Join Our Salon Series!

Every quarter, I host literary salon discussions with paying subscribers at my Collector tier! These two-hour discussions take place on Zoom where we will have deep-dive discussions about utopian texts.

Subscribe at the Collector Tier to register for the Salon Series!

Humanity from the perspective of Robots

May 7th, 2024 from 4-6pm MT

Let's read A Psalm for the Wild Built and its sequel A Prayer for the Crown-Shy then come prepared to discuss humanity and from the perspective of robots. Both of these books ask the question: what do people need? That's the question we’ll discuss as we try to understand how we can make the world better from here.

Utopian worldbuilding in Terra Ignota

August 13th, 2023 from 9-11am MT

Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota series is a masterpiece of utopian worldbuilding. The author is a historian and professor of Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Humanist studies, and she uses those ideals to build a vast and beautiful future. Let's talk about each element of the Terra Ignota world, compare them to those Enlightenment ideals of the past, and discuss whether we can create a new Renaissance for our future.

Dystopia and utopia in Aldous Huxley

October 8th, 2023 from 9-11am MT

Let's read Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World and it’s utopian counterpart Island and discuss the fine line between dystopia and utopia. In the latter novel, drugs are used for enlightenment, in the former they are used for numbing and self-medication. In the latter, trances are used for personal meditation and learning, in the former trances are used for indoctrination. In the latter, contraception encourages reproductive choice, in the former it promotes promiscuity. We are reminded that utopia and dystopia exist on a knife’s edge, and that the same technology can tilt to one side or the other depending on our intentions. Let's talk about how we can tilt the future toward good!

Register for the series

This salon series is available exclusively for paid Elysian subscribers at the Collector tier. Subscribe to join us!

After you subscribe as a Collector, you will receive a welcome email with registration details. Click on the links in that email to register for the individual salons of your choice!

Previous Discussions

Techno-futurism in Lathe of Heaven

We discussed Ursula Le Guin's novel The Lathe of Heaven, and the moral rewards and risks of designing a better world. In the book, George Orr realizes his dreams can alter reality, but this quicky has both utopian and dystopian results. What happens when power is combined with technology to create the world we want (or don’t)?