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.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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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