A Podcast Conversation about Twelve Tomorrows

Twelve Tomorrows, the hard science fiction anthology from MIT Technology Review and the MIT Press that served as the jumping-off point for Soonish Episide 2.08, was the featured book on this week’s edition of the New Books in Science Fiction podcast from the New Books Network. I talked with host Rob Wolf about the origins of the Twelve Tomorrows series, and how I got asked to edit the 2018 edition.

We also went into depth about four of the 11 stories in the book: Paul McAuley’s “Chine LIfe,” Elizabeth Bear’s “Okay, Glory,” Clifford Victor Johnson’s graphic novella “Resolution,” and Nnedi Okorafor’s “The Heart of the Matter.”

You can listen to the whole interview here.

“If there’s one message Roush hopes readers take from the collection, it’s that people are in the driver’s seat when it comes to building and using new technologies,” Wolf wrote in the show notes. “He hopes the book reminds people ‘that we do have the power to adopt or shun technology, that we can decide how to bring it into our lives, to what extent we want to use it or not use it. We can even influence the way innovation happens. We can tell scientists and engineers, You know what? This isn’t good enough, or, We’re worried about this. We want you to build in more safeguards… We have that power.’”

(If that sounds suspiciously similar to the mission of Soonish, well, it’s no accident.)

Also this week, Rich Horton of Locus, the magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, reviewed two of the stories in Twelve Tomorrows: “Resolution” and “Vespers,” by J.M. Ledgard. “The book is intriguing as ever—a strong collection of stories extrapolating near term scientific advances,” Horton writes.

Sometimes I call Soonish “science fiction without the fiction.” But when it comes to thinking about the future, there’s obviously a huge role for imaginative literature too. So if you haven’t bought your own copy of Twelve Tomorrows yet, well, what are you waiting for? It’s available from all of the major online booksellers, including Amazon, and there’s a Kindle edition for ebook fans.