Biographical information


Madeline Ashby


I’m a science fiction writer and strategic foresight consultant living in Toronto. I was born in Los Angeles, but spent most of my life just outside Seattle, in a little community that looked a lot like Twin Peaks. I was in the Honors Program at Seattle University, a Jesuit school on Capitol Hill. We were a 25-student cohort studying Heraclitus to Hitler, for two years. It was incestuous, but also awesome. After that I did two departmental honours projects — one on enforced prostitution in Nazi concentration camps, and the other on incest in science fiction. It was during that second project that I met Ursula K. LeGuin, and I decided that I wanted to become a science fiction writer. (My anime fandom probably played a pretty significant role in that decision, too.)

In 2006, I immigrated to Canada. I couldn’t work or study legally, so I decided to hone my fiction. I auditioned for a genre writers’ workshop, and got in. I’m still a member, and since then I’ve written a handful of short stories, two Master’s theses, some science fiction prototypes for Intel Labs, and two novels.

Previous Works

-vN: The First Machine Dynasty (Angry Robot Books, 2012)
-The Tomorrow Project: Imagining the Future and Building It (2012)
-The Tomorrow Project: White House Office of Science & Technology Policy’s Grand Challenges (2013)
-2020 Media Futures (Strategic Innovation Lab, 2010-2011)
-Economic Futures for Ontario (Strategic Innovation Lab, 2011-2012)



Science fiction writer; strategic foresight consultant

Story Ideas and Burning Questions

Right now I’m fascinated by the future of cities and themed environments. I’m interested in what’s going to happen to those rabbit hutch condos they’re building now in twenty years, and I’m interested in what the suburbs are going to look like, and how we could improve them using design principles from other disciplines.

I’m also interested in the hints that child abuse is Lamarckian in nature — that the experience of having been abused creates an epigenetic trail that flows down to grandchildren, and possibly further, and literally shapes the structure of the brain.