August Cole

August Cole is an author and futurist exploring the future of conflict through fiction and other forms of storytelling.

He is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Securityat 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. He is also a senior advisor at Avascent, an independent strategy and management consulting firm focused on government-oriented industries; he previously was writer-in-residence. August is a regular speaker to private sector, academic and US and allied government audiences.

His first book Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War is a collaborative novel written with Peter W. Singer. This near-future thriller about the next world war was published in 2015 by Eamon Dolan Books, a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint. See more at

Cole and Singer are at work on another near-future thriller novel, which will be published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in 2020.

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.

August is represented by John Taylor “Ike” Williams and Katherine Flynn of Kneerim, Williams.

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, 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 and the AI Initiative of the Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

August lives in the Boston area, where he is an avid surfer, rower and cyclist.

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