TASAT (There’s A Story About That): The What-If Scenarios Database

Applying Science Fiction to Solve Real World Problems

Envision: You work at an agency, corporation, or NGO, or you’re a citizen who has come across something… unusual. You’ve gathered a team to make recommendations. There seems to be a clear explanation. And yet, you wonder…

…might someone have thought about this very situation, in the past? Perhaps with an alternative idea your team missed? What if, already in some archive, There’s A Story About This?

As TASAT founder David Brin explains here, far-seeing tales can help us avoid mistakes, or at least give us a wider selection of scenarios to think about.

Accessing more than a hundred years of science fiction thought experiments, TASAT taps into a passionate, global community of writers, scholars, librarians, and fans. We aim to curate a reading list applicable to problems and possibilities of tomorrow. TASAT operates on two levels:

Challenge Alerts:

Submit a hypothetical situation that just might be faced by some agency, company, individual—or all humanity—in real life. Members of the community will cite—with title and description—past SF tales that seem pertinent! Comments are welcome, but should stay pertinent to the challenge or cited stories.

The Wild Speculations TASAT Discussion:

Challenges or comments that seem less pertinent to specific, realistic scenarios are also welcome. (Though there are plenty of sci fi discussion sites!) This fun forum won’t be moderated much!

TASAT admin can decide whether to assign a question to Challenge or to Wild Speculations status. Priority will be given to agencies and groups who might face a real-life “situation.”

Stay Involved:

Be a member of the TASAT Community!

  • Subscribe, then read and respond to our latest Challenge Alerts, which rally users around specific scenarios.
  • Browse the database of TASAT scenarios, with user-suggested reading/viewing lists. Add citations, even to older, archived scenarios, if you know a relevant story that got missed!
  • Propose a scenario of your own, and discover how science fictional thought experiments have addressed it.
  • We welcome professional or amateur archivists who might help to help create an organized database of possible real-life scenarios and the science fiction stories that have explored them.
  • And join our mailing list, subscribe to the RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay part of this speculative but vital conversation.
TASAT is affiliated with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego.