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sci fi – near future

Sci fi tales that take place just a few years from now, often examining the social consequences of today’s world. Return to general Sci Fi

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Word Count: 77200

Summary: Earth on the Cusp of the Twenty-Second Century Just think how the world has changed in the last seventy-six years. In 1948, scientists ran the first computer program, and "the Ultimate Car of the Future," the futuristic, three wheeled Davis Divan, debuted. Since then, a succession of inventions—the personal computer, the internet, the World Wide Web, smart phones and social media—have transformed every aspect of our lives. How might the next seventy-six years change us, in ways we can barely even begin to imagine, as culture, climate change, politics and technology continue to reshape the world? Earth in 2100 will be as unrecognizable to us as today would be to someone from 1948. Eighteen writers tackled this challenge, creating an amazing array of sci-fi possibilities. From emotional AI's to photosynthetic children, from virtual worlds to a post-urban society, our writers serve up compelling slices of life from an Earth that's just around the corner. So dive in and and take a wild ride into these amazing visions of our collective future.

Earth 2100
Earth 2100
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Word Count: 180000

Summary: In November 2039, marine scientist Wend Taylor heaves themself aboard a zero-emissions boat skippered by elusive nature photographer Viola Yang. Guided by instinct, ocean dreams, and a shared birthday in 1972, they barter stories for passage across the Pacific. Aljon, Viola’s younger cousin, keeps a watchful eye and an innovative galley. Story by story, the trio rethink secrets, flying dreams, and how they experience their own minds. When they reach Hawaiʻi and prepare to part ways, opportunity and mystery pull them closer together. Both scientific and personal discoveries take shape as they join with ex-lovers, lost friends, and found family. Wend must navigate an ever-shifting future, complicated by bioengineered microbes and a plot to silence scientists, entangled with inexplicable dreams and a calling to Be the Sea.

Be the Sea - Clara Ward
Be the Sea
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Word Count: 38000

Summary: RISE (noun / verb) Eight definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) An upward slope or movement 2) A beginning or origin 3) An increase in amount or number 4) An angry reaction 5) To take up arms 6) To return from death 7) To become heartened or elated 8) To exert oneself to meet a challenge Rise features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Rise Anthology
Rise
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Word Count: 96000

Summary: "Today I swam through MOMA. Leon says it was a waste, encasing the art, then flooding the museum—frivolous and elitist. I say it was a gesture of optimism, a triumph of technology and political will." Want to thrill to the possibilities of a hopeful future? We asked a bunch of sci-fi writers to spin tales of a better future, imagining ways in which the world might become a better place. From a swim through an underwater museum to a joyous dance at a futuristic concert, from the eco-friendly aftermath of an alien invasion and retreat to the refurbishing of an old climate-ravaged home in New Vancouver, these fourteen short sci-fi stories will to restore your faith in the future. A world transformed is a world we can all hope for. Book three in the Writers Save the World short story anthologies. If you enjoy this book, check out Fix the World and Save the World.

Transform the World - J. Scott Coatsworth
Transform the World
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Word Count: 119000

Summary: A single father fights to retain control as he shares his body and mind with an evolving AI. It’s been nine years since the government banned all technology. So, when Joel Lodowick, a young transgender father struggling to support his five-year-old daughter, has an old bionic upload itself into his head, he is faced with a decision: Go to the cops and risk prosecution? Or use the robot’s skills to turn his life around? Scared of losing his daughter, Joel chooses the latter. Heightened intelligence and physical enhancements quickly land him a better job and a brighter future. But things take a sinister turn when Joel realizes his uninvited companion has an agenda of its own, which may or may not include leaving him in control. Unable to approach the government who covered up the truth about AI sentience, Joel finds himself on the run. With his daughter’s life on the line and his own body turning against him, he must find a way to convince the bionic in his head to value his human life before he loses the chance forever. Find out what happens in My Heart is Human by Reese Hogan!

My Heart is Human - Reese Hogan
My Heart Is Human
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Word Count: 117000

Summary: You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family… Quirk and Moth have avoided killing each other long enough to solve another case. They decide on a local job next, and take up the search for a missing scientist. How could Quirk know this new mystery put them on a headlong collision course with his troubled past, a plethora of personal issues, and a hoard of genetic hybrid creatures with an appetite for anything that moves? When their client dies in mysterious circumstances, law enforcement pursues the dysfunctional duo all the way to a research lab in frozen Yellowknife. Can Quirk and Moth find the scientist before they are banged up for murder, or has she already been eaten? Is it coincidence Quirk’s father-in-law bought the company? Can they expose the shadow from Quirk’s past and clear their names? Quirk and Moth need time, but it’s fast running out, and the bodies are piling up. Find out what happens in The Carborundum Conundrum!

