The Best New Science Fiction (TRSF, Volume 1)

The Best New Science Fiction (TRSF, Volume 1)

Language: English

Pages: 98

ISBN: 2:00065907

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Featuring all-new stories by a dozen of the most visionary science fiction authors writing today, TRSF takes us to 12 possible worlds of tomorrow. Inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered by MIT's Technology Review, celebrated writers join the freshest talent from around the world to describe what the future may have in store for the Internet, biotechnology, energy, computing, and more.

Illustrated with an original cover painting by legendary sci-fi illustrator Chris Foss, the TRSF also features classic Foss covers inside its pages.


Welcome to the 2011 TRSF, the first annual anthology of original science fiction stories from MIT’s Technology Review. With stories set in the near future from celebrated masters and emerging authors, TRSF is our contribution to the tradition of “hard” science fiction. It’s a tradition that stretches all the way back to Jules Verne, in which writers draw from the cutting edges of engineering and science, and try to portray how technology might advance in a way that futurists, economists, and other down-to-earth pundits can’t.

Because of its emphasis on technical plausibility, hard science fiction has been accused in the past—not always unfairly—of neglecting plot and character development in favor of breathless exposition about some flashy gadget or astronomical phenomenon. But the stories in these pages prove that you don’t have to sacrifice great writing to say something interesting about how the future might work. Hard science fiction has also been accused—again, not always unfairly—of being the jealously guarded preserve of mostly American men. So, striving for a richer spectrum of viewpoints, we have chosen male and female authors who come from around the world, including one writer whose work is appearing for the first time in English.

Inspired by the real-world technological breakthroughs covered online and in print by Technology Review, these authors bring you 12 visions of tomorrow, looking at how the Internet, computing, energy, biotechnology, spaceflight, and more might develop, and how those developments might affect the people who have to live with them. What do you think of these visions? What technologies do you believe are going to profoundly transform how we live, and would deserve to be the inspiration for a story in next year’s TRSF? Let us know online at

-- Stephen Cass, Editor
















She pushed on in and the young man was standing by a chair, next to the gurney that Charlie Draper lay on, holding the white helmet. “Here. You don’t have to lie down. Just put this on.” CRAPPY SYSTEM can’t even make an illusion that works. He went back to the iron bar and rotated it squeaking in its concrete socket, and gave it a good rattle. Concrete dust sifted down. He seized it in both hands and gave it all he had. “Bitch!” He squeezed it as hard as he had Maggie’s neck, and jerked,

“Technically, it’s not difficult,” Kevin replied. “My group has already developed a whole set of algorithms, which, combined with our joke database, can generate all kinds of jokes suitable for every occasion.” He paused meaningfully before going on. “Indeed, our simulations almost passed the Turing Test.” The Directors were suitably impressed. They were optimistic about the market potential of humorous robots. Kevin’s group received a large budget boost to support the integration of the humor

wasn’t one lot it was another. Islamists, Irish dissidents, the bloody Prods even. And one day I realized that every one of them had been brought up on some version of history—” “Oral history! Songs and stories. Isn’t that enough for these people? And radical websites! So what—?” Keith shakes his head. “No, in the long run they need written history. Behind every cause you’ll find historians. Bloody archive rats. Without the authority of original documents, every text becomes shit someone said

give her an offer, he wanted to show her a bit of the Semaphore creative process so she would know what she was getting into. She had to sign some pretty draconian NDAs to protect Semaphore’s trade secrets. Sophia didn’t hesitate for even one second. Getting a peek at how Semaphore made its magic was a lifelong dream. Palladon took her down a long series of hallways lined with closed doors. Sophia looked around, imagining what lay behind them: bright, open workspaces where each employee was

characters came to life, the stock dialogue gained wit and pathos, and a work of art emerged from random noise. On average, after a hundred thousand iterations of this process, Big Semi would have a film that elicited from the audience the desired emotional response curve. Big Semi did not work with scripts and storyboards. It did not give any thought to themes, symbols, homages, or any other words you might find in a film studies syllabus. It did not complain of having to work with digital

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