We created this website in conjunction with a small but lively and inspired workshop, held at Princeton University in February 2015.

At the conference and in the essays on this site, we explore the intersection between professional and popular theorizing about the future of the cosmos, nature, and technology. Such futures, of course, linger at the edge of scientific respectability, and we have invited scholars who analyze a range of historical actors, from academically credible scientists, physicians, and engineers, to the authors of science fiction (and their occasional overlap).

Our essays illustrate the ways that science fiction and speculative nonfiction overlap to provide both scientists and popular audiences with visions of the future that are often surprising in their coherence.

Given the subject matter, producing an edited collection in the typical academic fashion seemed like a missed opportunity. So before we met in person, we each produced the first installment of a series of essays, which are posted here. Although no new essays will be added, we will continue to post links to work that has grown out of this project.

None of this would be possible without the financial backing of the Program in the History of Science and the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project at Princeton University. We thank them for their support.

Fred Gibbs University of New Mexico
Erika Lorraine Milam Princeton University
Joanna Radin Yale University