August Cole is an author exploring the future of conflict through fiction and other forms of “FICINT” storytelling. His talks, short stories, and workshops have taken him from speaking at the Nobel Institute in Oslo to presenting at SXSW Interactive to tackling the “Dirty Name” obstacle at Fort Benning. With Peter W. Singer, he is the co-author of the best-seller “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War” (2015) and “Burn In: A Novel of the Real Robot Revolution” (2020).
He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council; he directed the Council’s Art of the Future Project, which explores creative and narrative works for insight into the future of conflict, from its inception in 2014 through 2017. He works on creative futures at SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence company. August is a regular speaker to private sector, academic and US and allied government audiences.
Burn In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution follows an FBI agent and her assigned robot partner as they hunt for an anti-technology terrorist who wants to take down a 2030s America pushed to the brink by automation and AI. Burn In is published by Houghton Mifflin. Order a signed copy here. See more at www.BurnInBook.com.
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War was a bestseller and features on professional military reading lists around the world. This near-future thriller about the next world war was published in 2015 by Eamon Dolan Books, a Houghton Mifflin imprint. See more at www.ghostfleetbook.com.
He also edited the Atlantic Council science fiction collection, War Stories From the Future, published in November 2015. The anthology featured his short story ANTFARM about the intersection of swarm-warfare, additive manufacturing and crowd-sourced intelligence. He is the author of numerous other short stories about the future of conflict.
From 2007 to 2010, August reported on the defense industry for The Wall Street Journal. From Washington, he covered companies ranging from Boeing to Blackwater, as well as broader defense policy and political matters. He helped break many major national security stories, including foreign cyber spies hacking into the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter program, major defense contractors doing “Smart Power” development work in Africa, U.S. sales of F-16 fighters to Iraq and a Blackwater civilian shooting incident in Afghanistan. He has discussed his fiction and reporting on CNBC, WBUR’s On Point, NBC King 5 Seattle’s New Day, The John Batchelor Show, PRI’s The World, To The Point With Warren Olney, NPR’s Day to Day, in addition to other national media programs.
From 1998 to 2006, he worked as an editor and a reporter for MarketWatch.com, a financial news Web site, where he began covering defense issues, including private military contractors. He also has extensive experience writing about the automotive and airline industries, as well as the Internet economy. He was a regular guest on CBS affiliate radio stations around the country, and has appeared as an expert commentator on KPIX TV in San Francisco.
August was named to The Journal of Financial Reporting’s Top 30 Journalists Under 30 in 2002 and 2003.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master in Public Administration degree (Mid-Career MPA program) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He is a regular participant in Defense Entrepreneurs Forum activities and is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Royal United Services Institute, and the AI Initiative of the Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a former non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point.
August lives in the Boston area, where he is an avid surfer, rower and cyclist.
Contact: e-mail august AT augustcole.com or find him on Twitter @august_cole