Pretending to Write About the Future: Speculative Fiction as a Lens on the Now

113C, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 100 Level
Saturday, March 26, 2022
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


“Science fiction is a great way to pretend you are writing about the future when in reality you are attacking the recent past and the present.” As Ray Bradbury suggests in this quote, many readers and writers turn to speculative fiction not to wonder about what might happen so much as to think about what’s already happening. Five writers and editors will share their experiences working with sci-fi that, rather than being an escape, serves as an engagement or confrontation with the present.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2022_--_Pretending_to_Write_About_the_Future_event_outline.pdf



David Ebenbach is the author of eight books of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including the novel How to Mars. He teaches creative writing and literature at Georgetown University and is a project manager at Georgetown’s teaching center, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship.

Elly Bangs is a Seattle-based science fiction and fantasy author. Her recently released debut novel, Unity, explores the human condition and contemporary global issues through an explosion-rich, post-apocalyptic cyberpunk lens.

Jaymee Goh writes, reviews, and edits speculative fiction. Her work has been published in Science Fiction Studies, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. She is a graduate from the Clarion Workshop and works for Tachyon Publications.

Rone Shavers is author of the experimental Afrofuturist novel Silverfish, recently shortlisted for a CLMP Firecracker Award. His writing has appeared in Big Other, Black Warrior Review, and Bomb. He is also a fiction editor at Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora.

Sheree Renée Thomas is the editor of the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning Dark Matter anthologies, author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, and is the associate editor of Obsidian and the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center