BCI-fi is science fiction that includes BCIs [1]. BCIs are not new in science fiction, and they seem to be increasingly prominent. Here, we used the well-established definition of BCIs from the BCI literature [e.g., 2-5], with the caveat that “passive” BCIs are considered BCIs here [6]. We also use a broad definition of “science fiction” here. Some of the BCI-fi here might be considered drama or romance in which BCIs are not central and might have been replaced with non-technical options without dramatically changing the story.

Our main goals are to promote and discuss BCI-fi. We (wish to) pursue these goals through activities listed below.

What we do

We host bcifi.org.

We write BCI-fi.

We read BCI-fi.

We post and comment on BCI-fi from us and other authors.

We analyze, review, and discuss BCI-fi through different means, including a paper in production.

We organize conferences, symposia, workshops, and other activities devoted to BCI-fi.

We organize an annual contest for BCI-fi (someday).

And more activities!


I organized and spoke at two “BCI Thursday” events devoted to BCI-fi through the BCI Society on July 21 and August 4, 2022. These events can be found here. The other speakers were:

Andy Weir, author of The Martian.

Dr. Eric Leuthardt, author of Red Devil 4.

Steven Hou, producer of the Neurratives podcast.

Professor Jane Huggins, who’s been in BCI-land about as long as me.

Richard Ramchun, writer and director of brain-controlled films.

Robert Hampson, BCI-fi author and “Six Million Dollar Man” analyst.

Both of The BCI Guys, who make YouTube videos about BCIs.

Pages within bcifi.org with more info

Other work that analyzes BCI-fi

Some related organizations and awards

Recurring components of BCI-fi

Analytical framework for BCI-fi used in this page

About us

Right now, “us” refers primarily to Dr. Brendan Allison. I’ve approached several colleagues in BCIs who have expressed interest in contributing in different ways. However, this page is still quite young and so I’m working with them to get permission. With two exceptions….

Professor Jane Huggins is also a longtime BCI researcher and a fan of BCI-fi. Her favorite BCI-fi is The Ship Who Sang (Anne McCaffrey) and other books in the series.

Dr. Tim Mullen is a fellow UCSD alumnus who runs a company called Intheon. Tim (like me) is a fan of Serenity, which wasn’t centered on BCIs but does include them.

BCI-fi stories

The “# pages” reflects the number of pages in Word. Each story includes Author Commentary with discussion of realism and altruism/hope.

Longer stories are less dystopian.

<1 page: BaCkup Identity by BZA

<1 page: Bowman’s deCeIt by BZA

<1 page: Bad auCtIon by BZA

<1 page: BaitCoIn farming by BZA

<1 page: PowerStreaming (prequel) by BZA

<1 page: Better reCollectIons by BZA

<1 page: Below CapacIty by BZA

<1 page: Battle ChIldren by BZA

<1 page: The General by BZA

<1 page: BitChIng by BZA

1-2 pages: BlaCkmaIl by BZA

13 pages: The Emperor’s Newer Clothes by BZA

~70 pages (Final Draft): ComAware by BZA

BCI-re: Real papers about BCIs for non-experts

The main focus of this site is BCI-fi. Lots of sites can teach you about real-world BCIs even if you don’t have a background in neuroscience, engineering, medicine, etc. I included a couple papers here because (1) they’re free; anyone can read, copy, or distribute them; (2) after writing and publishing a lot of fiction that raises concerns with realism, hope, and altruism, I wanted to contrast that with what we really do.

These articles are published in Frontiers for Young Minds. We wrote them for younger readers. It was the first time we had a journal paper reviewed by a 12-year-old. Good reviewer, too. Helpful comments. If you want expert-level BCI stuff, it’s referenced below and easy to find online (especially if you’re an expert).

How to use safe, non-invasive BCIs to help people recover from stroke (2020).

How to use safe, non-invasive BCIs to help people with disorders of consciousness (2018).


[1] Allison, 2009, Towards Ubiquitous BCIs, p.374.

[2] Wolpaw, J. R., Birbaumer, N., McFarland, D. J., Pfurtscheller, G., & Vaughan, T. M. (2002). Brain–computer interfaces for communication and control. Clinical neurophysiology113(6), 767-791.

[3] Allison, B. Z., Wolpaw, E. W., & Wolpaw, J. R. (2007). Brain–computer interface systems: progress and prospects. Expert review of medical devices4(4), 463-474.

[4] Wolpaw, J., & Wolpaw, E. (Eds.). (2012). Brain–Computer Interfaces: Principles and Practice: Oxford University Press.

[5] Nam, C.S., Nijholt, A., & Lotte, F. (Eds.). (2018). Brain–Computer Interfaces Handbook: Technological and Theoretical Advances (1st ed.). CRC Press.

[6] Zander, T. O. (2008). Enhancing human-machine systems with secondary input from passive brain-computer interfaces. In Proceedings of the 4th International BCI Workshop, 2008 (pp. 44-49).

Art credits

The BCIFI logo at the top left of this page was developed by Romanian artist Maria (Mika) Cooper .

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