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Fully automated soldiers are a common fixture of our futuristic nightmares. But how would they actually perform in complex real-world conflict situations? And how might the humans alongside them respond to their presence? Would they be perceived as welcome, bulletproof compatriots, trifling annoyances, or outright threats?

In "Collateral Damage," novelist Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation and Deathless Divide, and the former co-editor in chief of FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, explores these questions through a story about an experimental robotic soldier embedded with an Army platoon, and what unfolds during training, and eventually in a conflict zone.
Read "Collateral Damage"
Response by military historian Andrew Liptak
"Collateral Damage" is part of Future Tense Fiction, a series from the Center for Science and the Imagination and Future Tense about how technology and science will change our lives. Look for a new story every month!

Copyright © 2021 Center for Science and the Imagination, All rights reserved.

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