Dark Futures

The Future Powered by Fiction

Hundreds of thought-provoking submissions were sent in to The Future Powered by Fiction competition – so many in fact, an additional 33 excellent entries were selected for publication on this site! The first of those follow-up anthologies is available now!

“Dark Futures” is an anthology that explores the Dangers of Technology: stories concerned with what happens when technology goes too far, particularly in relation to virtual reality and simulated life, as well as robots and artificial intelligence.

Science fiction is the language we use to talk about the future and its endless possibilities, including those that we desire and those that we fear. These stories take us into those dark futures so that we can have a conversation about how to avoid them.

Read the Full Anthology

Congratulations to the Authors!

The MetamorphosisThe Metamorphosis

Joseph Hirshorn

New York, USA

In a bleak dystopia where humanity is divided into color-coded groups, what happens when love crosses the boundaries? A pill-factory worker finds solace in his brief encounters with a forbidden woman on his morning commute. In a surge of longing, he decides to follow her and see what happens when he breaks the rules.

ScreensScreens

Becky Mandelbaum

Kansas, USA

Addiction comes in many forms. When Jacob dies from an overdose, his roommate—and narrator of the story—is forced to move on. A new roommate moves in, but she too is immersed in a fictional world of online dating and television. Can the narrator bring her out of her shell, and heal the emptiness in his heart over the loss of his best friend?

The OceanThe Ocean

Pavel Chvykov

Massachusetts, USA

The lines between religion and science have been blurred. People now traverse the ether: a realm beyond the material world with infinite possibilities. But complete mastery of the ether has been elusive. Our dreams of immortality are finally realized when a dying man successfully navigates the ether and transfers his soul to a new body.

The Hippocampus Dream MachineThe Hippocampus Dream Machine

Valerie Narumi

California, USA

Can the human brain get stuffed with too much information? Dr. Alfred Huntington, of the Hippocampus Institute for Learning, is filling Ivy’s brain with a plethora of facts, figures, and endless data. She’s a walking, talking search engine. But what happens when the human brain suffers a catastrophic failure?

UnpredictableUnpredictable

Ben Hylak

Pennsylvania, USA

Annoyed with the uncanny accuracy of his robotic personal assistant, Ana, a man gradually detaches from the all-encompassing grip of technology. But after years of techno-coddling, making your own decisions again is hard—and Ana isn’t happy about giving up control. Who’s really in charge, you or the smart-machines who run your daily life?

Intelligence TestingClancy Flynn

Intelligence Testing

London, UK

Evans and Hawthorne are both enrolled in Dr. Gardner’s Practical Cognitive Enhancement class, but they come from very different backgrounds. Evans has already gone through bone cancer, and has a nifty prosthetic arm to show for it. Hawthorne has a father who opposes using science to alter the body or brain. With Dr. Gardner’s help, perhaps they can find common ground. 

TroubleshootingTroubleshooting

Fallon Leyba

Arizona, USA

Coral, a young IT student, will do anything to access her computer’s RAM and pass her final exam: even if that means going into the computer itself and initiating the “bond” that links her mind to the machine. Coral goes deep into the machine, and discovers a world more loving and soothing than the real world she left behind.

La Vida es Sueño

Philip Arcuni

California, USA

There are choices to be made, especially when Earth as we know it will soon come to an end. Constance and Marcus both worked for S-Corp, harnessing the power of the sun on enormous concave mirrors: a job that cost Constance her eyes and skin in a terrible accident. Now this husband and wife must choose where they will go for Exodus—and they are not on the same page.

A Shorter StoryA Shorter Story

Jacob Brefka

Arizona, USA

The past has a way of catching up with a man. And if you’re the inventor of The Device, a hard-drive that can record the very essence of the human soul, the past tries even harder to find you. Unfortunately, the device has a shortcoming. What it copies, it also kills.

HeavenHeaven

Andrew Crawford

Indiana, USA

Maybe the Heaven they give you is actually Hell. Imagine all of the world’s information, accessible in an instant, streaming through your head. This is what Thomas gets when he goes through The Transition, like millions before him, at the Electronic Network. But painting a glossy sheen over the ugliness of the real world doesn’t hide what’s really there.

InvolutionInvolution

Clayton Cone

Arizona, USA

Peel back the layers of truth until you reach Involution, an abstract model of your mind. But to get there, you’ll have to take some detours through love and loss, family bonds, pain, anguish, and rebirth through cryogenics. How deep is the rabbit hole?

 



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