Wired's Rose Eveleth asks Can Sci-Fi Writers Prepare Us for an Uncertain Future? Eveleth looks at the rise of science fiction writers being asked to consult with companies about their future plans (I've done some of this), a phenomenon supercharged by a Price Waterhouse Cooper report on the practice. Eveleth delves into the difference between futurism (which purports to have predictive power) and science fiction, whose predictive power is vastly overstated -- but suggests that sf might inspire people to strive for a better future, or make them lose hope that such a thing is possible.
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William Gibson's next novel, Agency, comes out in January 2018; it's a near-future science fiction story set in the world of The Peripheral in which "a gifted 'app-whisperer' is hired by a mysterious San Francisco start-up and finds herself in contact with a unique and surprisingly combat-savvy AI." Read the rest
Paul Di Filippo has written a masterful, lively history of the many ways in which science fiction has explored the collapse of the American project, from JA Mitchell's 1889 The Last American to contemporary novels like Too Like the Lightning, Liberation, DMZ and Counting Heads. Read the rest
My July 2015 Locus column, Skynet Ascendant, suggests that the enduring popularity of images of homicidal, humanity-hating AIs has more to do with our present-day politics than computer science. Read the rest
Joel Johnson's short sf story "Hello and Goodbye in Portuguese" is a series of letters between a brother and sister on either side of the post-work divide: the have, and the have-not. Read the rest
For years, Ukrainian science fiction writers have been producing novels about a Russian takeover of Ukraine. Read the rest