Booktrack has joined forces with Idealog to deliver four science fiction stories with Booktrack soundtracks! Listen to the Audiobook or eBook versions below.
Science fiction writers have a long history of predicting the future. Of course, due to our inherent survivor bias – the tendency to remember only correct predictions – we often forget that most of them were wrong. But the best stories tend to focus on the battle between humanity and technology and the scenes they create in our imaginations are often close enough to the present to make you feel slightly uncomfortable about what the future might hold.
Inspired by Wired’s recent fiction issue and, in keeping with the theme of our own issue, 'Reality Check' — we asked some talented friends of the Idealog family to examine the role technology might play in our lives. We hope their stories get you thinking.
Putting a 54-terabyte AI computer system called Malcolm in the running to be a Senator seemed like a good idea at the time to programmer Nick and long-time political worker Paul. But when Malcolm starts regurgitating offensive comments from the internet, the reaction from the public is not quite what they expected.
Crystal’s obsession with online shopping has shrunk her life into an endless cycle of work, browsing and courier deliveries, so when a chatbot from her favourite website starts getting over–familiar, she’s thrilled to engage. As the divisions between URL and IRL start to dissolve, however, Crystal must decide how much of herself she can spare to share.
In a not-too-distant future, an artificial intelligence system named GO advises on every decision its users make via an earpiece, ensuring each moment in life is as perfectly executed as possible. But as Ted Robertson soon discovers when he takes a break from GO, the world is an entirely different place without her in it.
When a ship named Trojan II is found drifting alone without its crew in space, inspector Nic Sargesson has a suspicion something is not quite right. Meanwhile, Kerryn is told her husband Mitch is a part of the crew that is missing from the ship — but a mysterious postcard might hold a clue to his whereabouts.