Tom Chatfield

Writer

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Books

Agent: Jon Elek
Assistant: Rosa Schierenberg

Books

"Dr Tom Chatfield (@TomChatfield) is a British writer, broadcaster and tech philosopher. His seven books exploring contemporary culture—most recently Live This Book! (Penguin) and Critical Thinking (SAGE Publishing), researched as a Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute—are published in over two dozen languages. In October 2017, he signed a two-book deal to write international conspiracy thrillers set in the world of the dark net for Hodder.

Tom is interested in improving our understanding of digital technology, and its uses in policy, education and engagement. He is currently technology and media advisor at Agathos LLP; Non Executive Director at the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society; a faculty member at London’s School of Life; a Master’s Committee member at the Economics Research Council; guest faculty member at the Said Business School, Oxford; and a senior expert at the Global Governance Institute.

Past collaborators include Google, the BBC, Channel 4 Education, Mind Candy, Shift, Flamingo London, Six to Start, Preloaded, Firefish, Future Lab, Sense Worldwide, SAGE Publications, Sugru and Allianz. Tom took his doctorate and taught at St John’s College, Oxford, and continues to guest lecture at universities across the world.

As a speaker and broadcaster, Tom’s appearances include TED Global and the Cannes Lions Festival; authors@Google; the World Congress on Information Technology; Science Foo Camp; Intelligence Squared; the Houses of Parliament; Aspen Seminars for Leaders; the RSA, Royal Society and Royal Institution; and venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Googleplex."

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

THIS IS GOMORRAH

2019

Hodder & Stoughton

Set in the technological underbelly of the 21st century, Gomorrah follows elite hacker Azi Bello on a journey of discovery into the dark marketplace known as Gomorrah, within which the world’s worst people trade lives and influence. Taking its reader between London, Berlin, Athens, California and the interior of the Islamic State, Gomorrah explores what it means to win and to lose at the global game of ideology and power.

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

HOW TO THRIVE IN THE DIGITAL AGE

2013

World All Languages: Macmillan

Our world is increasingly a digital one. Over half of the adult population now spend more of their waking hours ‘plugged in’ than not, whether to the internet, mobile telephones, or other digital media. To email, text, tweet and blog our way through our careers, relationships and even our family lives is now the status quo. But what effect is this need for constant connection really having?

Tom Chatfield examines what our ‘wired’ life is really doing to our minds, for better and for worse. This book asks what it means not simply to live within a digital century, but to live well with it and within it. Unlike most other contemporary accounts, it is neither a tale of technology doom nor technology glory, but a pragmatic guide to what questions we need to ask of the world around us; what it might mean to answer them, and what practical steps might allow us all both to choose and to use the tools at our disposal, and to prosper within a digital century in as fully human a sense as possible.

NETYMOLOGY

2013

Quercus

Composed of 100 bite-sized entries of 400 to 600 words each, Netymology weaves together stories, etymologies and analyses around digital culture's transformation, and creation, of words.

Tom Chatfield presents a kaleidoscopic, thought-provoking tour through the buried roots of some of the digital age's most common terms: from the @ and Apple symbols, to HTML and Trojan horses, to the twisted histories of new forms of slang, memes, text messages and gaming terms.

There's also discussion of the trends behind digital words, and of the ways language itself is being shaped by new forces—and revelations about how these forces are, in turn, reshaping us.

50 DIGITAL IDEAS YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW

2012

World All Languages: Quercus

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a MUD and an API? Don't know your OCR from your PPC? Not quite clear on crowd-sourcing and culture jamming? Then this book is for you. In a series of accessible and engagingly written essays, 50 DIGITAL IDEAS YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW introduces and explains all the key aspects of the digital world and how it works. It is a book that will be welcomed by anyone who wants to understand one of the most powerful forces shaping our world. Among the things you really need to know are: Aggregation; API; Augmented reality; Automatic translation; Avatars; Blogging and micro-blogging; Browser wars; Chat; Cloud computing; Commenting; Creative commons licence; Crowd-sourcing; Culture jamming; Download universe; eGovernment; Ego-surfing; Electronic mail; File sharing; Flow; Feeds (RSS & Atom); Freemium; Gaming; Geo-location and hyperlocal; GUIs; HTTP/HTML; Hosting; ICANN; Mashups; Micro-payments; MUD; Netiquette; Open sourcing; OCR; Pay-per click; Privacy; Proxy servers; Rating systems; Rich internet applications; Search; Semantic web; Smartphones; Social networking; Spam; Streaming; Tagging; Traffic analytics; Unplugging; Virality; Virtual goods; Web 2.0/3.0; Wikis.

FUN INC.

2010

UK: Virgin; US: Perseus

People make many assumptions about video games; only teenage boys play them, they increase anti-social behaviour and they tend to be violent. FUN INC. dispels these misconceptions, revealing that 40 per cent of all video game players are women, that most of the bestselling console games of all time involve no real-world violence at all, and how World of Warcraft's online community of over 12 million players is changing our understanding of what it means to be sociable in the modern world. But understanding games means a lot more than simply challenging stereotypes. Find out why the South Korean government will invest $200 billion into its video games industry over the next four years and how games are used to train the US Military, to model global pandemics and to campaign against human rights abuses in Africa.
Game worlds are creating a new science of mass engagement that is starting to transform our understanding of economics, business and communications. Whether you like video games or loathe them, FUN INC. will show you that you cannot ignore them.