Sci-Fi authors talk AI at Jan. 11 webinar

Vernon Area Public Library joins more than 200 other Illinois libraries to host an online program, “Speculating About Our AI Future with Cory Doctorow, Ken Liu and Martha Wells,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11. Three science fiction authors will discuss the promise, perils and possible impacts of artificial intelligence.

Find details and sign up on the Vernon Area Public Library calendar of events at, or call (224) 543-1485. A recording of the event will be available for two weeks following to registrants only.

Cory Doctorow, who can be found online at, is a science fiction novelist, journalist and technology activist. He is the author of many books, including “The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation,” a Big Tech disassembly manual; “Red Team Blues,” a science fiction crime thriller; “Chokepoint Capitalism,” a nonfiction book about monopoly and creative labor markets; and the “Little Brother” series for young adults. In 2020, he was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. He also serves as a special advisor to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (, a nonprofit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties.

Ken Liu, who can be found online at, is an American author of speculative fiction. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy awards, he wrote the “Dandelion Dynasty,” a silkpunk epic fantasy series starting with “The Grace of Kings,” as well as short story collections “The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories” and “The Hidden Girl and Other Stories.” He also penned the Star Wars novel “The Legends of Luke Skywalker.” Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Liu worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer and litigation consultant. Liu frequently speaks at conferences and universities on a variety of topics, including futurism, machine-augmented creativity, history of technology, bookmaking and the mathematics of origami.

Martha Wells, who can be found online at, is a bestselling fiction writer whose work includes the “Books of the Raksura” series, the “Ile-Rien” series, the “Murderbot Diaries” series, and other fantasy novels, most recently “Witch King.” She has also written media tie-in fiction for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, young adult novels and nonfiction. She is the winner of Nebula Awards, Hugo Awards and Locus Awards. She is a member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and her books have been published in 25 languages.

This event is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present, a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering premier events.

Illinois Libraries Present debuted in 2022 as a way to bring virtual events with bestselling authors and diverse and esteemed speakers to communities across the state, and counts more than 200 Illinois libraries as members. Joining forces for such events allow libraries to bring speakers to their communities that might not be possible due to budget constraints or production capabilities. In 2023, the initiative was recipient of the Illinois Library Association’s 2023 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award for Interlibrary Cooperation, which is awarded annually in recognition of exceptional resource-sharing initiatives that benefit library users in Illinois.

ILP is funded in part by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

Season 3 of Illinois Libraries Present will continue in February with American cartoonist Jerry Craft via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The Vernon Area Public Library District directly serves a population of 44,002 within a 29-square-mile area that includes all or parts of Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Vernon Hills, Prairie View, Riverwoods and unincorporated Vernon and Ela townships.

The Vernon Area Public Library building is located at 300 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire.

For more information about the library and its services, visit

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