A group of writers, artists, and scientists
crafting experiments in fictional worlds

Est. 2018

I. Introduction

Imagine you’re standing on cracked, dense earth. But it’s not earth--it’s rocks--and the cracks extend a meter, two meters, maybe three down. They are dense with plant growth, of which just a little peeks out. If you get down on your knees you’ll smell it: thick and sticky like a garden in July. But it’s not July. You’re not home. You’re very far away...

On the Dweller Planet, a community of scientists write to one another and to citizens back on Earth. They record what they see in their post-catastrophic alien world in relation to what they know from home, and people on Earth write back and learn from the scientists in order to navigate their own future. Over time, these records become shared artifacts between two worlds, bridging the empirical present to one conceivable future.

II. Background

The most socially transformative type of literature is “fiction set in a future that has a license to speculate about it” (Scholes, 1975). Socially transformative science requires speculation, but with an added twist: If science fiction inspires our collective human imagination, speculative science invites our collective participation as well.

Trouble Book Club produces free, open-access, peer-reviewed works of scientific, artistic, and cultural value which explore future possibilities: how our cities can become more sustainable; how to achieve food security and curb water waste; how to improve disaster relief policy; how our infrastructures can support migrants from areas devastated by climate change; how to deal with that devastation.

We are all affected by systemic problems like these. What if we could develop solutions together in the interest of an increasingly global consciousness that demands new practices of observation, experimentation, and innovation? With greater access to scientific research and technologies, how much farther could we get?

Trouble Book Club calls on the combined creative power of scientists, artists, and citizens to redesign these practices. We offer a safe space for participation, where ideas will be taken seriously and developed at a distance from immediate scientific consequence. Anyone can imagine what might follow in the wake of catastrophic climate change, or how we might prevent it in the first place. Together, let’s explore ideas like these and give them room to grow.

III. Methods & Materials

TBC is working on several projects in the service of speculation, all within the Dweller Universe:

Build this world with us.

IV. Acknowledgements

Instigated by Kit Kuksenok in Jan. 2018.

Past contributors:

Cora Lee (Character Design; Graphic Design; Lost Mail Art Direction)
Victoria Downing (Watercolor Paintings, 3D Renders, World-Building)
Gaines Hall (Digital Illustrations, Writing, World-Building)
Saga Milena Briggs (Writing, Editing)