The Carborundum Conundrum - Robin C.M. Duncan - Quirk & Moth
The Carborundum Conundrum
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Word Count: 12000

Summary: If The Little Mermaid were set in the twenty-second century... In the aftermath of climate change, humans have abandoned the flooded coasts. Underwater, people of another kind struggle to rehabilitate the polluted seas. After one rescues a human engineer, she realizes he might hold the key. If she can learn how to interact with the world like a human, if she can understand them, if she can become enough like them, maybe they will help. Maybe he will help. But to reach him, she may need to sacrifice who she is...

Voice of the Sea - Siri Paulson
Voice of the Sea
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Word Count: 67000

Summary: Androids & Aliens is Scott's third short story collection - eight sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from cyborgs to (comedic) alien invasions: Rise: The rise in sea levels caused by climate change swallowed Venice beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back? Ping: I was a real estate agent by day, and a museum curator in the evening at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything. What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan. High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals - immersive live virtual reality skins - but his low score may doom him to a life of cheap coding. Full Real: Dek's given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it, or turns it down? Shit City: The Bay Area is being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or change his life? Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses starts him on the path to discovery - even if he's not sure he's going to like what he finds. The Last Human Heart: I'm one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth about who I am. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place, and the first publication of the Pacific Climate Tryptich - What the Rain Brings, High Seven, and Full Real - in any form.

Androids & Aliens - J. Scott Coatsworth
Androids & Aliens
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Word Count: 155000

Summary: Eighteen years after the Chromodec Uprising in Children of the Stars, the world is a very different place. Kaelen Ra-Evon lands on Earth, a planet where aliens exist and refugees are fast-tracked to citizenship in many countries. Her tale encompasses the age-old notions of loss, love, and found family. Kaelen tries to navigate her new life on Earth, as well as a romance with genius CEO, Lea Lockheed-Tuck, all while honoring her family's legacy as the last of her house. She's wary of the Chromodec Office of Restraint and Protection, a US agency tasked with policing people of power regardless of their race or planet of origin. In an attempt to protect the woman she loves, Kaelen becomes a vigilante: Scion. She won't let laws or the CORP stop her from doing what's right.

The Last Scion of Ra - K. Aten
The Last Scion of Ra
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Word Count: 76600

Summary: The Fredamine Project was just the beginning. Shadow dealings and conspiracies regarding variants intertwine until Damien and his cohorts can no longer tell who the bad guys are. Several months have passed since Blaze and the infamous Variant activist Shudder McKenzie helped Damien rescue the captives of the sinister Fredamine Project. Professionally, everything's great. He's back to working with Damien again and they have a new lead on the three kids who are still missing. Personally, not so much. Blaze has made his peace with Shudder, though nothing between them has even been easy, but his relationship with Damien has taken several steps back. Blaze no longer has any idea where he stands. Adding to the tense atmosphere are the anti-Variant members of legislature who have been slowly gaining popular approval, and the cryptic messages Damien receives from an unknown source. Shudder's back to his old haunts and his old tricks, trying to raise public awareness of imperiled Variant rights—such as the draconic Horace Act that strips due process during Variant trials—and to rescue Variant kids in trouble. His almost mythical luck runs out though when he's arrested for murder only three days after the passage of the Horace Act and a whirlwind trial and sentencing lands him in the most notorious maximum security facility for Variants—San Judas Tadeo. ​ With too many conspirators on both sides of the aisle, Damien, Blaze and Shudder no longer know whom to trust. Peeling through the layers of deceit and half-truths puts them on shakier ground with every discovery and in greater danger than ever before. Variant Configurations takes place in a future Earth where humanity is reclaiming its spot in a gradually healing world. This book contains mentions of past abuse, action-adventure style mayhem, and the sparks of a slow burn, series-spanning relationship.

From the Noblest Motives - Angel Martinez
From The Noblest Motives
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Word Count: 33000

Summary: Clarity (noun) Four definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) Coherent and intelligible 2) Transparent or pure 3) Attaining certainty about something 4) Easy to see or hear Clarity features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Clarity anthology
Clarity
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Word Count: 45000

Summary: A mordant, smirking collection; rife with life in a grim future Florida, notions of Christianity and its cousin Satanism—spies, mercenaries, magic, asteroid-belt drillers, and above all else, a universe bent forever by the powers of pleasure and pain.

