5:29am, June 16, 1945.

Humankind crosses a cosmic boundary. Looking into the nuclear fires the physicist Alan Oppenheimer sees that humanity now holds the power to destroy worlds. And, perhaps, to create them.

The powers of the gods.

But the power of the atom was just one in a tidal wave of technologies unleashed by humankind. Space flight. Genetic manipulation. General computation, the internet and virtual digital worlds gave humanity, by the late 20th century, powers of seeming magic.

In the decades since humans have struggled to control our growing power. The historian and intellectual Noah Yuval Harari argues that humankind – once Homo Sapiens – is being transformed by technology into Homo Deus – man as god.

What will humankind do with the powers of the gods?

“Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”

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Advanced SciFi & Fantasy

Writing the 21st century myth

Damien Walter, writer on sci-fi and geek culture for The Guardian, BBC, WIRED and graduate of the Clarion writers workshop, leads a journey into scifi and fantasy storytelling.

The cognitive science of scifi with John Vervaeke

This podcast is republished from earlier in the year.

Follow the full course in Scifi and Fantasy :

How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s

Is Europe welcoming desperate refugees, or being invaded by economic migrants? Is Donald Trump a serious President, or a clownish attention seeker? The Man In The High Castle reveals the most basic truths about our era of competing narratives. * In 1947 the forces of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan swept to victory over Europe andContinue reading “How Philip K Dick’s 1960’s masterpiece nailed politics in the 2020’s”

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Director of creative writing at UoL, published with OUP and Cambridge. Currently travelling the world and writing a book.


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