SF Futures - An Introduction
An introduction to a the series of a selection of SF short stories
from the journal


Image of Futures logo


Nature is one of the World's two leading multidisciplinary science journals and the leading such journal published in Europe.   Each week it provides not only news from the international science community but leading research papers that cover almost every area of science from astronomy to zoology, as well as a section of articles that place its key papers in a broader science context.

What is less well known is that in the year 2000, to mark the turn of the millennium, Nature ran a series of one page short science fiction stories (each about 750-850 words).   The series was popular and so it returned in 2005.   The series' short stories are all commissioned and either written by a professional SF writer or a scientist or science writer (some authors are all three).   Consequently the general standard of these stories is high and, for Nature subscribers and academic science library readers (commonly based at universities and research institutes), these stories provide a wry look at what could -- with a little imagination -- perhaps, just perhaps, might possibly come to pass.   Who knows?

However what was clear that back in 2000, as far as the average SF reader is concerned, if you did not have access to an academic library, or if you did not subscribe to Nature, you cannot read these stories in the journal or on-line at the Nature website.   For those of us on the Science Fact & Fiction Concatenation team (many of whom hold science degrees and/or work in areas related to the application of science and technology) that many of the SF community are missing out is a huge shame. We thought that this series deserved a greater profile. So what to do?

The good news is that Nature and Concatenation have come to an arrangement whereby each season an example of what we (some of the core Concatenation team) consider are among the best will be posted for free access on this site with the respective author's permission.   Therefore each year as long as the series runs, we will post three stories, one in between each of our big news and reviews uploads in the spring, summer and autumn.   If you are really taken with the series and wish to see the other 48 stories Nature publish each year then you'll just have to go to an academic library or seek out a friendly Nature subscriber. Failing that, if you really are into science then why not take out a personal subscription to the journal (and get around a 70% discount off the cover price): details are on www.nature.com.   Meanwhile enjoy your Futures...


Addendum: Since 2010 Nature has made its weekly 'Futures' stories open access but has continued with its relationship with the SF² Concatenation so as to broaden the stories reach to the SF community. The SF community also arguably benefits in that it gets to see through SF² Concatenation what are, in our opinion, among the more choice stories.

Click here for the Futures SF Stories Index.


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[Posted: 06.3.15 | Updated: 15.1.10 | Contact | Copyright | Privacy]