The Future Always Wins

The Future Always Wins

“The Future Always Wins” was the theme for Arc’s first-ever Science Fiction Competition. Authors were encouraged to read Arc 1.1 to gain inspiration for their own stories.

The short stories are set in the near future – near enough to be recognisable, but not so near as to be boring. These speculations of the future feature technology – from robotics to synthetic biology to geo-engineering – but don’t neglect the all-important human element.

Arc’s editors selected one story for publication in the May issue of Arc Magazine. That author received a £500 prize, while the five runners up were awarded £200.

 

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Congratulations to the Prize Winners!

UK1_BigDavesInLoveTD Edge

Big Dave’s In Love

Believing that match-making two “soulled” humans will somehow enable him to grow a soul, bio-toy Jack is overjoyed to find out that a woman has responded to his human master’s SOS signal. This is quite a feat in a world where a catastrophic bio-electro-mechanical sludge flood has wiped out virtually all human life. The story reveals a new perspective on self-awareness, loyalty, and the definition of love.

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ASU5_Watch Way River RunsAdrian Ellis

18% Happier

When our anxiety-ridden main character books a session with “The Future On-line Therapy Avatar”, he learns more about himself, his girlfriend, and his disgust with technology than he bargained for. In search of a simpler time, he considers a voluntary evening with “no augmented reality, no constant updates and feeds and recording and circadian rhythm assistants”. This is a comical, yet cautionary tale of how too much technology could be a bad thing.

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ASU7_Rainmakers_CPeter Dennis

A Private Party

In a world where the lingering online profiles of the dearly departed manifest themselves as artificially intelligent personas, Nikol faces his worst nightmare: a rogue Sponge, a persona that has absorbed HIS online identity and is creating havoc in the world of the living.

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ASU9_Sustainable SuburbiaTom Chatfield

Before They Were Killed

A lonely woman who is not quite human, paints a picture of a world where two races, the dogmatic Faction and the rationalist Guardians, fight against one another for survival. Her job is to guard history, but with a mind bent toward poetry and whimsy, she questions why she should protect the secrets of the past that have stolen her future.

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ASU7_Rainmakers_CA. J. Ponder

Dying for the Record

Faced with technology-enabled immortality, A. J. Ponder’s love-struck hero, Piri, sets out to accomplish the impossible: killing himself. By the end of the day, it seems that Piri and his love-interest-turned-physician may set more than one record.

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Dave Darby

Inherent Vice

American “tourist” Joe Kohn, braves the dangerous trip to Madagascar in search of an originalfilm, any film at all. Rampant religious censorship, paired with techniques like “cinematic transubstantiation” has severely altered the population’s perception of pop culture of the 20th century. Kohn is about to discover the true Hollywood meaning of “pea soup.”

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