When I was a boy I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up. By the time I was seven or so I had narrowed the possibilities down to three.
1) Astronaut/Explorer. Captain Kirk, specifically.
2) Scientist. There was only one kind so when I got tired of astrophysics I could move to archaeology, then biology, etc. You know. Just like in the real world.
3) Zookeeper. Because animals were cool.
In that nether world between lives, I must have picked a decidedly different set of objectives before beginning this one though. By the time I'd reached 2015, it was clear I'd used up my life points on dashing good looks and the love of the finest woman in the land. A fair and equitable trade, if I say so myself. Still those choices meant no one would ever find me in the pages of a single scientific journal, except maybe as an anonymous subject in a study of dashing good looks.
Only that would not be the case at all.
For readers of Nature, my story, "Single Layer I.T.," can be found in Volume 528 Number 7583, 24 December 2015, in the journal's fiction series Futures! It's a tremendous honor to bear the Futures torch this week, the same torch held by some of my own favorite authors. Award winners, groundbreakers and unparalleled wordsmiths such as Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Arthur C. Clarke, Tanith Lee, Frederick Pohl, Mike Resnick, Alastair Reynolds and Norman Spinrad.
Check Futures out. There are many amazing stories dating back as far as 1999, each one short, sweet and bound to stick with you for a while.
Nature's site describes Futures like so:
"SCIENCE FICTION FROM THE HOME OF SCIENCE
"What does the future hold? Is there life beyond the stars? Will artificial intelligence take over the world? Is time travel possible? All of these questions and more are addressed every week in Futures, Nature's science-fiction column. Featuring short stories from established authors and those just beginning their writing career, Futures presents an eclectic view of what may come to pass. Here you can dive into the entire archive and discover what may be lurking around the corner. Prepare to be amazed, amused, stimulated and even outraged …"
Quick aside: Nature has been around as a scientific journal since 1869! If you're not subscribed yet, do yourself a favor and remedy that right now.
As for the status on those three occupations? Well, the closest I've come so far is requesting a concealed carry permit for my phaser and Augusta County has yet to respond. I guess, for now, I'll just have to be content with my entry into Nature Futures.