Project Hieroglyph

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Available in English
Owner Arizona State University
Created by Neal Stephenson, Founder; Ed Finn, Editor; Kathryn Cramer, Editor
Commercial No
Launched 2012

Project Hieroglyph is an initiative to create science fiction that will spur innovation in science and technology founded by Neal Stephenson in 2011.[1]

Stephenson framed the ideas behind Hieroglyph in a World Policy Institute article entitled "Innovation Starvation" [2] where he attempts to rally writers to infuse science fiction with optimism that could inspire a new generation to, as he puts it, “get big stuff done.”

Stephenson says that "a good SF universe has a coherence and internal logic that makes sense to scientists and engineers. Examples include Isaac Asimov's robots, Robert Heinlein's rocket ships, and William Gibson's cyberspace. Such icons serve as hieroglyphs—simple, recognizable symbols on whose significance everyone agrees."[3]

Stephenson partnered with Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination[4] which now administers the project.

In September 2014, the project's first book, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, edited by Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer was published by William Morrow. Contributors to the book include Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Madeline Ashby, Gregory Benford, Rudy Rucker, Vandana Singh, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Bear, Karl Schroeder, James Cambias, Brenda Cooper, Charlie Jane Anders, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lee Konstantinou, Annalee Newitz, Geoffrey Landis, David Brin, Lawrence Krauss, and Paul Davies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dear Science Fiction Writers: Stop Being So Pessimistic! | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  2. ^ "Innovation Starvation | World Policy Institute". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  3. ^ "Hieroglyph | Home". Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  4. ^ "Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University".

Further reading[edit]