As part ofIEEE Spectrum’s 50th anniversary celebrations, we commissioned some of today’s best science fiction authors to each write an original story about a plausible future, one that we ourselves may find ourselves living in before too long. Stories cover the impact of cybernetic implants, autonomous drones, wearable computers, renewable energy, 3-D printing—and one alien invasion.

Coming Soon Enough is available for $1.99 as an e-book on in both the iTunes and Amazon stores, but we're making a free PDF available for download, below.


Cover of Coming Soon Enough book with illustration of robotic insect on a credit card

Spectrum’s editors created Coming Soon Enough because we believe that if you want to think about the future, then science fiction has to be part of your toolkit, showing you a peek past the point where journalism and grounded extrapolation can take you and into the unpredictable, uncontrollable, and above all human nature of technological progress.

Featuring stories by:

Nancy Kress

Kress, a resident of Seattle, has won two Hugos and five Nebulas, among other awards. Her work often focuses on the implications of genetic and biomedical technologies. In “Someone To Watch Over Me” a desperate woman implants a miniature video camera in her baby’s eye.

Brenda Cooper

The author of seven novels, Cooper also writes and speaks about nonfiction topics as a futurist. She works for the city of Kirkland, Wash., as its chief information officer. “A Heart of Power and Oil” talks about the power of creation that can be conjured by 3-D printing—if a lost soul is willing to grasp it.

Geoffrey Landis

A Hugo and Nebula award winner, Landis is a scientist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, in Ohio, where he has worked on missions such as the Mars Exploration Rovers. An ad-hoc working group meets to figure out the behavior of an alien invasion fleet in “Incoming.”

Cheryl Rydbom

Rydbom is an aerospace software engineer in Huntsville, Ala. Her first science fiction short story was published in 2011. “Grid Princess” follows a woman handling her first crisis without her always-online wearable computer.

Mary Robinette Kowal

A Hugo award winner, Kowal writes both novels and short stories. Based in Chicago, she is also a professional puppeteer. In “Water Over the Dam,” a new energy technology finds a champion willing to battle entrenched opposition.

Greg Egan

A Hugo and Locus award winner, Egan writes some of the most scientifically rigorous science fiction around. He lives in Australia, and there are no photos of him on the Web. An expert on autonomous drone technology is pressured to execute the ultimate heist in “Shadow Flock.”

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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