Speaking at GamesBeat Summit

Next week I'll be speaking at GamesBeat Summit in Berkeley. They even wrote up a nice story about it here. This is what we'll cover:

The pace of innovation is accelerating. Technological revolutions that once took millennia to play out now take decades, years, months. At the same time, science fiction has rocketed from nerdy niche to mainstream blockbuster, capturing a popular imagination faced with the hard truth that change is the only constant. Science fiction stories inspire technologists, entrepreneurs, and scientists to build a future shaped by narrative. Are we living in science fiction? Is science fiction actually the most "realistic" tool we have to make sense of the modern world? Venture capital investor Tim Chang and author Eliot Peper discuss how science fiction and real world tech influence each other, and what that means for the rest of us.

Tim is a good friend as well as an investor at Mayfield Fund. He spends his time betting on entrepreneurs and helping them build the future. Every few months, we get together and gab about what's coming and his unique perspective has had a big influence on my writing. I'll also be on a separate panel with science fiction author Austin Grossman and Thwacke cofounder Sebastian Alvarado. There are some other stellar folks coming, including Gary Whitta (first writer on Rogue One), John Underkoffler (science adviser on Minority Report and CEO at Oblong Industries), Tim Sweeney (CEO at Epic Games), and many, many other highly accomplished folks.

More details here. If you're around, it should be a good time. The event organizers tell me that if you use the code "Deantak" you'll get 35% off.

How to make an author's day

Want to make your favorite author's day? Review their work wherever you buy or discover books. You'd be amazed at the impact.

Amazon's algorithms favor books based on quality, quantity, and velocity of reviews. Goodreads points readers to new works based on ratings. Blog and social media posts weave our favorite narratives into the larger cultural conversation.

At the end of the day, we all rely on each other to recommend the stories we love. That's how we discover our next obsession!

Complement with three pieces of advice for building a writing careerthere is no better gift than a good book, and a brief anatomy of story.


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Speaking at the Conference on World Affairs

I'm excited to visit CU Boulder next week (April 10-14, 2017) to speak at the Conference on World Affairs. CWA is an annual week-long event covering an astounding variety of political, business, and scientific fields.

I'll be on a number of panels that revolve around trying to make sense of the future (very in line with my books and editorial work at Scout): Art Without Borders (9-10:20AM on 4/10), SciFi Influencing Society (2-3:15PM on 4/11), Bioengineering: Designer Babies and More (9-10:20AM on 4/12), Singularity: When the Real World Becomes Westworld (12:30-1:45PM on 4/13), and "Hacktivism" and Cyber Security (11-12:20PM on 4/14). Basically, Black Mirror in a conference format. 😱

It will be particularly cool to talk with the students, given that the protagonists of my first three novels are Boulder-loving CU dropouts who take their tech startup from garage to IPO and get caught up in an international conspiracy along the way. If you're in Boulder next week, let me know. I'd love to see you at one of the panels or grab a coffee/beer.

You'll notice the breadth of panel topics. Nobody could possibly be an expert in all of these things, least of all me, but I love learning about them. If you've read a particularly good article/essay/book on any of them, let me know. I'd love to channel your best ideas!

Huge thanks to Bob Baskerville for inviting me to participate and to Brad Feld for making the trip possible.