Forsaken, Fantastic - David Rose
Forsaken, Fantastic!
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Word Count: 299

Summary: This action filled, edge of your seat dystopian adventure is set in the near future, when a space probe is returning to Earth from the Cares 1 Asteroid with geological and biological samples frozen in ice for billions of years. It’s big news, the discovery of ancient organisms from an extra-terrestrial body. After the samples arrive at Interplan Astro-Research facility in the quiet city of Worcester Massachusetts, with the world’s media gathered, eager to hear official announcement that the samples are indeed biological, thus discovering evidence of complex life beyond our planet. Not everyone’s excited or happy about having alien lifeforms coming to Earth, and one group of terrorists have planted a thermobaric bomb in an elevator shaft of the facility. The bomb detonates and the facility explodes, killing hundreds of people, workers, protestors, scientists and TV crews, but far from destroying the samples, the explosion has released them from their level one quarantine and unleashes a deadly parasite that quickly infects the citizens of Worcester with infestations of strand red worms that infest the living. Despite efforts to contain the “Cares Pestis” AKA the “MR. Ripple” it spreads fast and becomes through the USA and beyond, causing a complete breakdown of society. But then comes something else, something far more menacing that threatens the very existence of human life on earth, and for Colonel Troy Glass and his fiancé Yvette, a deadly struggle for survival begins as they head west, to a secret government facility known as Haven. On their way, they pick up an eclectic group of fellow survivors, who together, battle against all the odds, both human and alien…

Mr Ripple - - Chris Black
Mr. Ripple
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Word Count: 100000

Summary: They say, “Never work with androids or children.” Quirk had one job to do, deliver papers to a Milan mafia boss, before leaving Earth for his home in the asteroids. But that was before being tailed, poisoned—oh, yes—and hijacked into raising foulmouthed fourteen-year-old convent girl Angelika Moratti, aka Moth, who'd rather see him asphyxiate in space. Fleeing assassins, Quirk, Moth and her syRen® android S-0778 ride the space elevator to the Moon, where Quirk hires on to hunt an ex-terra-former who somehow used an android to murder his doctor. But which android of the two hundred under Lunaville’s dome? The trail of bodies grows, time is running out; the only way they can save the dome and the two thousand souls beneath it is to solve The Mandroid Murders. Genres: Science Fiction / Thriller / Mystery / Adventure / LGBT and Non Binary Market: Adult

The Mandroid Murders - Robin C.M. Duncan
The Mandroid Murders
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Word Count: 78,500

Summary: In the 23rd century, spaceships just don’t go missing. FBI agent Ray Volk is assigned to a task force to investigate a tragic accident: the disappearance of interplanetary passenger liner ValuTrip Cardinal, carrying 500 souls between Mars and Earth on a routine run. What looks like a cut-and-dried case of pressure loss is complicated by the arrival of a Martian Captain. A very cute Martian Captain who keeps sticking his nose in Ray’s investigation. Martian exchange student Kelly Rack knows the disappearance is no accident. She survived the ships’ hijacking, but learns the former cruise entertainer leading the pirates has plans for the passengers, and they don’t include sightseeing. Kelly has avoided the murderous pirates, except now an off-duty Earth Commander insists on organizing resistance for the passengers. She forces Kelly to climb through service tunnels on sabotage runs, risking capture and death. Can Ray shake down the right accomplices to capture the good ship ValuTrip Cardinal before its new captain spaces everyone on board? Will Kelly discover the pirates’ hidden plans for their prisoners? The race is on, because One of Our Spaceships is Missing! Genres: Space Opera / Military Sci-Fi / Science Fiction / LGBT and Non Binary Market: Adult

One of Our Spaceships is Missing - Chris Gerrib
One of Our Spaceships is Missing
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Word Count: 100400

Summary: Climate change is no longer a vague future threat. Forests are burning, currents are shifting, and massive storms dump staggering amounts of water in less than 24 hours Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future. We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to save the world from climate change.  From the myriad of stories we received, we chose the twenty most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales. Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change via solar mirrors, carbon capture, genetic manipulation, and acts of change both large and small. The future’s not going to fix itself.

