Read my new short story, Embers

Part of Horizon 2045's digital anthology, Far Futures

Read my new short story, Embers
Art: João Queiroz

This week, Horizon 2045 launched its digital anthology, Far Futures, and I've got a story in it! It's called "Embers," and you can read and listen to it here.

I'm pretty excited that this collection of stories is now online. Writing this was an interesting challenge and it's been (literally) a decade since I published my first short story, "Fragmented." I love the cover art by João Queiroz and I'm glad they also produced an audio version to accompany the story. (I don't know if there'll be a downloadable version of the anthology or audiobook, although that would be neat).

Announcing Horizon 2045’s Far Futures project!
I’ve got a story in this, and it’s launching on Wednesday, May 29th!

Something that I've been fascinated by is how fiction can be used as a foresight or scenario tool, whether it's the military trying to imagine how technology will impact the battlefield or trying to find some hope in a future dominated by climate change. That's what attracted me to Horizon 2045's project: it's an organization trying to solve some insurmountable issues when it comes to the threat of nuclear weapons, and they wanted to put together some stories that imagine the best case scenario for the world: one where nuclear weapons are taken out of the equation.

Once I put together the rough idea that had been kicking around in my head, I began to backtrack on what a nuclear-free world might look like, and how we might go about doing that. That's where my initial story idea fell into place: an enforcement agency, Orbital Atomic Assessment and Retrieval Division (OAARD) tasked with making sure that everyone is playing by the rule and disposing of nukes. The story takes place long after they'd gotten rid of the bombs from various countries: they're now working on all the edge cases and issues that pop up.

I'm pretty happy with the resulting story: I was able to do some stylistic things that was something of an experiment for me, and it got me thinking about some things in some interesting and different ways. Hopefully, it won't be as long before I finish the next story: I have one that I've been picking away at, and I just need to sit down and finish it.

While you're at the site, you should check out the other stories that are part of the package from Madeline Ashby, Vincent Ialenti, PAGES Matam, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Annalee Newitz, Malka Older, Tochi Onyebuchi, João Queiroz, Sheree Renėe Thomas, and Peter Waring. (And fill out the survey at the bottom!) I hope that you enjoy them all.