Science fiction and predicting the future | Ramez Naam interview


“Science fiction is really important. But it’s not important because it is right – because it is almost never right. Science fiction is important because it makes us think deeply about what might be.” 
-Seth Godin

What role does human imagination play in shaping the world we live in? How can science fiction help us to wrestle with the issues raised by new technological advances? Can crafting visions of possible futures enable us to better navigate the present?

Few people are more qualified to answer these questions than Ramez Naam. Ramez is the author of the bestselling Nexus Trilogy, an ambitious technothriller series that deftly juggles themes ranging from transhumanism to geopolitics. I'm a huge fan of Ramez's novels and Apex, the third and final book, just launched. Ramez is also a veteran technologist and helped build blue chip products like Internet Explorer and Outlook.

We recorded this interview a few months ago and I'm excited to share it now to coincide with Apex's release. If you like the Uncommon Stock Trilogy, you'll definitely appreciate the world Ramez has envisioned. Here are a few of the questions we tackle:

1. What is the value of science fiction? How does it impact people’s lives?

2. How do you imagine the future in which your books take place?

3. What’s the biggest mistake people make when they think about the future of technology?

4. Have you discovered any counter-intuitive similarities/differences in your career at Microsoft and now as an author?

5. You write both fiction and non-fiction, is there tension there? Do your readers cross over? What’s similar/different about the writing/publishing/marketing process?

6. What's your creative process like behind-the-scenes? Any tips for new writers/artists working to build an audience and make a living?

7. What are the best books you’ve read recently?

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

-----

Enjoy this interview? Then you’ll probably like my reading recommendations curating amazing books that explore the intersection of technology and culture.