Nanotechnology is an awesomely powerful, almost inevitable
technology. (A few people say it can't work, usually on quantum mechanical
grounds. But proteins seem to manage. I myself think the software
engineering problems have been underestimated -- but then one is always
more skeptical about ones own speciality.) When it does come, soon, it is
going to change our lives immeasurably, some for the good, some bad.
Predictions range from god-like powers, to the
grey goo scenario, and
this collection of stories explores the range from dystopian to
Being a wishful-optimist myself, I prefer the stories that show how
nanotech could change our lives, and us, for the better. "Park Rules"
is a little gem of a story, obliquely showing the power of nanotechnology;
"The Gentle Seduction" is a wonderful (over-)optimistic vision
of the future, and makes a brave stab at showing the other side of the
Singularity (Vinge's name for the point beyond which we can no longer
predict or understand technological change, because it is so great). For
those who prefer dark stories, there are some here, like "Monster
Hunt" -- but they don't explore the potential horrors that deeply.
- Poul Anderson. Statesmen. 1989
- If you could use AI to recreate famous figures from the past, who would you bring back to help you fight a war?
- Greg Bear. Blood Music. 1983
- (The original short story which grew into the novel of the same name.) What if nanotech has made the individual cells of your body intelligent, and they wanted to be in charge?
- Richard E. Geis. Monster Hunt. 1995
- 'Normal' humanity has rebelled against the nanotech-enhanced
'monsters', and is hunting them down.
- Arlan Andrews. Nanotech and Nanominds. 1995
- (essay) Andrews' involvement in the early history of
- Arlan Andrews. Sins of the Mothers. 1995
- An anti-abortionist (who has a novel reason for his views) invents a
nano-virus that encourages the fathers to be against abortion.
- Kevin J. Anderson. Dogged Persistence. 1992
- Even if the government were conspiring against it, nanotech would
- Kevin J. Anderson. Smaller and Smaller... and Picking Up Speed. 1995
- Norm Hartman. Contagion. 1995
- A backwoods community is so isolated that it hasn't been exposed to
- Charles Sheffield. Deep Safari. 1991
- Fantastic Voyage brought
up to date. A research scientist has injected herself with experimental
medical telepresence nanobots, but something has gone wrong, and she is
in a coma. The only person who can save her is her ex-lover, who now
uses telepresence for running commercial 'Small Game Hunting'.
- Gregory Benford. BIO/NANO/TECH. 1995
- Jerry Oltion. Park Rules. 1995
- A two and a half page listing of the rules of nanotechnology use by
future backpackers in a National Park, this brilliantly brings home how
a future with nanotechnology will be different.
- Dave Smeds. Evaporation. 1995
- For people made immortal by nanotechnology, punishments could last a
very long time...
- Kent Patterson. Nanoclaus. 1995
- Life on a printed circuit board.
- J. Steven York. Hunter's Dawn. 1995
- Eventually, immortality might make suicide look desirable, unless you
could find some purpose.
- Marc Stiegler. The Gentle Seduction. 1989
- Not everybody is a techno-nerd, eagerly awaiting the chance to flood
their systems with body-altering nanobots. 'Ordinary' people need to be
introduced to the technology more gently.
- John G. Cramer. Nanotechnology: The Coming Storm. 1995
- K. Eric Drexler. From Nanodreams to Realities. 1995