I just finished reading PJ Manney‘s brand new novel (R)Evolution. And, while I was prepared for a stimulating nanotechnology and brain-enhancement science fictional story, I also got an action packed, character-rich, twisting and intricate thriller with a very generous sprinkling of classic realpolitik. Add a realistic plot (and issues) which may well become a part of our near future and you will understand why I had so much fun reading (R)Evolution and couldn’t help it but invite Manney for an interview.
During our 80 min conversation with PJ Manney we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: her interesting and diverse background; whether there is any tension between story-telling and futurism; the definition and subject of science fiction; her goals and motivation; the Paul Simon song which inspired (R)Evolution; her admiration for Alexandre Dumas’ novels The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers; why she kills Anders Sandberg at the very beginning of her novel; realpolitik, secret societies and their role in US governance and politics; whether she is optimistic about the future of humanity…
My favorite quote that I will take away from this interview with PJ Manney is:
“Buddhism is a brain technology.”
Who is PJ Manney?
PJ Manney is a former chairperson of Humanity+, helping rebrand the organization, launch H+ Magazine and organize the first multi-org conference on futurist topics, Convergence ’08. She authored “Why I Believe in Participating in the H+ Future” and “Empathy in the Time of Technology: How Storytelling is the Key to Empathy,” an early work on the neuropsychology of empathy and media. She has presented her ideas to groups like the Producers and Directors Guilds of America, NASA-JPL, Huffington Post, The H+ Summit and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and is a frequent guest on podcasts including FastForward Radio and The World Transformed.
Manney graduated from Wesleyan University double majoring in Film and American Studies. She has worked for over 25 years in the communications field: motion picture PR at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures; story development for independent film production companies; and writing as Patricia Manney for the critically acclaimed hit TV shows Hercules — The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. She also co-founded Uncharted Entertainment, writing and/or creating many pilot scripts for television networks, including CBS, Fox, UPN, Discovery, ABC Family and Comedy Central.
Manney’s near-future techno-thriller, (R)EVOLUTION was released June 1, 2015 with 47North/Amazon Publishing. She is presently writing the sequels, (ID)ENTITY and (CON)SCIENCE. She lives with her husband and two children in Malibu, California.