Sunshine Ninety-Nine

This month, Popular Science is publishing 10 original short stories from the future
Microwires emerging from the green and orange tubes connect to two arrays of 16 microelectrodes. Each array is embedded in a small mat of clear, rubbery silicone. The mats are barely visible in this image. These microelectrode arrays sit on the brain without penetrating it, a step toward longer-lived, less invasive versions of "neural interfaces" that in recent experiments elsewhere have allowed paralyzed people to control a computer cursor with their thoughts. The new microelectrode arrays were placed in two patients at the University of Utah who already were undergoing brain surgery for severe epilepsy. The larger, numbered, metallic electrodes are used to locate the source of epileptic seizures in the brain, so the patients allowed the microelectrodes to be placed on their brains at the same time. Kelly Johnson

ZIP. ZED. NADA. We know how it is. You want to buy a home, give your family a future—but whenever you have the money, the car breaks down! Whenever you see a good deal, you don’t have the cash!

REMEMBER HOW BACK IN KINDERGARTEN YOU LEARNED TO WRITE YOUR NAME? THAT’S ALL YOU NEED. Purchase a new townhome in the Casbah Village NOW and you’ll pay:

  • $0 money down (100% financing!)*
  • $0 closing costs
  • 0% interest—no ballooning rates!


  • A FREE upgraded CogNet port! Minimum 150 petabyte capacity!**
  • FREE suspended animation for 75 years!

You’ll get to choose a free finished basement OR a free updated kitchen package!

Why pay more? Become a homeowner now for only $500 per month with our new “Sunshine 99”™ Mortgage Program! Your family will enjoy a spacious townhome with 3 bedrooms and (up to) 2.5 baths. Amazing features like granite countertops and high-speed electric-car charging sockets always included! Close to charter schools and an actual post office! For more information, upthink, “Come with me to the Casbah Village!”

*Financing program is available through SecondSim Securities. The Cleopatra floor plan is excluded from this promotion. Monthly payment does not include fees for future declaration of Casbah Village as landmark or historical site. Lender not responsible for natural disasters, including projected post-ice-cap flooding. Ascension of purchaser to post-human bodiless existence does not exempt from repayment contract.

**SecondSim Securities assumes purchaser’s willingness to provide spare cognitive capacity to bundled cloud-backed securities for 99 years or until natural death. Purchaser grants permission for usage of full brain capacity and resale of mind during 75-year suspended-animation period. Mortgage lender not responsible for permanent neurological scarring, which might lead to physical disability or complete bodily evacuation, invasion of treasured memories by adware, consumption of user by cloud-based emergent artificial intelligence, penile shortening or breast enlargement, rapid hair-color change due to traumatic reintegration with body, or reintegration in completely different and unrelated body.

“You always get more at the Casbah Village.”


N.K. Jemisin has been nominated for the Nebula Award four times. The Fifth Season, is out in August.

This article was originally published as part of our “Dispatches From The Future” science fiction feature in the August 2015 issue of Popular Science.