Part 1 of this two-part series featured some information about Schroeder’s first book, featuring nanotechnology written for the Canadian military, ‘Crisis in Zefra’ along with a lengthy excerpt from Schroeder’s second military scenario book, ‘Crisis in Urlia’. In searching for information about this second book, I found a guest editorial for THE CANADIAN ARMY JOURNAL 14.3 2012 by then Colonel R.N.H. Dickson, CD,
Beyond those activities, the CALWC [Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre] continues its foundational research and publication activities, including the ongoing serial publication of The Canadian Army Journal, the JADEX Papers, as well as other special studies on subjects such as the comprehensive approach to operations, cyber warfare, the future network, S&T trends, and Army operations in the Arctic. The upcoming publication of a novel entitled Crisis in Urlia, a design fiction tool examining alternate future operations, will assist the Army in probing new ideas creatively while highlighting the possible risks and opportunities in an ever-changing security environment. [emphasis mine]
Of course, the future of the Army does not exclusively belong to the capability development community, be that the CALWC, the extended virtual warfare centre, or our broader joint and allied partners. Rather, the future of the Army belongs to each of its members, and no one organization has a monopoly on innovative thought. I encourage you to learn more about the CALWC and the Army’s capability development initiatives, and then be prepared to contribute to the conversation. The Canadian Army Journal offers a great forum to do both.
You can download ‘Crisis in Urlia’ from this webpage for Government of Canada publications or you can try this PDF of the novel, which has a publication date of 2014. I gather the book took longer to write than was initially anticipated.
As for Karl Schroeder, his website homepage notes that he’s back from an Oct. 1, 2014 visit to the US White House,
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invited some of the Hieroglyph authors to present on future possibilities on October 2, 2014. There I am on the end of the line. (More details soon.)
For anyone not familiar with the Hieroglyph project, here are a few details from my May 7, 2013 posting (scroll down about 75% of the way),
The item which moved me to publish today (May 7, 2013), Can Science Fiction Writers Inspire The World To Save Itself?, by Ariel Schwartz concerns the Hieroglyph project at Arizona State University,
Humanity’s lack of a positive vision for the future can be blamed in part on an engineering culture that’s more focused on incrementalism (and VC funding) than big ideas. But maybe science fiction writers should share some of the blame. That’s the idea that came out of a conversation in 2011 between science fiction author Neal Stephenson and Michael Crow, the president of Arizona State University.
If science fiction inspires scientists and engineers to create new things–Stephenson believes it can–then more visionary, realistic sci-fi stories can help create a better future. Hence the Hieroglyph experiment, launched this month as a collaborative website for researchers and writers. Many of the stories created on the platform will go into a HarperCollins anthology of fiction and non-fiction, set to be published in 2014.
Here’s more about the Hieroglyph project from the About page,
Inspiration is a small but essential part of innovation, and science fiction stories have been a seminal source of inspiration for innovators over many decades. In his article entitled “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson calls for a return to inspiration in contemporary science fiction. That call resonated with so many and so deeply that Project Hieroglyph was born shortly thereafter.
The name of Project Hieroglyph comes from the notion that certain iconic inventions in science fiction stories serve as modern “hieroglyphs” – Arthur Clarke’s communications satellite, Robert Heinlein’s rocket ship that lands on its fins, Issac Asimov’s robot, and so on. Jim Karkanias of Microsoft Research described hieroglyphs as simple, recognizable symbols on whose significance everyone agrees.
The Hieroglyph project was mentioned here most recently in a Sept. 1, 2014 posting (scroll down about 25% of the way) on the occasion of its book publication and where Schroeder’s ‘Degrees of Freedom’ is listed in the table of contents.
The book is one of a series of projects and events organized by Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. You can find information about projects and videos of recent events on the homepage.
As for Karl Schroeder, there’s this from the About page on his kschroeder.com website,
I’m one of Canada’s most popular science fiction and fantasy authors. I divide my time between writing fiction and analyzing, conducting workshops and speaking on the future impact of science and technology on society. As the author of nine novels I’ve been translated into French, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. In addition to my more traditional fiction, I’ve pioneered a new mode of writing that blends fiction and rigorous futures research—my influential short novels Crisis in Zefra (2005) and Crisis in Urlia (2011) are innovative ‘scenario fictions’ commissioned by the Canadian army as study and research tools. While doing all of this I’m also working to complete a Master’s degree in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD [Ontario College of Art and Design] University in Toronto.
I married Janice Beitel in April 2001–we tied the knot in a tropical bird sanctuary on the shore of the Indian Ocean, Kalbarri Western Australia. Our daughter Paige was born in May 2003. We live in East Toronto where I’m writing about the evolution of post-bureaucratic governance in the 2025-2035 period.