Is the Future Friendly?

“Is the future friendly?” was the theme for Arc’s fourth Science Fiction Competition. Authors were encouraged to draw inspiration from Arc 1.4: Forever Alone Drone.

The winning short stories below explore these questions: Is the future social? Will technology bring us closer together, or seal us each in their own living tomb? Will we act more informally towards each other in the future, or will the Global Village set new, strict standards of behaviour? Will we savour human contact, or grow to fear it?

Arc’s editors selected one story for publication in the next 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!

Adrian Ellis

The Lost Emotion

In a frightening future where corporations own the rights to emotions and consumers are more robot than human, the narrator experiences a brand new feeling: that he no longer wants to buy what they’re trying to sell. And they just can’t allow that.

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Rich Larson


Every acquisition Anton & Hume make has the opportunity to be a dud or real find. But when a mobile bomb shelter falls into their hands what’s inside turns out to be something they’ve never come across before.

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Robin Wyatt Dunn

L.A. Actors


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Conor Powers-Smith

Nude Descending an Elevator Shaft

What will life be like when telecommunication becomes real? And how will humans tolerate having all of their inner most thoughts exposed to their loved ones?

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Benjamin Hornsby

Love on the Edge of the Internet

Social media offers a chance for us to shape the way others see us. But how would others see us if our likes and dislikes were logged via brain waves instead of controlled text?

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Charles Lambert


After suffering the loss of her child, a woman is left at home to dwell on her emotions while her husband is away on business travel. Her new hobby spying on the neighbors, however, might lead her to a darker place.

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Brian David Johnson Glimpses the Future

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