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July 1, 2017 7:31 PM   Subscribe

"The X Prize Is Now Backing Sci-Fi Like It Backs IRL Science" [Wired]: "Starting [6/28/2017], 22 new science fiction stories go live on the Seat14C website, courtesy of genre luminaries like Margaret Atwood and Charlie Jane Anders. Each story details the future from the perspective of a different passenger on a plane that traveled through a wormhole 20 years into the future."

"That's just the starting line, though. Other writers will then compete to tell the story of the passenger in seat 14C. Whoever wins, in addition to having their work included alongside established authors, will get to join the X Prize's Science Fiction Advisory Council, a 72-person panel that will provide a roadmap for what the world could look like decades from now."

The stories so far: The deadline for story submissions (2000-4000 words) is August 25, 2017. According to the contest FAQ, all authors retain rights to their stories, and X Prize acquires publication rights only for the winning story. The prize details listed beneath a tab on the submission page say the winner will receive $1500 and a Tokyo vacation package.
posted by Wobbuffet (8 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Just through the first story, but the gross misunderstanding of Islam makes me question the author's ability of predicting the future.
posted by iamck at 9:00 PM on July 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm about halfway through the list so far, and Benford's story isn't one of the better ones.

"NiceCoin" should be a pretty good palate-cleanser, although you might not expect so from the first few paragraphs.
posted by teraflop at 9:18 PM on July 1, 2017

Mostly enjoying this, but the whole issue with blockchains and smart contracts makes me throw up in my mouth a little. There will never be unlimited bandwidth and processing, and certainly not in 20 years.
posted by Samizdata at 10:10 PM on July 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Read it all. Still not liking the whole blockchain/crypto stuff, but, FWIW, it wasn't a waste of my time, so there's that.
posted by Samizdata at 11:13 PM on July 1, 2017

Went straight to seat 17F; was not disappointed.
posted by otherchaz at 9:47 AM on July 2, 2017

Started with Mike Resnick because I remember his name from raiding the sci fi new arrivals in the library when I was a teenager; was immediately disappointed with the lack of acknowledging that a plane appeared out of nowhere 20 years in the future and was able to interact with 2037-era nav systems and ATC and land safely without passengers being the slightest bit concerned. I mean I understand the mechanics of landing a plane from 20 years in the past is not really the thing we're worried about (though there's definitely room to talk about the future of air travel and ATC/nav in fiction)! Was going to go for Benford next but y'all turned me off of that right quick.
posted by Alterscape at 7:50 PM on July 2, 2017

MeFi's own cstross speculated today on a likely outcome of the premise: "Report on Seat 14C."
posted by Wobbuffet at 12:20 PM on July 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

Apparently cstross and I are on the same wavelength there. I suspect were I a writer trying to write a thing, I might've tried to write the plane safely to arrival, but, then, cstross's interpretation is, to be real, about spot on for how I envision that going in real life.
posted by Alterscape at 12:27 PM on July 3, 2017 [2 favorites]

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