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An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Free ebook download (pdf).

In 2013, our Technology Horizons Program commissioned six leading science fiction writers—Cory Doctorow (@doctorow), Rudy Rucker (@rudytheelder), Warren Ellis (@warrenellis), Madeline Ashby (@MadelineAshby), Ramez Naam (@ramez), and Bruce Sterling (@bruces)—and artist Daniel Martin Diaz to create short stories tied to our research on the coming Ag
ebook, 122 pages
Published August 2013 by
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Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I hadn't heard of the Institute for the Future until I found out about the short anthology they put out recently, called An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter. The point of it is to explore, in science fiction, the possibilities of a human future that is even more hyper-connected than it is today. I'm delighted by the idea of such an institute existing at all, and the fact that they are calling on creative types to offer their perspectives.

This is a lovely-look
Althea Ann
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Absolutely a horror story. A future social worker, among her many house calls to check up on abused and at-risk children, is sent out to a creepy house in an abandoned luxury development. What she encounters there may be far beyond what her training has prepared her for. Don't read this if you're planning on going into social work!

Merged review:

A vison of a near future where advertising is beamed straight into our brains (unless, of course, you're in the lucky 1% who can afford the ad-free softw
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent short story offering a chilling vision of the future where every product and every object is smart and can connect directly with people's brains.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A potential dystopian future of IoT.

A great short story by one of my favorite authors. Very much like an episode of Black Mirror.
Larka Fenrir
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A future not so far. A subversive woman. A story of vengenace.

You can call it as you wish, I have a simple adjective for this short story: perfect.

Ok, I'm not an expert of sci-fi novels (although -after I had this juicy sample- I'm surely going to read all Naam's novels, and maybe some more), but this one had something that caught my interest from the very beginning. Maybe its dystopian element, not so far from what we already experience.

What if media had more influence in our daily life? Even m
Glen Parks
Aug 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This got good towards the end as Sterling explored the Lovecraftian elements, but all the name-checking of tech culture makes the story read a little adolescent.

Merged review:

A neat idea for a short story, but the reason that events are happening and the characters they're happening too are so vague that it's hard to feel this is anything more than a curio in Ellis' extensive bibliography.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice little collection. Sterling's Lovecraft pastiche was my favorite, because I'm a total sucker for technobabble like "they were particle-animated down to Wolfram cellular computrons". Ellis' was a close second runner-up. The capitalism-is-evil stories were a bit meh. Anyway, for the price (free) you just can't go wrong.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
A coldly strange story about a house who struggles to identify an intruder. During the story we do learn somewhat about the who the person may be, but more importantly, why the person has come. Passable.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
What starts as a scene from Cryptonomicon quickly devolves into a Lovecraftian trip infused with the spirit of Gibson. Also bees.

Merged review:

A rumination on the failure modes of networked systems, and how things may die in the future, framed as a short crime tale.
Sidsel Pedersen
great short story about ad-supported implants. great ideas
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story, scifi
A bit too creepy for me.

Merged review:

Read title story.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: llegits-2014
Buen cuento! Y gratis. Este autor me parece cada vez mas interesante.
Maggie Gordon
Creepy story with some great concepts about the near future, but not fleshed out enough to really grab me. Should have been a bit longer to draw out the suspense.
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Sep 02, 2013
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Chris Nunn
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The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is a Palo Alto, California, US–based not-for-profit think tank. It was established, in 1968, as a spin-off from the RAND Corporation to help organizations plan for the long-term future, a subject known as futures studies.

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