Transworld has pre-empted Imaginable, an “inspiring” book by game designer and future forecaster Jane McGonigal who predicted the pandemic's effects 13 years ago.
Publishing director Susanna Wadeson and editorial director Andrea Henry bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Chris Parris-Lamb at the Gernert Company. Imaginable will be published by Bantam Press in hardback on 10th March 2022, simultaneously with Spiegel and Grau in the US.
The synopsis states: “World-renowned game designer and a future forecaster Jane McGonigal tells us that in the past year of the Covid-19 pandemic there have been more than two million English language news stories with the word ‘unimaginable’ in them, and over a million and half with the word ‘unthinkable’. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic wondering not only how we didn’t see it coming but how we can ever make plans again when we don’t know what the world will be like next week let along next year, McGonigal reveals that she did imagine the pandemic; she did think it.
“In fact in 2008 McGonigal ran a simulation mapping out the full range of economic, political, social and emotional ripple effects of a respiratory pandemic – with startlingly accurate results revealing how people would respond to self-quarantine and working from home, for example. Her future forecasting work is about how it’s possible to prepare our minds and stretch our collective imagination, with the end result that we are more flexible, adaptable, agile and resilient when the next ‘unthinkable’ happens. And she argues that by learning to think differently – by ‘unsticking’ our minds, thinking the unthinkable and imagining the unimaginable – we can reshape the world.”
Henry said: “Imaginable is an inspiring blend of big ideas and practical tasks that will help the reader to reshape the way they think about the future. Jane shares a way of thinking that will not only improve individual lives but better the world as we seize the opportunity to transform the way society works and create the future we want to see. It’s a really exciting time to be working with Jane.”
McGonigal added: “As both a game designer and as a futurist, my job is to transport people to imaginary worlds, to worlds that don’t exist – either because they’re a virtual world, or because they’re a future world that hasn’t happened yet. And my goal is to make sure that when people leave these imagined worlds, they feel more creative, more optimistic, and more confident in their own ability to transform those worlds, to take actions and make decisions that change the shape of that reality. We’ve never needed this kind of imagination more than right now. Zooming out from the present moment and adopting a future mindset can help us build the resilience we’re craving, find authentic reasons to hope, and heal together from the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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