Avid readers (hi Mom!) will remember that I got to judge the "We Shall Arrive Soon" flash fiction contest, which was part of a major cross-disciplinary technology conference called True North 2018, hosted by Communitech. Writers were asked to "imagine how technology will affect our lives in the coming decades. We want you to explore how technology may be used to improve human wellbeing, contribute to healthier and safer communities and bring about innovations that benefit us all. We also want you to examine how technology could be misused, or applied in ways that have negative impacts."
I'm happy to announce the winners, which you can read over at True North website. They are short, so I encourage you to grab a spoon and dig in.
First Prize: BEAR #178, by Holly Schofield
Of all the stories I read, "Bear #178" is the one that stuck with me: deceptively simple, it packs vivid image of a future world into its slim 1000 words. It also poses the sharpest moral question. Should we use technology to adapt ourselves to a changing world — or to adapt the changing world to us?
Second: I REMEMBER THE PENNIES, by Mika Scotti Kole
"I Remember The Pennies" offers new take on an old science fiction theme: that the progress of technology will leave humanity with, as Jack Williamson wrote way back in 1947, “With Folded Hands.” But this is not a question we’ve got an answer to, and this story is fresh and sensory, and offers a surprising answer to who ends up on top.
Third: WE ARE FUEL, by Jack Caseros
In the gripping opening of "We Are Fuel," an incoming Carrington-scale solar flare leaves the Earth with just minutes left in the age of power and communication. The protagonist here is in Canada’s North, which offers both drama and a chance to reflect on our current energy economy — where the North is a source of resources, and little more.