Donya Al Shirazi watched the missile streak towards her. Just five minutes. That was all she needed. Might as well have been an eternity. She concentrated on the Microdrive engines, and her craft cruised dangerously close to the blue glow of the Earth’s atmosphere.
So begins the short story From A Remove, Alec Medén’s winning entry in the Art of Future Warfare project’s latest war-art challenge. This contest called for writers to imagine conflict in space during the final decade of the 21st Century.
While the 2090s may seem a long way off, working to understand the relevant technologies, tensions and actors of the further-out future is a critical step in taking a comprehensively creative look at the evolution of conflict and war. The contest also explored the stakes to better understand what might be worth fighting for on the eve of the 22nd Century.
The contest was judged by best-selling science fiction writer David Brin, the 100 Year Starship and the Art of Future Warfare project. Brin found the action in the story to be “propulsive throughout, and very vivid… And the thought experiments about future warfare were aimed at plausibly surprising aspects of the possible near future.”
Alec is a sophomore majoring in screenwriting and creative writing at Chapman University in Southern California. He will join David Brin, the 100 Year Starship and the Art of Future Warfare project May 18 at the Atlantic Council for an event on the future of conflict in space.
August Cole is the director of the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project and a non-resident senior fellow at the Council. He is a writer, consultant and analyst. His first novel, GHOST FLEET, co-written with Peter W. Singer, will be published in 2015.