Many high-profile science fiction writers are bemoaning the tone and content of 21st century sci-fi and fantasy. It’s too dark, too depressing, too filled with rampaging robots, malevolent AIs, and oppressive governments. The trend is hurting humanity by discouraging the kind of can-do-ism that got America to the moon and beyond. We need to revive the innocence and naivete of a time when we trusted technology to solve our problems, they say.
Corporate America agrees. On Tuesday, Microsoft released a free ebook titled Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft. The company invited science fiction luminaries Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Ann Leckie, Jack McDevitt, Seanan McGuire and Robert J. Sawyer, as well as graphic novelist Blue Delliquanti to its research labs and asked them to imagine worlds with Cortana, Hololens, and its take on quantum computing as the world-fixing (and profitable) products MS hopes they’ll become. The concept is as creepy as it is laughable. Continue reading