research * the future * culture

My work on that *other* Border Town…

You may have heard of the Bordertown series, a 25-year-old collection of anthologies, games, gatherings and other wonderful things surrounding a fantasy world shared by multiple authors.

Sadly, I am not involved in that particular project. (Not that I’d say no to such an offer, of course. Hint, hint…) Instead, and equally awesome, I am involved in another Border Town, a 12-week design studio hosted by Site 3, a spin-off of Toronto’s HackLab. (I should really write a whole post, with photos, about just how cool Site 3 is. It’s awesome. They have a laser. And a piano.) We meet once a week and discuss specific texts related to the issue of divided cities: how people navigate them, how borders change personal and commercial relationships, how border towns create and manifest their own unique subjectivities…it’s really no surprise that we always run late and only end the conversation when we’re too dehydrated to talk.

I mention this because our studio will be producing deliverables that stand to be exhibited at or by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center. It will be the first time that my work has been exhibited as a piece of art, and this poses a rather daunting challenge. It’s hard for me to remember sometimes that my work could be considered art. I know that other writers’ works are works of art, of course. Just not mine. It’s a cognitive bias and I understand it as such just as I fall into its trap.

I’m hoping to get over it, though, by hosting a panel related to Border Town at on Sunday the 17th at 1pm Polaris, a science fiction convention happening later this month. Considering that one of my deliverables could be a story, I want to ask SF readers what they’d like to read, and how they’d like to interact with a written piece as art. (Should I do something locative? Should I make something that people can pick up and hold? Should I make food? Because I’m pretty good at making food.)

I’m also hoping to record the panel via my computer, so that I can have good notes. I may even end up re-mixing the audio for the exhibit! So, if you attend my panel, you could become part of my first exhibited work of art!

  • Madeline Ashby… a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity,, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

  • Books

    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 342
    ratings: 2160 (avg rating 3.43)

    Company Town Company Town
    reviews: 232
    ratings: 1217 (avg rating 3.68)

    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
    reviews: 73
    ratings: 439 (avg rating 3.66)

    Social Services Social Services
    reviews: 3
    ratings: 10 (avg rating 3.50)

    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

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