Future Tense Fiction is a collection of electrifying original stories from a veritable who’s-who of the most interesting authors working on the margins of speculative literature and science fiction.
Featuring Carmen Maria Machado, Emily St. John Mandel, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Madeline Ashby, Mark Oshiro, Meg Elison, Maureen McHugh, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Hannu Rajaniemi, Annalee Newitz, Lee Konstantinou, and Mark StasenkoFuture Tense Fiction points the way forward to the fiction of tomorrow.
A disease surveillance robot whose social programming gets put to the test. A future in which everyone receives universal basic incomebut it’s still not enough. A futuristic sport, in which all the athletes have been chemically and physically enhanced. An A.I. company that manufactures a neural bridge allowing ordinary people to share their memories. Brimming with excitement and exploring new ideas, the stories collected by the editors of Slate’s Future Tense are philosophically ambitious and haunting in their creativity. At times terrifying and heartwrenching, hilarious and optimistic, this is a collection that ushers in a new age for our world and for the short story.
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About the Author
From the editors of Future Tense, a partnership of Slate, Arizona State University, and New America
Charlie Jane Anders is the author of The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky, which won the Nebula, Locus and Crawford awards and was on Time Magazine's list of the 10 best novels of 2016. Her Tor.com story "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo Award and appears in a new short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others. Her short fiction has appeared in Tor.com, Wired Magazine, Slate, Tin House, Conjunctions, Boston Review, Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, ZYZZYVA, and several anthologies. She was a founding editor of io9.com, a site about science fiction, science and futurism, and she organizes the monthly Writers With Drinks reading series. Her first novel, Choir Boy, won a Lambda Literary Award.
Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and strategic foresight consultant living in Toronto. She is the author of the Machine Dynasty series from Angry Robot Books, and the novel Company Town from Tor Books, which was a Canada Reads finalist. As a futurist, she has developed science fiction prototypes for Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, the Atlantic Council, Data & Society, InteraXon, and others. Her essays have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, MISC Magazine, and FutureNow. She is married to horror writer and journalist David Nickle. With him, she is the co-editor of Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, an anthology of Bond stories available only in Canada. You can find her at madelineashby.com and on Twitter @MadelineAshby.
Paolo Bacigalupi's writing has appeared in WIRED Magazine, Slate, Medium, Salon.com, and High Country News, as well as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. His short fiction been nominated for three Nebula Awards, four Hugo Awards, and won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story of the year. It is collected in Pump Six and Other Stories, a Locus Award winner for Best Collection and also a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. His debut novel The Windup Girl was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. He is also the author of Ship Breaker; The Drowned Cities, Zombie Baseball Beatdown, The Doubt Factory, The Water Knife, and Tool of War.
Meg Elison is a science fiction author and feminist essayist. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick award. Her second novel was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick, and both were longlisted for the James A. Tiptree award. She has been published in McSweeney's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Catapult, and many other places. Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley. Find her online, where she writes like she's running out of time.
Lee Konstantinou is a writer and Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also a Humanities editor at LARB. He’s written fiction, criticism, and reviews. He wrote the novel Pop Apocalypse (Ecco/HarperPerennial, 2009) and co-edited (with Sam Cohen) The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (University of Iowa Press, 2012). Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction was published in 2016 by Harvard University Press.
Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, VQR, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and she is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, where she lives in Philadelphia with her wife.
Maureen F. McHugh grew up in Ohio, but has lived in New York City and, for a year, in Shijiazhuang, China. She is the author of four novels. Her first novel, China Mountain Zhang, won the Tiptree Award and her latest novel, Nekropolis, was a Book Sense 76 pick and a New York Times Editor's Choice. She was a Finalist for the Story Award for Mothers & Other Monsters, and won a Shirley Jackson Award for her collection After the Apocalypse. After the Apocalypse was also named one of Publishers Weeklys 10 Best Books of 2011. McHugh teaches scriptwriting at the University of Southern California. She and her husband and two dogs used to live next to a dairy farm. Sometimes, in the summer, black and white Holsteins looked over the fence at them. Now she lives in Los Angeles, California, where she is trying desperately to sell her soul to Hollywood but as it turns out, the market is saturated.
Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of the novel Autonomous, nominated for the Nebula and Locus Awards, and winner of the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, she’s written for the Washington Post, Slate, Ars Technica, the New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. Her book Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction was nominated for the LA Times Book Prize in science. She was the founder of io9, and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo and the tech culture editor at Ars Technica. She has published short stories in Lightspeed, Shimmer, Apex, and Technology Review's Twelve Tomorrows. She was the recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT, worked as a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and has a Ph.D. in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley. Her new novel, The Future of Another Timeline, comes out September 2019.
Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Born in the United States to two Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nnedi’s work titled, “Weapons of Mass Creation”, The New York Times called Nnedi’s imagination “stunning”.
Deji Bryce Olukotun is the author of two novels and his fiction has appeared in five different book collections. His novel After the Flare won the 2018 Philip K. Dick special citation award, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by The Guardian, The Washington Post, Syfy.com, Tor.com, Kirkus Reviews, among others. His novel Nigerians in Space, a thriller about brain drain from Africa, was published by Unnamed Press in 2014. He is currently the Head of Social Impact at the audio technology company Sonos and a Future Tense Fellow at New America.
Mark Oshiro is the Hugo finalist (in the Fan Writer category) creator of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where he analyzes book and television series unspoiled. He was the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015 with Foz Meadows. He is the President of the Con or Bust Board of Directors. His first novel, Anger is a Gift, is a YA contemporary about queer friendship, love, and fighting police brutality, out now with Tor Teen and winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for 2019. When he is not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters, or ruining lives at conventions, he is busy trying to fulfill his lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.
Born and raised in Finland, Hannu Rajaniemi lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is a founding director of a financial consultancy, ThinkTank Maths. He is the holder of several advanced degrees in mathematics and physics. Multilingual from an early age, he writes his science fiction in English. He is the author of The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince and The Causal Angel. Early works included his first published short story Shibuya no Love in 2003 and his short story Deus Ex Homine in Nova Scotia, a 2005 anthology of Scottish science fiction and fantasy, which caught the attention of his current literary agent, John Jarrold.
Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Toronto Book Award, and the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 31 languages. A previous novel, The Singer's Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Mark Stasenko is a television writer who wrote on the Peabody Award–winning show American Vandal and Genre Summit. He is currently writing a Jason Blum series about Enron with Alex Gibney attached to direct.
Table of Contents
"No Me Dejas" by Mark Oshiro; "When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis" by Annalee Newitz; "When We Were Patched" by Deji Bryce Olukotun; "Domestic Violence" by Madeline Ashby; "Mr. Thursday" by Emily St. John Mandel; "A Brief and Fearful Star" by Carmen Maria Machado; "Overvalued" by Mark Stasenko; "Safe Surrender" by Meg Elison; "Lions and Gazelles" by Hannu Rajaniemi; "Burned-Over Territory" by Lee Konstantinou; "Mika Model" by Paolo Bacigalupi; "The Starfish Girl" by Maureen McHugh; "The Minnesota Diet" by Charlie Jane Anders.