An anthology of near future science fiction from VICE’s acclaimed, innovative digital speculative story destination, Terraform—in print for the first time.
Terraform hones the predictive capacity of science fiction and seeks new, vivid, and visceral ways to depict the future we’re hurtling toward, translating the decay and anxiety that surround us into something else, something unexpected, something that burns like a beacon and upends the conventional ideas of where we’ll end up next.
Section by section—Watch/Worlds/Burn—the book takes on surveillance, artificial intelligence, and climate collapse. With a potent roster of established names and rising talents—from Bruce Sterling, Ellen Ullman, Cory Doctorow, Jeff VanderMeer, and Omar El Akkad, to E. Lily Yu, Elvia Wilk, Fernando Flores, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Gus Moreno—it confronts the issues that orbit our everyday existence, and takes them to unsettling dimensions.
About the Author
Brian Merchant is a journalist, producer, and author, whose focus is on technology, work, and the future. His first book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone is published by Little, Brown. He's the co-founder of Terraform, VICE Media's speculative fiction project, and the author of the Blood in the Machine, also from Little, Brown. His work has appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, The Atlantic, Harper's, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Guardian, and beyond.
Claire L. Evans is a writer and musician. She is a founding editor of Terraform, the former futures editor of Motherboard, and a contributor to the Guardian, WIRED, and Aeon; previously, she was a contributor to Grantland and wrote National Geographic's popular culture and science blog, Universe. She is the author of Broad Band and co-editor of Terraform. Evans is an advisor to design students at Art Center College of Design and a member of the cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab. She lives in Los Angeles.
“This is the kind of book we need now, a collection of stories bursting with visions, ideas, nightmares, and utopian plans, all in the aid of creating cognitive maps for navigating the very difficult future that is coming. When dread and joy combine, what is that? Excitement? Read this and see what you think.”
—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy and The Ministry for the Future
“Someday a future intelligence will find this, washing up on shore or archived on a server farm deep underground or drifting as ones and zeros through space, and they’ll have a document of who we were, who we are, and who we imagined we might be. This anthology is filled with work from brilliant writers, new and familiar, and out of their anxieties come nightmares and dreams, an assortment of stories that is equal parts terrifying and entertaining.”
—Charles Yu, National Book Award–winning author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Interior Chinatown
“Terraform: Watch/Worlds/Burn is through and through Luddite science fiction: critical not cynical, perceptive not preachy, imaginative not derivative, but above all else rooted in the idea that the world we’ve made is a world we can unmake.”
—Edward Ongweso Jr., cohost of This Machine Kills
“Be careful. These stories may burn you with their scalding visions of other worlds and alternate tomorrows.”
—Annalee Newitz, author Autonomous, The Future of Another Timeline, and Four Lost Cities
“It will radicalize you.”
—Cory Doctorow, from the introduction
"This showcase of today’s leading imaginations offers enough vivid cautionary tales to make even the most optimistic tech utopian hesitate...While the tone throughout tends toward the bleak and searing, hope shines through."
"Read these short, biting, vibrant stories for their wit, inventiveness, and verve."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)