Order the beautiful debut print edition of MONTAG here.
Issue 1 of MONTAG examines the future of our simplest technology of all: how society connects to itself and how we connect to each other. The features and short fiction in this issue ask some of the most basic - and most complex - questions of all.
How will we communicate when technology allows us to be physically apart but experientially closer than ever before? What do we really unlock when we're handed the keys to our perfect life experience? How will technology help us to help the people who need it the most?
Today, emoji are so fundamental to communication that, as MONTAG's Kathryn Lawrence asks, can we now consider it a language on its own?
That’s not what I meant, Part 2: how humans f*ck up communication, too
How do the fleshy meat-bags that are our human bodies cope when we use Virtual Reality technology to communicate with others in ways that have never been experienced in all of human history?
Anti-Tech Technology Part 2: The man who disappeared completely
What happens when you choose to commit "infosuicide," and the story of one man who did.
Anti-Tech Technology Part 1: How To Disappear
If you wanted to go completely off the grid, how difficult would it be? In Part One of a look into what anonymity means in today’s society, Kathryn Lawrence explains what technology you need to use to disappear completely...
That’s not what I meant: how incomplete data f*cks up online conversations
Brevity might be the soul of wit, but brevity and wit both translate badly online – and accidentally insulting someone in an online message is today's social faux pas extraordinaire
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: Farenheit 451
Is the world that Ray Bradbury describes in Fahrenheit 451 – a controlling, authoritarian horror-show, occupied by puppet-humans for whom individual thought is, erm, unthinkable – actually so different to 2017?
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: The City & The Stars
: In the second of our series that looks into yesterday’s tomorrow’s dystopias today, we take a look at one of the masters of science fiction, Arthur C Clarke, and his classic novel The City and the Stars
Travelling without moving - tripping through time in VR
: Maybe you’d prefer to travel to Italy from the comfort of your sofa — but now, in the age of Virtual Reality, the pressing question is: what year would you like to be there?
MONTAG FICTION #006: Deep Awakening
: In Deep Awakening
, a neural network spits out an entity that bridges our reality and something completely new: beautiful, terrifying and real
Memento Mori: would you keep a dead relative as a VR pet?
: How will we deal with death in the future - when we can recreate dead people in VR?
Freak of the week (Or, let’s all party on the dark web)
: there is a thriving weird online world of hidden subcultures that allow anyone to feel united – whilst being utterly private.
MONTAG FICTION #005: A Superstar Forever
: What if the world's biggest pop star was not quite as authentic as he seemed... and disappeared in front of you?
Back to the drawing board: try VR painting and change how you see the world
: as soon as you try VR painting in Google Tilt Brush, you’ll realise you can’t ever go back to pencil and paper...
MONTAG FICTION #004: NPC Quest
: What happens to the Non-Player Characters when an online game is shut down?
Inside an Avatar, we're all cyborgs
: Millions of teenage boys playing Tomb Raider are experiencing the world as woman (albeit a fantasy woman in a virtual world.) How does this affect how we view the real world - and how does it make us cyborgs?
IRL 2.0: open the window:
We experience life through a series of windows: whether it's a magazine, TV or phone. Soon it'll be time to fling the window open, peer through and take in a more perfect reality
– one that's designed just for you.
Are you really alive? Does it even matter?
Video games might not be rotting our minds but they might be creating entirely new minds for us to inhabit. As VR and AR proliferates, how would you live your life if you knew it were just a game?
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: The Handmaid's Tale
: In MONTAG's *Today’s Dystopia* series, we explore dystopian worlds of speculative fiction
, and see if our world has slipped closer to the fictional one since it was published.
Better than life: why leave a perfect alternative reality?
: It’s hard enough to resist the urge to push on to the next milestone in a video game. If you were immersed in a perfect virtual world – could you tear yourself away?
MONTAG FICTION #003: A beautiful day in our constantly connected world
: in the near future, you're constantly notified, pinged and called – and you want to be left alone. How do you use technology to hide from technology?
Virtual Ghost Bodies
: Can VR experiences free us from our limiting, physical selves and identities – by inhabiting "virtual ghost bodies"?
More pal than HAL: the Internet of Friends
: The closer we get to our devices, the more human we’ll make them. So what happens when our devices, tailored just the way we want, become our friends?
High-Low-tech: how SMS, tractors and LEDs are the real cutting edge
:The kind of simple tech we have consigned to the history books – or at least the drawer full of old mobile phone chargers in the kitchen - is being put to cutting-edge use...
A drone could save your life
: Very soon, instead of hearing the wail of ambulance sirens signalling help is on its way in a medical emergency, you may hear the sound of an unmanned aerial vehicle buzzing overhead
Dinner for one
: You can survive solely on Soylent, the meal replacement wonder-powder that has taken Silicon Valley by storm. But what would it say about you if you did?
MONTAG FICTION #002: My toaster won't stop calling you:
In an interconnected future, your body implants know you better than you - and they're deciding that you should call your ex
VR: the Victorian Revolution
: how new is our newest technology? If you showed a VR headset to someone from the 1800s, they might not be as freaked out as you think...
Digital idols: Hatsune Miku and the VR concert experience:
Would you pay to watch your favourite deceased pop star? What about one that had never lived at all?
MONTAG FICTION #001: I was there:
What will it feel like to experience life through your children's eyes?
SexTech and futuresex: could you resist your perfect fantasy?:
If you could fulfil any sexual fantasy, would you really stick to the "one-on-one-with-humans" script?
Finally, if you haven't read it yet, here's the MONTAG manifesto. Welcome to MONTAG.