Read James Gunn's introductory essay, "Private Lives," and Vylar Kaftan's story, "FeastWar," on Tor's website, or scroll down to purchase CHASING SHADOWS.
Young people log their lives with hourly True Confessions. Cops wear lapel-cams and spy agencies peer at us — and face defections and whistle blowers. Bank records leak and "uncrackable" firewalls topple. As we debate internet privacy, revenge porn, the NSA, and Edward Snowden, cameras get smaller, faster, and more numerous.
Has Orwell's Big Brother finally come to pass? Or have we become a global society of thousands of Little Brothers — watching, judging, and reporting on one another?
Partnering with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and inspired by Brin's nonfiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?, noted author and futurist David Brin and scholar Stephen W. Potts have compiled essays and short stories from writers such as Robert J. Sawyer, James Morrow, William Gibson, Damon Knight, Jack McDevitt, and many others to examine the benefits and pitfalls of technological transparency in all its permutations.
Among the many questions...
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Introduction: Private Lives James Gunn
AD JUSTITIAM PER LUCEM
Mine, Yours, Ours Jack Skillingstead
Insistence of Vision David Brin
Planetbound Nancy Fulda
The Right's Tough Robert J. Sawyer
The Circuit Riders R.C. FitzPatrick
The Werewolves of Maplewood James Morrow
The Road to Oceania William Gibson
SURVEILLANCE — SOUSVEILLANCE
I See You Damon Knight
Eyejacked David Walton
FeastWar Vylar Kaftan
Your Lying Eyes Jack McDevitt
The Disaster Stack Vernor Vinge
LIES AND PRIVATE LIVES
First Presentation Aliette de Bodard
AfterShift Memories David Ramirez
Spew Neal Stephenson
Private Life in Cyberspace John Perry Barlow
BIG BROTHER, LITTLE BROTHER, VILLAGE
Elderjoy Gregory Benford
Street Life in the Emerald City Brenda Cooper
The Eyes Have It Stephen W. Potts
NO PLACE TO HIDE
Preferences Cat Rambo
Vectors Stephen Gaskell
Public Domain Scott Sigler
To See the Invisible Man Robert Silverberg
The Disconnected Ramez Naam
LOOKING BACK ... AND LOOKING UP
Eminence Karl Schroeder
Sport Kathleen Ann Goonan
Elephant on Table Bruce Sterling
A Tsunami of Light Afterword by David Brin
Co-editors David Brin and Stephen Potts were interviewed on KPBS radio about Chasing Shadows. Among the questions posed: what happens in a society without privacy?
"Chasing Shadows collects a variety of responses by SF writers to living in the digital panopticon, most of them less pessimistic than Orwell but still expressing some misgivings. No matter their particular angle though, all are entertaining and provocative, and piercingly relevant for our own time."
"David Brin’s The Transparent Society (1998) surveyed the new technology that is driving us towards more and more disclosure, and drew fresh new conclusions about the issues. Now, still cogitating on the ramifications of these issues, and displaying admirable tenacity and dedication to the cause, Brin offers an anthology of fiction on the topic, featuring a stellar lineup of contributors." — Paul Di Filippo
David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was cited as one of the top 10 writers the AI elite follow. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
Do not enter if you want a standard "Party" line! Contrary Brin's community pokes at too-rigid orthodoxies, proposing ideas and topics that fascinate and infuriate.
"As David Brin details the inevitability of ubiquitous surveillance, your instinct, as an individual facing this one-way mirror, is to hope that he is wrong about the facts. As you follow his argument for two-way social transparency, you realize your only hope is that he is right."
"David Brin's nonfiction marvel The Transparent Society is what Lewis Mumford or Thorstein Veblen might write, could they contemplate our increasingly webbed world and its prospects for social change.... Brin's book is full of imaginative, farsighted concern for how fluid information is going to transform our civil society."
"Brin expounds upon his belief that people need to keep watch on snooping governments, employers, insurance companies, and so on.... In assessing the current state of affairs, Brin divulges a barrage of ways and means of monitoring electronic transmissions."
"If enough people read Brin's book [The Transparent Society], or are brushed by the currents of thought in represents, then it may turn into a self-negating prophecy: a warning of dystopia that by virtue of the horror it paints helps avoid that horror. That was the function of George Orwell's 1984. That is an honorable role for anyone's book."