Save the World - J. Scott Coatsworth
Save the World
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Our visions of the future - whether dark or hopeful, thrilling or mundane - have always challenged us to examine our world. How can we improve? What challenges will we face? Are we even ready? Top Science Fiction authors, collectively holding 25 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Sturgeon awards (a few for Vital stories!), employ the power of engaging fiction to explore these questions and today's most critical issues in medicine. But Vital doesn't stop at speculation. Proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, the global guardian of public health, coordinating the worldwide pandemic response. Read on to build a better future of Healthcare! Featuring stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, David Brin, Tananarive Due, Sally Wiener Grotta, Congyun ("Mu Ming") Gu, James Patrick Kelly, Justin C. Key, Seanan McGuire, Annalee Newitz, Julie Nováková, Lola Robles, Eric Schwitzgebel, Alex Shvartsman, Caroline M. Yoachim Edited by RM Ambrose

Vital anthology
Vital: The Future of Healthcare
RM Ambrose , Paolo Bacigalupi , David Brin , Tanan...
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Word Count: 45000

Summary: Tangents & Tachyons is Scott's second anthology - six sci fi and sci-fantasy shorts that run the gamut from time travel to hopepunk and retro spec fic: Eventide: Tanner Black awakes to find himself in his own study, staring out the window at the end of the Universe. But who brought him there, and why? Chinatown: Deryn lives in an old San Francisco department store with his girlfriend Gracie, and scrapes by with his talent as a dreamcaster for the Chinese overlords. But what if a dream could change the world? Across the Transom: What if someone or something took over your body on an urgent mission to save your world? Pareidolia: Simon's not like other college kids. His mind can rearrange random patterns to reveal the images lurking inside. But where did his strange gift come from? And what if there are others like him out there too? Lamplighter: Fen has a crush on his friend Lewin, who's in a competing guild. But when the world goes dark, only a little illumination can save it. And only Fen, Lewin and their friend Alissa can light the spark. A Liminal Sky short. Prolepsis: Sean is the closeted twenty-five-year-old editor of an 80's sci-fi 'zine called Prolepsis. When an unabashedly queer story arrives from a mysterious writer, it blows open Sean's closet door, and offers him the chance to change the world - and the future. Plus two flash fiction stories – The System and The Frog Prince, never before published. This is the first time all of these stories have all been collected in one place.

Tangents & Tachons - J. Scott Coatsworth
Tangents & Tachyons
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Their connection was immediate. Was it destined or pre-programmed? Kenner Ford is trying not to panic. After his beautiful girlfriend suddenly disappeared from Beijing, he hops on a ballistic rocket to New York to begin a global search. And after a whirlwind romance filled with passionate sex and unsurpassed creativity, he’s distraught to think she’s gone forever. When warnings about Chinese intrusions get a cyberwarfare guru killed, Kenner and his missing lover become embroiled in a worldwide conflict. And after he learns they’ve both been surveilled for years by ambitious AIs, the troubled man flees from a deadly assassin while terrified for his woman’s life… Can he reunite with his dream girl before they’re permanently deleted? Control Theory is a thrilling science fiction romance. If you like compelling visions of the future, the evolution of advanced technology, and a sexy love story, then you’ll adore Timothy Bult’s futuristic roller coaster.

Control Theory - Timothy Bult
Control Theory
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Word Count: 51000

Summary: Escaping intergalactic kidnappers has never been quite so ridiculous. When Lem and her faithful dog, Spock, retreat from the city for a few days of hiking in Algonquin Park, the last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by aliens. No, scratch that. The last thing they expect is to be kidnapped by a bunch of strangely adorable intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a ship called the Teapot. After Lem falls in with an unlikely group of allies – including a talking horse, a sarcastic robot, an overly anxious giant parrot, and a cloud of sentient glitter gas – the gang must devise a cunning plan to escape their captors and make it back home safely. But things won’t be as easy as they first seem. Lost in deep space and running out of fuel, this chaotic crew are faced with the daunting task of navigating an alien planet, breaking into a space station, and discovering the real reason they’re all there… Packed with preposterous scenarios, quirky characters, and oodles of humour, The Left Hand of Dog tackles complex subjects such as gender, the need to belong, and the importance of honest communication. Perfect for fans of Charlie Jane Anders’ Victories Greater than Death – especially ones who enjoy endless references to Red Dwarf, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. This book will show you that the universe is a very strange place indeed. Scroll up and grab your copy now!

The Left Hand of Dog - SI Clarke
The Left Hand of Dog
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