Tag Archives: Short Stories

Vital Signals

I’m exceptionally pleased to be able to announce that the anthology I edited with Dan O’Hara and Tom Ward, which consists mainly of short pieces from Virtual Futures’ events plus some other longer pieces, is now available for pre-order from NewConn Press direct or other outlets such as Amazon.

Published by NewCon Press, this set of stories are:

“A volume of short sharp stories that present alternative or unconsidered visions of the future; stories that draw attention to the potential impact of cutting-edge science and technology on society and humanity.
In addition to established SF authors such as Tim Maughan, Geoff Ryman, Simon Ings, and Ken MacLeod, the anthology features stories by producers, civil servants, artists, and more – delivering a broader appreciation of what the future might hold. 
This is science fiction with intent, providing quick bursts of conjecture and insight, guaranteed to both entertain and stimulate.”

CONTENTS

Introduction – Dan O’Hara, Tom Ward, Stephen Oram

Virtual Persons: Memory Inc. – Anne McKinnon; The Test – C.R. Dudley; Conjugal Frape – Jamie Watt; iDentity – Britta Schulte; Concrete Genocide – Sophie Sparham; The Smile – Simon Ings

Post-Brain: Biohacked & Begging – Stephen Oram; Forever Live – Mark Huntley-James; A Letter From My Celia – Jane Norris; Drug Of Choice – Adrian Reynolds; Anomaly In The Rhythm – Viraj Joshi; Brain Dump – Frances Gow; Brain Gun – Paul Green; Secrets Of The Sea – Jennifer Marie Brissett

Disease: Do Not Exceed Stated Dose – Allen Ashley; Not Best Pleased – Geoff Ryman; An Honest Mistake – Tom Ward; The Needs Of The Few – Jennifer Rohn; The War That Ended Yesterday – David Turnbull; L-One-Ly Virus – Jessica Laine; Transmissions From The Vitality Pod – Dan Coxon; Inside The Locked Cupboard – Pippa Goldschmidt; Cholesterol5.9, BigFLY – Antoine Saint Honoré

Conflict: Trial By Combat – John Houlihan; The End Of War – Jule Owen; Why We Fight – Paul Currion; The Changing Man –  David Gullen; Second Skin – Bea Xu; An Excerpt From The Post-Truth And Irreconcilable Differences Commission – Brendan C. Byrne; Safe From Harm – Tim Maughan

Epilogue: [Citation Needed] – Ken Macleod

Call For Submissions: Future Communities

Throughout 2021, I’m working with Cybersalon as co-host for ‘Tales of the Cybersalon’, a series of interdisciplinary technology and policy investigations through science-fiction storytelling.

We want your stories and we want you. Help us imagine the future of our digital revolution in industry and society, and to identify and explore its emerging cultures.

Event #3: A Sense of Community: the Internet’s role as a force for rapidly changing our experience of community was provided some surprise competition this past year, in the form of Covid-19. We’ve met our neighbours clapping for the NHS, sometime for the first time, and stayed in touch through hyper-local, social media and chat. We’ve traded hugs for high-definition video calls and the euphoria of crowds for the endless recycling of cardboard delivery packaging. As we emerge from our lockdowns and self-imposed isolations into the world again, is this our chance to choose our communities anew? Who might they be next? What could they look like? Have we discovered Covid-19 ‘keepers’ or developed ones we should never want again?

In their seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identified four elements contributing to a “sense of community”: Membership, Influence, Reinforcement, and Shared Emotional Connection. As our territorial and technological landscapes continue to evolve, we invite you to explore that definition with us and to offer new visions of community in our near-future.

Submissions close at 11:59pm (BST) on 15 August 2021