Tim Maughan

Freelance journalist and author

Author and journalist using both fiction and non-fiction to explore issues around cities, class, culture, technology, and the future. His work regularly appears on the BBC, New Scientist, and Vice/Motherboard. Debut novel INFINITE DETAIL to be published by FSG in 2019.

Winner of the 2015 Seahorse Club award for Supply Chain Journalist of The Year.

[email protected]



Non fiction/Journalism


The invisible network that keeps the world running

It's been just over 45 years since the Apollo Moon landings, and some would have it that we are failing to build big anymore; that we've since become too fascinated with the...


The Changing Face of Shenzhen, the World's Gadget Factory

Mention Shenzhen to most people, and they'll probably think of the vast Foxconn manufacturing plant that churns out high-end phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles for...


Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold

I'm a few hours away from Shanghai and I've not seen daylight for over three hours. I'm also hopelessly lost. I've been trying to get out of this place for the last 45 minutes,...


The dystopian lake filled by the world's tech lust

From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out...


Virtual reality: The hype, the problems and the promise

I'm sitting in the dark. It's pitch black, apart from a circular spot of light on the wall in front of me. Voices emerge, a woman and a small girl, as shadow puppets cast by...


Would you let an algorithm manage your relationships?

"I had this everyday feeling - stress about not properly articulating my emotions in my emails to people," artist and writer Joanne McNeil tells me over the phone from Boston....


Meet Zoltan, the presidential candidate who drives a coffin

"I had been working for National Geographic, travelling, doing all these fun things and then all of a sudden, I nearly stood on a land mine in Vietnam," Zoltan Istvan tells me,...


The oil rich city betting on drones

Over the PA system a voice tells us not to be alarmed. What we are about to see is just a demonstration, courtesy of the United Arab Emirate's Ministry of the Interior. Two men...

New Scientist

Six GIFs about things you didn't know about GIFs

Here are six lessons from What We Talk About When We Talk About GIFs, a one-day symposium in New York that attempted to "unpack the history, popular culture, and social impact...

New Scientist

Why even catastrophic events can't change attitudes to climate

"The fundamental problem with environmental justice in the world today is that the people and the places that are most responsible for getting us into this mess seem to be the...


The Future Is ‚ÄčGenetically Modified Facebook Profiles

"I wanted to tell a story that bridged two worlds of social media culture," says filmmaker Alexey Marfin. "On one hand, there's this world of the perfect profile: a world of...

New Scientist

Letting environmental art speak for itself is no longer enough

Cynthia Hooper is constantly dancing. At least, this is how the Californian film-maker describes balancing the two halves of her practice. Yes, she makes works of art; but she...

E&T Magazine

Is farming the future of cities?

As more and more people leave their rural homes for high-rise buildings, 'vertical farming' may offer a way to feed the populations of future mega-cities. Perhaps...


The Inevitable Rise of the Internet of Shipping Containers

The shipping container has become the ubiquitous mechanism of logistics, its generic shape and size an iconic symbol of globalization itself. By standardizing how cargo is...


China's Drone Army Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like the US's

The downed CH-3. Image: Screenshot, Twitter Back in January of this year, photos emerged on Twitter of what appeared to be a crashed military drone in Nigeria's war-torn Borno...

E&T Magazine

Is China's hydroelectric revolution as green as it sounds?

China is pursuing an ambitious programme of hydroelectric expansion, with a series of 'mega-dams' on the way even bigger than the controversial Three Gorges project. But are...


Could psychedelic drugs make smokers quit?

Nicotine patches, chewing gum, cold turkey. Giving up cigarettes can be tough, but there are many strategies smokers can try. Matthew Johnson wants to add another: he says he...

New Scientist

Making Patterns: getting intimate with technology

Making Patterns, 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, New York, 24 July to 17 September While high profile, the Apple Watch is hardly a new concept. Activity-tracking devices such as...

New Scientist

Biocode mixes art and academia to explore pigeonholing

From 2008 to 2010, the Moorea Biocode project set out to create a comprehensive database of all non-microbial life on a single Polynesian island. Five years on, a team of...