Today seems to have turned into a day of reading speculative fiction online. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday...
I first read Incorruptible by Peter Watts a couple of years ago as part of the XPRIZE Flight #008 competition. It's precisely as optimistic as you'd expect from Watts:
This is the moment Malika Rydman first realizes that something is seriously out of whack: when the airport cop doesn't threaten her. [...]
There's no implied threat in his voice. He doesn't seem to be itching for an excuse to escalate (not that Malika would ever be stupid enough to give him one - then again, sometimes they just make shit up after the fact). The words don't even carry the tone of a command exactly, more like a - a request. [...]
Believe me, it gets way darker and heavier from there. But Watts gets us there in a characteristically logical, remorseless manner.
It's a pity Peter Watts doesn't have the profile and awards his talent merits.
[Via a comment from MeFi user lax at MetaFilter]