[Editor’s Note: Just a quick reminder that Mad Scientist is seeking your visions of future combat with our Science Fiction Writing Contest 2019. Our deadline for submission is now one month out — 1 APRIL 2019 — so please review the contest details below, get those creative writing juices flowing, and send us your visions of combat in 2030!]
Background: The U.S. Army finds itself at a historical inflection point, where disparate, yet related elements of an increasingly complex Operational Environment (OE) are converging, creating a situation where fast-moving trends are rapidly transforming the nature of all aspects of society and human life – including the character of warfare. It is important to take a creative approach to projecting and anticipating both transformational and enduring trends that will lend themselves to the depiction of the future. In this vein, the U.S. Army Mad Scientist Initiative is seeking your creativity and unique ideas to describe a battlefield that does not yet exist.
Task: Write about the following scenario – On March 17th, 2030, the country of Donovia, after months of strained relations and covert hostilities, invades neighboring country Otso. Donovia is a wealthy nation that is a near-peer competitor to the United States. Like the United States, Donovia has invested heavily in disruptive technologies such as robotics, AI, autonomy, quantum information sciences, bio enhancements and gene editing, space-based weapons and communications, drones, nanotechnology, and directed energy weapons. The United States is a close ally of Otso and is compelled to intervene due to treaty obligations and historical ties. The United States is about to engage Donovia in its first battle with a near-peer competitor in over 80 years…
Three ways to approach:
1) Forecasting – Description of the timeline and events leading up to the battle.
2) Describing – Account of the battle while it’s happening.
3) Backcasting – Retrospective look after the battle has ended (i.e., After Action Review or lessons learned).
Three questions to consider while writing (U.S., adversaries, and others):
1) What will forces and Soldiers look like in 2030?
2) What technologies will enable them or be prevalent on the battlefield?
3) What do Multi-Domain Operations look like in 2030?
– No more than 5000 words in length
– Provide your submission in .doc or .docx format
– Please use conventional text formatting (e.g., no columns) and have images “in line” with text
– Submissions from Government and DoD employees must be cleared through their respective PAOs prior to submission
– MUST include completed release form (on the back of contest flyer)
– CANNOT have been previously published
Selected submissions may be chosen for publication or a possible future speaking opportunity.
Contact: Send your submissions to: email@example.com
For additional story telling inspiration, please see the following blog posts:
- Envisioning Future Operational Environment Possibilities through Story Telling, with an excerpt from our 2017 Science Fiction Writing Contest Winner, Mr. Mathison Hall
- Demons in the Tall Grass, by Mr. Mike Matson
- Biostorm: A Story of Future War, by Mr. Anthony DeCapite
… and Dr. Lydia Kostopoulos‘ short story entitled The Most Eventful Night in the White House Situation Room: Year 2051, published by our colleagues at Small Wars Journal.