An illustration of a state house building in a cardboard box labeled New Olympia, floating in water.

Out of Ash

Read a new short story by Brenda Cooper about climate migration, politics, and persuasion.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy and society.

Future Tense is the citizen’s guide to the future.

The partnership provides insightful, timely, and unexpected analysis at the intersection of technology and society through written commentary and live events in Washington, D.C. and beyond.


A man holding a sign reading

[ONLINE] – What is Coastal America’s Future?

Climate change puts into question the future of coastal America, home to over 100 million people. Across the country, climate impacts increasingly and dramatically affect where we all live, as well as our relationships to our homes, businesses, and communities. In some places, Americans are relocating away from areas increasingly at risk of sea-level rise, more powerful storms, and other climate disasters, while others are rethinking what it means to stay. But what if we took this challenge as an opportunity to drastically reimagine life in the United States for the better—on the coasts and beyond?

June 16, 2022
12:00 pm  – 1:00 pm
The book All Systems Red by Martha Wells, standing up against a white background.

[ONLINE] – Science Fiction/Real Policy Book Club: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Science fiction can have real policy impacts, and comes rife with real-life commentary. For the next gathering of our Science Fiction/Real Policy Book Club, we have selected All Systems Red by Martha Wells. The novel explores a spacefaring future in which corporate-driven exploratory missions rely heavily on security androids. In Wells’ engaging – at times funny – tale, one such android hacks its own system to attain more autonomy from the humans it is accompanying. The result is a thought-provoking inquiry into the evolving nature of potential human-robot relations.

June 1, 2022
6:00 pm  – 7:00 pm

Future Tense Fiction

A series of original science fiction stories crafted by leading authors, exploring how science and technology will change our lives in the future. Each story is paired with a response essay by an expert in a related field.

An illustration of a state house building in a cardboard box labeled New Olympia, floating in water.

By Brenda Cooper

A story about climate migration, politics, and persuasion.

An illustration of a tree covered in strange glowing lines, encased in a transparent chamber, situated in the middle of what looks to be a space station.

By Cat Rambo

A story about plants, installation art, and the digital afterlife.

An image of a TV screen, with the words "Empathy Hour" in red bold text, and a dangling basket with a person clutching a large dog, being pulled to safety.

By Matt Bell

A story about climate refugees, deepfakes, and reality TV.

Illustration of a stylized dinner plate, split into sections, showing plants, aquatic plants, and various kinds of insects. The plate is being held up by two cartoon-style people.

By JoeAnn Hart

A story about love, Earth, and eating crickets.

A cobbled-together jeep with huge wheels, solar panels, and towering antennas rolls through a desert landscape.

By A.T. Greenblatt

A story by about a cutthroat future road race, the climate crisis, and the ability-disability continuum.

An illustration in blues and pinks, showing a woman in a flowery garment, her phone held in front of her face, standing at the side of a road as a car pulls up.

By Linda Nagata

A story about the climate crisis, public transportation, and A.I. in Hawai‘i.

Best of Future Tense

Future Tense publishes commentary on Slate by researchers and scholars at Arizona State University, alongside many other writers and thinkers from the fields of journalism, public policy, science and technology, and more.