"Spider Jerusalem's got nothing on me!": 4 Weird Tales of Future Media

Over at the Guardian, four writers have crafted 500-word science fiction stories about the future of media — and not surprisingly, it's a mixture of social media, new technology, and extreme censorship. If you want to feel more depressed about journalism, check this out!

The four stories are written by Laurie Penny, Naomi Alderman, Ned Beauman and James Smythe, and they're mostly more like little glimpses into future cyber-hell than stories. Beauman's story is a pretty entertaining fake recap for a TV show about a long-forgotten art called "journalism." Penny's is a fun profile of a young girl who's hacking the censorship software that keeps young people from knowing what's really going on. And Alderman's piece is about the hunt for Erdene, a cyber-whistleblower.

Here's Alderman's piece begins:

When you wake, Three-Leaf is sitting on the end of your bed, the indicator glowing softly in the palm of her right hand.

"There's news," she says.

You raise your eyebrows. For an artificially intelligent manifestation of your home network, she certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

"Well?"

"The authorities say they're closing in on Erdene."

"They always say that."

"They've managed to gain access to the records from several dark-web servers. They announce that the net is tightening. They know where Erdene comes from."

"Where's that?"

"They haven't said. Indications are they're not lying this time."

Read the rest over at the Guardian.