11.31: Futurism, with Trina Marie Phillips

Trina Marie Phillips joined us at Phoenix Comic Con to talk about her work as a futurist. Futurism, for those unfamiliar with our use of the term here, is related to science fiction, but it remains rooted in existing technology and trends, then seeks to be predictive in useful ways.

Liner Notes: Trina mentioned some online resources (and a four-year educational program!) for those interested in working as futurists:

Catch-phrase of the episode: “all we need is a billionaire with a secure facility and a steady supply of monkeys.”

Credits: This episode was recorded by Jeff Cools, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 


Pick a city and write what you think it will look like in the year 2045.

The City of the Future, edited by Trina Marie Phillips

7 thoughts on “11.31: Futurism, with Trina Marie Phillips”

  1. My latest series, Shadow Decade, is set ten years in the future, with a focus on the impacts of automation and climate change on society. The tech side was easy to research and predict, taking a middle-of-the-road approach towards its impact… not the best case scenario, but far from the worst.

    As far as the social ramifications, all stories are still human stories. There are arcs, but on the personal and on the societal level. The hardest to predict are the cultural and artistic movements – to me, sci fi media that tries to portray future art always come off as fake, and I don’t know if there’s really a good way to present it in a way that’s in any way believable.

  2. The World of Tomorrow? Will it be flying cars, automatic tailors, and food grown in tanks? Or some other dystopia? Or… What about people? Do you mind if your waitress has antenna sticking out of her ears, and a pair of VR goggles covering her eyes? Whatever the future holds, the fatalistic foursome plus Trina Marie Phillips talked about how to sell it to companies, and what that has to do with writing and storytelling. And now, you can read all about it, in the transcript, available in the archives and over here:


    Remember, tomorrow is the day we make today, and the sun will come up, tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar.

  3. This episode was so cool, I had to listen to it twice in a row! Trina we all want your job! It is so fascinating that such a job even exists.

    1. Thanks. It is an awesome job. While science fiction writers have doubled as futurists for decades, we believe having a full time job futuring as a science fiction writer is unique in the Fortune 500 world. At least, SciFutures was the first. There may be more opportunities out there now as companies realize the need for forward thinkers in this quickly changing world.

  4. This was very helpful for me; thank you. It made me realize that though I am writing in a Victorian setting the ending of the Warlock Holmes series is futurist.

    Once again, you’ve opened up a whole new avenue of thinking for me.

  5. Futurists in the 80’s promised we would have colonies on the moon by the year 2000. Problem was, no one wanted to pay that kind of money to live on the moon, so it never happened.
    It’s all about what is marketable, what can make some rich guy a bunch more money. As long as capitalism reigns that is the direction our technological advancement will go.

  6. OK, I haven’t listen to this podcast yet, but I have a question from previous podcast. I can’t remember exactly what are the jobs your writing is suppose to do. I believe it was somehow connected to the MICE quotient. Example, your description should revel character and world building. Can you help me you find those podcasts?

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