FMBR Short Story Contest
"The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known."
-- Pete Seeger
Creating the Future — 2015 Story Contest
In late 2015, we at FMBR began discussing the possibility of using science fiction stories to present an emotionally engaging vision for a positive future for the planet, instead of the post-apocalyptic visions we see in so many motion pictures these days. Our conversations led us to observations about many recent scientific breakthroughs and how often we find that what we thought was fixed turns out not to be. Boundary conditions that once were considered absolute are, more and more, being revealed to be less rigid than previously thought. Take, for example, the explosion of data is the field of brain science. Remember the days when we believed that neurons could not heal when injured or that the brain stopped developing once you reached adulthood? Those days are long gone as neuroscience focusses on gaining a deeper understanding of plasticity, the brain's remarkable capacity to modify its own structure and function. And, of course, we are seeing this phenomenon in many other disciplines, in the fields of physical sciences, biomedical technology, chemistry, psychology and even economics. The rules appear to be changing, which opens up the field of possibilities. Not all of those possibilities will end up being positive, but we would like to focus on envisioning positive possibilities.
Knowing the creativity, intellect and heart of our membership and those whose interests draw them to FMBR, we turn to you and ask for your vision of a positive future. What would you create if the boundaries of physical science were more pliant than you had previously thought? If you could create the future, what would you like to see? And how do you see us getting there?
We present here some of the responses we got from our membership to that question. We have found these stories to be engaging, imaginative, well written and positive. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. And if you'd like to submit a story, please send it to us. We'll post it here.
About the Winning Entry
Here is a response from one of the judges:
Following are the key points for my belief that "A Quantum of Understanding" is the best science fiction story of the ones submitted follows:
- It is well written and held my attention and interest.
- It uses the marriage of a man and a woman to address the key issue facing society today, i.e., the focus upon individual materialist interests versus the spiritual understanding of our universal Oneness.
- The author builds upon a solid base of science theories, experiments, and technology to evolve a science fiction story. For example the story involves:
a) quantum computing
b) nano technology
c) brain sensory signals
d) autonomous driving cars
e) statistical analysis
f) fingerprint banking
g) parallel universes
h) virtual reality technology
i) no space or time
Conclusion: The author extrapolated all of the above into a science fiction reality. A world in which a super quantum computer can exceed the thinking and predictive capacity of a human. Here at the request of a human being is a computer that can simulate your brain and emotions, move beyond space and time, and connect with the potentials and purpose of the Oneness. Thus, individuals and society will be provided with a technology for guidance to a spiritual life -- a quantum leap for human beings.
Here is the 2015 winner: "A Quantum of Understanding" by Kevin Kiser.