On a desperately overcrowded future Earth, crippled by climate change, the most unlikely hope is better than none. Governments turn to Big Science to provide them with the dreams that will keep the masses compliant. The Needle is one such dream, an installation where the most abstruse theoretical science is being tested: science that might make human travel to a habitable exoplanet distantly feasible.
When the Needleís director offers her underground compound as a training base, Kir is thrilled to be invited to join the team, even though she knows itís only because her brain is host to a quantum artificial intelligence called Altair.
But Altair knows something he canít tell.
Kir, like all humans, is programmed to ignore future dangers. Between the artificial blocks in his mind, and the blocks evolution has built into his host, how is he going to convince her the sky is falling?
Proof of Concept is a science fiction novella from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Gwyneth Jones.