The Hope of the Future

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An exciting new year has begun, and, appropriately, we're looking to the future in this, our first edition of Book Talk for 2014! Host Ryan Van Winkle sits down with three very different people to chat about what the future may hold for books and for Scotland.

To get things started, literary critic and Man Booker Prize judge Stuart Kelly discusses the most recent Booker winner, Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries and why it should be on everyone's to-read list this year. Find out how considering the future informs his judging decisions, what books he's most looking forward to this year and what recent changes allowing American books to be considered could mean for the Man Booker Prize.

Are mind-reading books the future of literature? Sci-fi author Hannu Rajaniemi seems to think so. The author of The Quantum Thief is not content to merely dream about fantastical inventions--he wants to create them as well. He and his collaborator are working on something they call neurofiction: a system that joins neuroscience with stories by measuring the brain activity of a reader and changing the direction of the story they're engaged in accordingly. A Choose Your Own Adventure for the 21st century!

Finally, Lesley Riddoch, author of Blossom, discusses the future of Scotland at the dawn of a momentous year for the country. Why, she wonders, is a country with so much promise so troubled? And what can be done about it? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Learn more about Lesley's hopes for the country and what can be done to make Scotland a fairer, even more vibrant place to live.

Podcast Contents

00:00-01:05 Intro
01:05-10:44 Stuart Kelly interview
10:44-22:18 Hannu Rajaniemi on his neurofiction project
22:18-35:34 Lesley Riddoch discusses the present and future of Scotland

Discover more

Book Talk: The Luminaries

Lesley Riddoch's blog

Follow Hannu Rajaniemi on Twitter

See Stuart Kelly's list of the 50 Best Scottish Books of the Last 50 Years

BookTalk is produced by Colin Fraser of Culture Laser Productions.

Filed In: Book Talk Tags: interview, scotland, science, reading