Drones are a catch-all, and ominous, technological category, but when we talk about drones we are really talking about our own relationship with this technology.
Drones are in the newspaper, on the TV screen, and swarming through the networks. But what are drones? The word encompasses everything from toys to weapons. And yet, as broadly defined as they are, the word drone fills many of us with a sense of technological dread.
In this book, we'll cut through the mystery, the unknown, and the political posturing, and talk about what drones really are. We'll discover what technologies are out there, and what's coming next. We'll look at how we talk about drones, and how we represent them culturally. What we'll find is that drones are not as scary as they appear-but they are complicated. In drones, we find the strange relationship that humans form to their new technology. And these types of drones are swarming.
About the Author
Adam Rothstein is a freelance writer and researcher based in Portland, USA.
Adam Rothstein's primer on drones covers such themes ... as the representation of drones in science fiction and popular culture. The technological aspects are covered in detail, and there is interesting discussion of the way in which our understanding of technology is grounded in historical narratives. As Rothstein writes, the attempt to draw a boundary between one technology and another often ignores the fact that new technologies are not quite as new as we think. * Times Literary Supplement (reviewed by Christopher Coker) *
Readers interested in technology and/or warfare will very much enjoy reading Drone... Adam Rothstein did an admirable job, writing about every aspect of drones in detailed and organized fashion... [T]hose keenly interested in the subject will gobble this up. -- George Erdosh * San Francisco Book Review *
[Rothstein's] book is a rich collection of vignettes about how to imagine and comprehend the drone ... [Drone] really excels in tackling the multiple meanings, symbols, and narratives attached to drones, all of which provide a bird's eye view (drone's eye view?) of the terrain of contemporary debate ... for those beginning a research project, or just the curious, this small book packs a big punch. -- Ian G. R. Shaw, University of Glasgow * Antipode *
Adam Rothstein's Drone presents this iconic figure of contemporary warfare-the disconcertingly alluring autonomous airborne machine-through the lens of a different kind of history. Privacy and tracking algorithms run side by side with the ethics of self-guided munitions, activist political programs butt heads with emerging corporate business strategies, and all of it is tied back to the earliest experiments in driverless vehicles, quaint ancestors of today's over-mythologized UAVs. In the end, Rothstein's book is an exploration of technical agency: Where did drones come from-and what do they want? * Geoff Manaugh, Editor of Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions and Author of the website BLDGBLOG *
This lucid, visionary work is as close as one can get to science fiction without the baggage of science and/or fiction. Adam Rothstein's Drone will be a wonderful cultural artifact in twenty years. It will be like a broken pomegranate of contemporary speculations and anxieties. * Bruce Sterling, Author of The Zenith Angle and Professor of Internet Studies and Science Fiction at the European Graduate School, Switzerland *
Portland writer and artist Adam Rothstein's contribution to Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series digs into the history and meaning of autonomous aircraft-the ways they work, the tasks they perform, where they come from, and how the way we talk about them reflects the priorities and anxieties of our age. -- Ben Waterhouse * Oregon Humanities *
Adam Rothstein's Drone test[s] the water on what this technology might yet prove to be as it is successively explored and its limits and possibilities (military and civilian) discovered. What shall drones be? -- Julian Yates * Los Angeles Review of Books *
Introduction..Chapter One: Four Technology Stories..Chapter Two: The Military Drone..Chapter Three: The Commercial Drone (or the hole where it ought to be)..Chapter Four: Blinking Lights..Chapter Five: Software and Hardware..Chapter Six: The Non-Drone..Chapter Seven: What the Drone is For..Chapter Eight: The Drone in Discourse..Chapter Nine: Drone Fiction..Chapter Ten: Ourselves and the Drone..Chapter Eleven: Aesthetics of the Drone..Chapter Twelve: The Drone as Meme..List of Images..Bibliography..Notes