What I’m working on lately

In case you missed it, my recent Tor.com Dystopia Week contribution talks about my training as a futurist and my contributions to the 2020 Media Futures project.

Here’s another thing I’m working on:

Smell the glove
Prototype glove with steampunk jewelry, OCAD Body Editing lab, 5 May 2011

Now, I didn’t make this glove. But for my work on the PLAYPR project, I get to write stories about it. I attended a fantastic meeting today with the people who designed and manufactured this glove. They’re planning the next phase of user testing, and I got to talk to them about my ideas for the final uses of the glove. Our goal is to design a game that involves the glove. Beyond that, I can’t tell you very much. This is a bit ironic, because part of my job is investigating similar projects.

To be more specific, next week I’m headed west to Vancouver for GRAND 2011, a conference sponsored by the National Centres for Excellence. I’ll be the Hunter S. Thompson type asking other teams what they’re developing, and reporting back to my superiors at OCAD. Some of my classmates from the Strategic Foresight & Innovation program are going, too. They’re affiliated with other projects, but we’re all interested in technologies-in-progress. I just happen to be the one who gets to write fiction about them.

And that’s really why I love my job(s) as a scenario developer: I get to write stories about the ways people might use technology. That’s who I am already as a science fiction writer, and it’s also who I am as a consumer. I am forever inventing narratives about how I will use the device I desire. But it’s pretty awesome when you can sit in a meeting with some really excited, passionate people who’ve put in long hours on something, and then hear them ask you how it might work. There are a lot of reasons that I count myself lucky, and this is one of them.

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