Better narratives for a better future
Futures Thinking’s capstone podcast project, Narrative Futures, will launch on the 15th of October 2020. In this eight-episode series, network founder Chelsea Haith interviews eight of the most important authors and editors working in the speculative fiction genre today, covering topics such as the taxonomy debate, climate fiction, afrofuturism, psychoanalysis, AI, national versus cultural mythologies, magic, and the power of story-telling for building alternative, better futures.
Featured on this podcast are Lauren Beukes, Mohale Mashigo, Sami Shah, Mahvesh Murad, Jared Shurin, EJ Swift, Ken Liu and Tade Thompson.
Not your average podcast, we encourage listeners to engage with the podcast through two writing prompts and thought exercises at the end of each interview, designed to support listeners to develop their own narratives for better futures. At the conclusion of each interview, stay with us as creative writing tutor and novelist Louis Greenberg guides you through some meditative writing exercises.
Listeners are encouraged to share their responses to these prompts if they wish with us via email: email@example.com. We’ll share these on the blog with contributors’ permission. You’ll also be able to read the full transcripts of each episode on the blog when they are released. These transcripts will include links to the ideas, books and authors mentioned in the interviews and writing prompts.
Narrative Futures Trailer Transcript:
Chelsea Haith: Narrative Futures is an interactive podcast from the Futures Thinking network at the Univeristy of Oxford. We’ll speak to some of the most important authors and editors working in the speculative genre today, about building narratives for a better future.
CH: I’m wondering what you think about the genre taxonomy debates, particularly with regards to the designation of speculative fiction?
Jared Shurin: You just weren’t going to start with an easy question were you? [laughter]
EJ Swift: Writing speculative fiction in at least the near future, it feels to me that it’s almost impossible to ignore climate breakdown.
Mahvesh Murad: I don’t like the ghettoising of genre fiction. I also don’t like the ghettoising of people of colour or women.
Mohale Mashigo: I don’t know how to write a linear story because that’s not how time works for me.
Sami Shah: But the one I want to read which I can’t read because I haven’t found it yet, which makes me want to write it.. it’s about the lives of people like me.
Ken Liu: We’re never telling stories in a vacuum. We’re telling stories in the context of all the stories that came before and all the stories that gave that particular story meaning. Time isn’t just something that goes on towards the future. You always have to loop back and integrate the past and revitalise it and bring the past forward with you, that’s the only way.
Tade Thompson: The stories that we tell ourselves are the most important.
Lauren Beukes: And I honestly think that art is the only thing we can hold on to right now.
CH: Narrative Futures. Catch each episode and linked writing prompt devised by Louis Greenberg on the Futures Thinking blog. Episodes will be released weekly on the Futures Thinking blog. Better narratives for a better future.
This podcast was devised, recorded, and edited by Chelsea Haith.
The writing prompts were written and presented by Louis Greenberg.