My latest short story, “War 3.01” is now available in the February issue of the excellent Lightspeed.
This one’s set in the same social-media-saturated near-future as “LikeMe”, which was published in international science journal Nature in December 2010, and it’s a setting that continues to fascinate me. It’s a world where social media has saturated the real world, via augmented reality: everywhere you look, you’re bombarded by messages, alerts, extra information; everyone you meet is accompanied by compatibility ratings and other social data. We might talk about digital natives now, but in this future the digital native generation are the backward ones, falling out of step: this is the time of the ultradigital natives. Indeed, the thought of what this world might be like for a youngster growing up is one of the things that appeals to me, and my next young-adult novel may well be set in a future very like this one. That’s one of the things I love about writing: the way we can keep digging away and exploring in story after story.
Aside: when my first professionally published story appeared, back in 1989, my name appeared on the contents list alongside JG Ballard. In this issue of Lightspeed, I’m listed alongside Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Gregory Benford. Even after all these years I’m still a bit of a fanboy.