Tag Archives: Virtual Futures

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

It’s here…

Following on from my last post, a few things I’ve been working on are taking shape. The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the new covers are here, and I’m loving them.

Also, the publication of the first volume of near-future fiction from Virtual Futures has arrived. I’m one of the editors along with Dan O’Hara and Tom Ward and although it’s taken a while to come to fruition the results are worth it.  It’s a fantastic volume of eighteen stories from the 2017 series of fiction events, including The Never-Ending Nanobot Nectar from me. As the back cover blurb says, “When tomorrow has become a question mark — filled with as much malice as promise — can science fiction be a means of exploring the answer?”

You can pre-order the kindle version from Amazon up until the 5 March when it’s published, and that’s when the paperback version becomes available too (from all good book retailers).

I fully recommend it (but then I would, wouldn’t I).

Bodies, breeding, robots & work

Another Loving, Autonomous Agents, Boundless Bodies and Lasting Labour. What a wonderful mix of potential futures are wrapped up in the 2019 Virtual Futures’ Near-Future Fiction series and I’m very excited that, in the same way as the 2018 series, I’ll be co-curating the events with other authors. 

We’re not searching for stories set on fanciful alien worlds,  post-apocalyptic landscapes in which steam-punk bandits with laser guns are fighting mutated zombies, or that feature technology so hypothetical it is almost unimaginable. Our aim is to promote stories that think critically about the sorts of technological developments that are just over horizon, and provide a unique perspective on contemporary concerns related to the perceived trajectory of scientific innovation. 

Those of you who have heard me answer the often asked question, “do you write dystopia or utopia,” will know I don’t believe in such a simple view of the world. You’ll have heard me respond with the shorthand statement that one person’s utopia is often another’s dystopia. As our call for stories says, “science fiction is often the victim of this binary between utopia and dystopia – fiction in which all of our problems are fixed or created by a specific technology or technologies. In reality, our relationship with our technology never follows these simple categories – it is frequently a messier affair. Stories that seek to criticize, predict, or complicate realistically will be more successful than those intended to shock with apocalyptic visions or please with plastic paradises.”

Whether you’re an established or emerging author we’re keen to receive your stories; the deadline for submissions is 2 December 2018 and you can download the full guidelines from the Virtual Futures’ website.

If you’re interested in attending the events to hear the inevitable variety of futures our chosen authors create, then you can read more about the themes and book your place via eventbrite; the last series sold out so get in early and book your place now.

I’m really looking forward to reading all the submissions, writing a story for each theme and reading them to a live Virtual Futures audience.

And don’t forget, the future is ours and it’s up for grabs…


photo credit: Frits Ahlefeldt – FritsAhlefeldt.com global-trends-population-growth-culture-illustration-no-txt-by-frits-ahlefeldt via photopin (license)