Useful Fiction is a network of creators, thinkers, and artists, who cross the realms of forecasting and communication. Our events and projects have brought together the work of former leaders of US military services, tech forecasters for Fortune 500 companies, best-selling writers of projects like World War Z, Ghost Fleet, and American War, the producers of such Hollywood projects like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Homeland, and Crazy Rich Asians, and artists who have illustrated for Wired and New York Times Sunday Magazine

Managing Partners

August Cole is an author exploring the future of conflict through fiction and other forms of “FICINT” storytelling. His talks, short stories, and workshops have taken him from speaking at the Nobel Institute in Oslo to presenting at SXSW Interactive to tackling the “Dirty Name” obstacle at Fort Benning. 

He is a non-resident fellow at the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity at Marine Corps University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council; he directed the Council’s Art of the Future Project, which explores creative and narrative works for insight into the future of conflict, from its inception in 2014 through 2017. He consults on creative futures at SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence company. August is a regular speaker to private sector, academic and US and allied government audiences. Previously, August reported on the defense industry for The Wall Street Journal, helping break many major national security stories, including foreign cyber spies hacking into the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter program, major defense contractors doing “Smart Power” development work in Africa, U.S. sales of F-16 fighters to Iraq and a Blackwater civilian shooting incident in Afghanistan. Prior to that, he worked as an editor and a reporter for MarketWatch.com. He is a regular participant in Defense Entrepreneurs Forum activities and is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Royal United Services Institute, and the AI Initiative of the Future Society. Designated a “Mad Scientist” by the US Army, he is a former non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point. With P.W. Singer, he is also the co-author of a new type of novel, Burn-In, using the format of a technothriller to communicate nonfiction research about AI, robotics, and their impact on American society in the coming decades.

Peter Warren Singer is Strategist at New America, a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, and Principal at Useful Fiction.

New York Times Bestselling author, described in the Wall Street Journal as “the premier futurist in the national-security environment,” he has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators, by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues, by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List, and as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. No author, living or dead, has more books on the professional US military reading lists. His non-fiction books include Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military IndustryChildren at WarWired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st CenturyCybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know and most recently LikeWar, which explores how social media has changed war and politics. It was named an Amazon and Foreign Affairs book of the year and reviewed by Booklist as “LikeWar should be required reading for everyone living in a democracy and all who aspire to.” He is also the co-author of a new type of novel, using the format of a technothriller to communicate nonfiction research. Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War was both a top summer read and led to briefings everywhere from the White House to the Pentagon. His latest is Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It has been described by the creator of Lost and Watchmen as “A visionary new form of storytelling—a rollercoaster ride of science fiction blended with science fact,” and by the head of Army Cyber Command as “I loved Burn-In so much that I’ve already read it twice.”

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