true space-faring civilization was both possible and practical. What I failed to realize was that the effort would fail due to bureaucratic inertia and political apathy.
The one thing we know about the future is that it will not be like today. I don't think that people should be too anxious about not knowing what they are going to do in the future, because we really can't know.
I intended to be famous by the time I was 16 and rich by the time I was 20. Curiously, it didn't pan out!