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Ten possible futures. Two lives. One enduring friendship.

Ten possible futures. Two lives. One enduring friendship.

Sam and Tara. Best friends in a future when artificial intelligence organises our lives, and micropets are the latest craze. Best friends when rationing means cold showers and no internet. Best friends when genetic matching makes asking a girl on a date a minefield of epic proportions.

But will they still be best friends in a future when plague wipes out most of humanity? Or a future when the Inquisitor asks Sam to choose one betrayal over another?

Michael Pryor, one of Australia's best authors of speculative fiction, imagines what our next 100 years might be like. Utopia or dystopia? Miracle or catastrophe? Whatever might happen, it's just around the corner. Which future will be yours?


These 10 short stories explore a range of possible futures, investigating social and technological possibilities from the astonishing to the terrifying . . . from artificial intelligence to genetic engineering, global warming, cloning, financial collapse, life extension and more . . . Pryor combines his usual deft touch at characterisation with some well-informed futurism to produce an engaging range of stories. He explores ethical dilemmas that arise in worlds that we would consider utopias as well as much darker futures. The book is supported by an excellent selection of teacher resources aligned with the Australian Curriculum. This is a thought-provoking read for middle secondary students.

Heath Graham, Bookseller + Publisher

Sam and Tara, two teenagers who live in these possible futures, are faced with choices to make for the sake of their own survival and the continued existence of the ‘new’ world around them. Their choices might not be the same as the reader’s – but isn’t that the point? . . . There’s a clear intent by the author to inspire the reader to look more carefully at the world around them, and also to explore and sometimes question decisions made by those in power. A real bonus is the more than twenty pages of notes by the author, clearly showing the wide range of research done to bring these fundamental issues within the reach of the readers. Everything from the classics in the genre (John Wyndham’s Death of Grass, Orwell’s 1984 and William Gibson’s Neuromancer) to interactive websites on global warming and the Turing Test can be found. The suggested internet links alone make this book a rich resource in the classroom.


If you love a book with drama, action, comedy and suspense. A book that makes you think and ponder then this is the book for you. I was so engrossed that I stayed up many nights just thinking about some possible futures.


This little book by Australian science fiction and fantasy writer Michael Pryor is bursting with energy and ideas ... None of Pryor's scenarios are wholly unfamiliar but what's truly original is the consistency of the two main characters: the world may have changed, but some of the best things in human nature - courage, creativity and loyalty - have not.

Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 2, 2012

    Woolshed Press

    240 pages

    RRP $18.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    April 2, 2012

    Random House Australia

    240 pages

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