Book Review: Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft, by Various

Future Visions, by Various

Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft by Various

Published by Microsoft & Melcher Media on November 17, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, science fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 224

Source: purchased

Find on Goodreads

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft is an anthology of new short work from some of the greatest science fiction writers in the field. These visionary stories explore prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning, and much more. The authors used inside access to leading-edge work from Microsoft Research as inspiration, crafting pieces that predict the near-future of technology – and examine its complex relationship to our core humanity.

Future Visions features contributions from:

Elizabeth Bear
Greg Bear
David Brin
Nancy Kress
Ann Leckie
Jack McDevitt
Seanan McGuire
Robert J. Sawyer
…along with a short graphic novel by Blue Delliquanti and Michele Rosenthal, plus original illustrations by Joey Camacho.

These are some of today’s most visionary creators—and they’ve joined together to give us a preview of tomorrow.

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In Future Visions, a variety of authors explore technology inspired by research being done by Microsoft in short story format.

The premise here is one that I find intriguing and reminds me of Black Mirror. While the concept is somewhat similar to the show in that it extrapolates a potential future based on existing or potential technology, the tone is not. Some of the stories in this anthology are a bit cautionary but most have a brighter or more hopeful tone.

As with any short story collection, some of the works within these pages are stronger than others. But they all examine a particular aspect of technology and its cultural ramifications. My personal favorite was Another Word for World, by Ann Leckie, which stood out as it was the only one to be set in another world and explored the importance of technology that crosses language barriers and while also showing how fallible it could be.

Overall, Future Visions was an interesting and enjoyable reading experience. For me, it was also a great introduction to authors I haven’t read before and now want to read more of their work! If this sounds like something you may enjoy, I encourage you to check it out — and if you read it on a kindle or nook, it’s free!

3-b&w

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