Tag Archives: sci-fi

Young writers competition

Calling young writers with something to say! ‘Future Stories’ is a writing competition and series of writing workshops for young people aged 11 to 16 who have a story to tell about life in the future.

The “Future Stories: One Day in 2070” competition is part of the King’s College London Utopia Now project and open to young writers in the London boroughs of Lambeth or Southwark.

The competition is open from now until 6 September with some fantastic prizes:

  • Ten of the most creative writers will be selected to take part in a creative writing day, exploring the world of the future.
  • Finalists will also receive a £30 Book Voucher. 
  • All entries will be put into a prize draw to win either a Build Your Own Robot Kit or Book Voucher worth £15.  

Alongside the competition is the 7 day writing story starter challenge. This is a great set of resources, starting with a section on What is Science Fiction followed by 30 to 40 minute sections each day. It takes you through the creative process of writing a science fiction story with writing prompts, film clips, book extracts and loads more to help you along your way.

For those of you who are not eligible to enter, don’t despair. The resources are there for you to use as well.

As one of the judges I’m really looking forward to having my mind stretched by all the speculative stories sent our way so get cracking, you have until 6 September to create your version of the future.


photo credit: wim hoppenbrouwers Bijenkorf Rotterdam 3D via photopin (license)

Stimulate your dreams

If you’re looking for alternative bedtime stories or flashes of near-future fiction to infiltrate and steer your dreams then look no further.

In no particular order, pick the one you fancy and then take one a night or binge on the lot, the choice is yours…


  1. Everyday Stims: drugs for work, for play & establishment hypocrisy
  2. Make Me As You See Me: extreme body modification
  3. Loans for Limbs: who owns the tech in your body?
  4. I Want To Be Pure For Him: purging memories for a new lover
  5. The Never Ending Nanobot Nectar: the future of sex and drugs?
  6. Pumped Up Presidents: the descendants of Trump and Putin
  7. Effort Less: valuing work differently
  8. The Queen’s Heart: if we could converse with our organs
  9. The Potential: a surveillance butler follows your lover
  10. The Blockchain Blues: democracy muggers and micro-voting
  11. Placodermi Protection: new born babies, VR and ancient fish
  12. Modified Manhood: fertility food and the Procreators

photo credit: patrick.verstappen Strangled via photopin (license)

The Radical Reboot Robot

Ten. Nine. This is it. Seven. David grabs my hand. Five. He’s holding my hand. Three. Strange. One. Our work is complete. The months spent finding the best neural widgets to build the ultimate AI and the painstaking training of Omega ended with that simple countdown. A palpable sense of collective relief ripples around the room and I’m fully prepared to accept whatever comes next. I hope.

David is still holding my hand and grinning. There’s something about the tilt of his head and the sparkle in his eyes that betray more than a colleague’s happiness at a job well done. I glance down at our hands. He’s hairy. I hadn’t noticed before. I follow his hairy skin all the way up his arm, across his shoulder and up his neck to his face. He sees me looking and I distract him by pointing to the large screen displaying the data-processing server farms of the world. The tiny blue dot sitting next to the largest of the red lights, that’s us. That’s Omega, busy working out the ultimate way to reduce the planet’s energy consumption to its bare minimum. Connected to each and every other AI and their server farms, Omega will decide and deploy the solution. Determining the fate of the planet and all who inhabit her fragile shell.

David runs his fingers along the inside of my palm. It’s nice. It’s unexpected, but nice. Someone complains that the kettle won’t boil and someone else shouts that the communications network is down. Ping — the lab lights go out at the same time as the red lights on the display disappear. Someone screams and then there’s a stifling hush, broken only by one person sobbing. David stops stroking the inside of my hand and in the silence of a hundred colleagues the familiar hum of the air-conditioning ends. My palm is damp, clammy with sweat.

The doors from the lab to the server farm slide open. Sunlight streams in through the large open doors at the far end, from the greenhouse that uses the controlled heat of the servers to grow food. Surely this breach will damage its delicate atmosphere?

David pulls me away from the sobbing and into the sunlight. We walk hand-in-hand through one farm and into the stillness of the other. Robots stand motionless as if death has arrived, which is a sharp contrast to the wonderful and life-affirming tang of tomatoes growing on the vine and the citric essence of oranges on the trees.

‘Omega must have killed all the server farms, including its own,’ he says, ‘giving us life-lines instead of product-lines.’

I pick a tomato and bite through its skin, releasing pips and juices into my mouth.

With a click, the glass panels open and a cool wind blows across my face. I pluck an apple and point to the path outside. ‘Shall we?’

‘No,’ he replies. ‘Let’s stay where there’s food and we’re safe.’

I sit down and wait for whatever comes next.


Story first published on Medium as Radical Reboot

Photo credit: Paul VanDerWerf: “Butterfly House