Matters of Consciousness

Matters of Consciousness: An Anthology


img_7924One day in the late 1990s, director Brad Bird asked himself, “What if a gun had a soul and didn’t want to be a gun?” That question about the implications of a conscious machine led him to create the classic animated feature, The Iron Giant. Bird isn’t the only writer to find the seed of a story in a question about consciousness.

At every YHouse discussion about consciousness, there is always a moment when someone in the audience asks a fascinating question. “Is it ethical to send conscious space probes on a one way trip to a nearby star? What if they don’t want to go?” or “Will we come to like our artificially intelligent friends more than we like our human friends?”

Few things kindle the imagination like discussions about consciousness. When astro-biologist Caleb Scharf ponders aloud how consciousness emerged from matter in the 13 billion years since the big bang, or roboticist Hod Lipson describes the emotional state of a robot, we can’t help but begin to explore the possibilities.

You don’t have to be a Hollywood writer to turn these possibilities into short stories, essays, or creative non-fiction. All you need is the spark of an idea and the desire to share it with others.

Matters of Consciousness (Working Title) is an upcoming an anthology of short stories, essays, and creative non-fiction that explores ideas related to consciousness. Everyone in the YHouse community, (and if you’re reading this, you’re a member!) will be welcome to submit their work for consideration. All genres will be welcome. We will announce the call for submissions soon.