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The Tomorrow Project

“The Tomorrow-Project” is a unique literary project which shows the important effects that contemporary research will have on our future and the relevance that this research has for each of us. Research currently being conducted by Intel in the fields of photonics, robotics, telematics, dynamic physical rendering and intelligent sensors served as the basis to inspire four bestselling authors. The results are four short stories which paint amusing, thought-provoking and hopeful pictures of our future.


The stories

Last Day of Work – by Douglas Rushkoff
The Mercy Dash – by Ray Hammond
The Drop – by Scarlett Thomas
The Blink of an Eye – by Markus Heitz

Brian David Johnson is a futurist and future caster at Intel Corporation. In his video, he outlines the importance of future research and speaks about “The Tomorrow Project” from Intel were the four bestselling authors Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Hammond, Scarlett Thomas and Markus Heitz created short stories about the technology of tomorrow.

 

 


 


Last Day of Work – by Douglas Rushkoff

 

Today is Dr. Leon Spiegel’s last day of work. But he’s not just another retiring technology worker: he is the last man ever to work.

Having delayed the inevitable for longer than he should, Spiegel recounts the events that have led to a world where no companies, no money, and no need for employment exist. In doing so, he reveals how humanity nearly allowed technology to bring life to a close, before stumbling upon the truth of man’s own culpability for his dire condition. And now that humankind has avoided its dark fate and transcended the previously limited definition of what it means to be human, Spiegel is having a hard time letting go and joining the rest of the world.


This and the other stories are available as ebook and podcasts in the download section.
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About Douglas Rushkoff

The American author and media theoretician Douglas Rushkoff has published eight books thus far, including his debut volume “Cyberia,” which quickly became a cyberpunk classic. As part of the cyberpunk movement, Rushkoff cultivates close contacts with Robert Anton Wilson, the inventor of “Illuminatus!” Rushkoff, who studied theater directing, has written numerous short stories and documentations about the themes of technology and subculture since the early 1990s. Among his other activities, he has also served as a consultant for the United Nations.

 

Douglas Rushkoff is currently working on a dissertation about new media insights for the New Media Program of Utrecht University.

 

 


The Mercy Dash – by Ray Hammond

 

In the year 2125, two young Mannheim residents are forced to undertake a high speed drive to save a life.

Billy Becker – a successful furniture designer ¬– and his girlfriend Sophie, a medical student, learn that Sophie’s mother Hélène has suffered a serious back injury whilst waterskiing.  Hélène has a rare blood antibody which means it is unsafe for her to receive ordinary blood transfusions.  Sophie also carries the rare blood antibody and she alone can provide blood.

But, in 2125, all major autoroutes through Europe are under networked traffic management and Billy and Sophie are forced to override the automated controls and speed limits in order to get to from Mannheim to Nice before surgery on Hélène is completed.

Billy and Sophie are not alone on their journey.  Billy has recently acquired a new virtual assistant, also called “Sophie”, who is able to communicate in a very lifelike way; so lifelike that real Sophie starts to get jealous about her rival for Billy’s attention....


This and the other stories are available as ebook and podcasts in the download section.
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About Ray Hammond

The British author and futurist Ray Hammond has already written sixteen books about the future which have been published in Europe and North America since 1980. “The Modern Frankenstein,” which appeared in 1986, was the first book to predict the importance of genetic technology, cloning, and the mass dissemination of super-intelligent machines in the twenty-first century. In 2007, Hammond was accepted as a member of the renowned World Innovation Foundation, which includes ninety-one Nobel Prize winners in its membership.

 

Hammond currently teaches at Oxford University and at Cass Business School of City University, London.


The Drop – by Scarlett Thomas

 

 

Agnes is 32. She lives in a seaside town in Britain about six years (or so) in the future. When she is out running one evening on the seafront she ends up racing a boat and winning. When one of the rowers sends her a message on her GSRcx (a sports watch that includes galvanic skin response data and information on air pollution and wind-speed) she is quite surprised: you can’t get messages on this kind sports watch. Everyone uses their ‘Box’ for communication. It’s not clear how she can send him a reply. She doesn’t even know which one of the four people on the boat he was, but hopes he’s the one with the dark curly hair and the green top. When she discovers that he sent her the message using a mind-control patch, she must learn mind-control in order to send one back.

Agnes’s family make money by generating electricity on exercise machines. They get briefly excited when they get some ‘hits’ from people watching them in their everyday lives (like reality TV, but live and accessible direct from home-to-home via speed-of-light data transfer), but the hits soon evaporate. It doesn’t really matter – everyone, watches the Takahashi family in Tokyo anyway. Agnes’s father spends all his time in the (virtual) mountains. Danny, Agnes’s younger brother, is obsessed with watching cars on the ‘network’: a system many people think is very beautiful and even mysterious. Cars drive themselves, using the most efficient route. And all cars have their colour chosen by the network. The cars make patterns that can be seen from space (and that anyone can tune in to).

The Drop imagines a future in which telematics, photonics and intelligent devices have changed the ways in which people interact with their world. The world, and the people in it, remain (lovably) flawed, mysterious and sometimes funny – but the technology makes many things so much easier and more interesting.


This and the other stories are available as ebook and podcasts in the download section.
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About Scarlett Thomas

The English author Scarlett Thomas has written eight novels thus far. Her most successful novels, “PopCo” and “Troposphere,” explore the boundaries between natural science and philosophy. She majored in cultural studies and now also works as a book reviewer for Literary Review, The Independent and Scotland on Sunday.

 

Scarlett Thomas teaches English literature at the University of Kent.

 


The Blink of an Eye – by Markus Heitz

translated by Howard Fine

 

A brave new world, thanks to sensor technology and AI! Every movement is monitored. Alexin can walk around inside his house without ever having to flip a switch. The house detects, interprets and makes life easier: doors, lights, electrical and electronic devices, even the toilet seat lifts and lowers automatically. But Alexin knows this is making him dependent – and it’s becoming painfully clear to him that AI also has a dangerous disadvantage….

 

A brief moment in the future and an appeal to use our minds: that’s this contribution by author Markus Heitz.


This and the other stories are available as ebook and podcasts in the download section.
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© arneschultz.com


About Markus Heitz

The German fantasy and science-fiction author Markus Heitz has already written more than twenty-five books, including the extremely successful fantasy series “The Dark Time” and “The Dwarves,” as well as numerous “Shadowrun” novels. Heitz, who majored in German studies and history, won the German Fantasy Prize in 2003 for his debut novel, “The Dark Time: Shadows Over Ulldart.” This was followed by other awards, including “Best German-Language Novel” in 2009 and 2010 for “Das Schicksal der Zwerge” (“The Fate of the Dwarves”) and “Die Legenden der Albae 1 – Gerechter Zorn” (“The Legends of the Albae 1 – Rightful Wrath”).

 

Markus Heitz presently lives in Zweibrücken, where he devotes himself to literature and his Irish pub.