Microsoft gets into sci-fi publishing with research-inspired short stories

The free “Future Visions” anthology imagines the implications of quantum computing, machine learning, and more.

Microsoft is taking a novel approach to marketing its research projects with a series of free sci-fi short stories.

The “Future Visions” anthology, available as a free ebook, includes stories from eight prominent science fiction authors, along with a short graphic novel and original illustrations. Microsoft Research served as the inspiration, and as a resource as the authors wrote their stories.

The end result is a series of works that bear signs of Microsoftian influence. One story by Seanan McGuire, for instance, tells of a lifelike avatar that removes all conversational barriers for her deaf user, acting as a “highly advanced version of the old translation software that had been rolled out in the late 2010s.”

While the stories are decidedly PG, they aren’t entirely unquestioning of technology. In Greg Bear’s tale of quantum computing, a highly-advanced supercomputer appears to cause parallel universes to be inadvertently smashed together.

For a free anthology, it’s a pretty hefty read, with the rough equivalent of at least a couple hundred printed pages. The ebook is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo. Microsoft also says it’ll do a “very limited run” of hardcover print books, but has no plans to sell them.

Why this matters: Microsoft Research is notorious for showing off wild ideas that may never become commercial products, in an attempt to predict the next 10 years of computing. This project goes a step further, dreaming up the longer-term implications of Microsoft’s more ambitious efforts. If you can bear the subtle advertorial imprint, it could make for some decent reading.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?