Science fiction writers have been commissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to help officials imagine what future threats may look like.
Novelists PW Singer and August Cole were enlisted by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to write eight short stories about how "emerging technologies" could change warfare during the next 20 years.
The aim of the tales, described as "useful fiction", is to spark discussion and creative insight which might challenge established thought.
Each story is designed to explore and explain a possible transformative technology and features extensive research and interviews with subject-matter experts to provide real-life insight.
The stories cover a range of topics from a Blitz-style swarm of drones killing hundreds in London, to an "enhanced" soldier from the British Army's Advanced Performance Force taking on his Russian counterparts.
In one of the narratives, it suggests the UK could be invaded by a more technologically advanced nation that has mastered quantum computing.
Another story focuses on conflicts over green technologies as the world shifts towards net zero and sees a Chinese state-backed tech company triggering a coup in Indonesia.
Unsurprisingly, the rise of artificial intelligence is a central theme, along with data modelling and cyberpsychology, which looks at how we behave in cyberspace, how we interact with and through different devices, as well as how our offline behaviours have been affected by the use of technology and the internet.
Nato Allied Command Transformation and the United States Special Operations Command have also commissioned similar projects to envision future operating environments.
Professor Dame Angela McLean, Chief Scientific Adviser to the MOD, described Dstl as providing "generation after next technology", so it was vital to "look beyond the horizon at the threats and opportunities that various futures may present".
She continued that "the writers of this genre have been years ahead of their time in predicting the modern world around us, from the internet and mobile phones to the electric submarine and driverless cars".
"Defence needs to harness the creativity and vision of this sector to further stimulate foresight and innovation to develop agile and resilient solutions for the future.
"Thinking the unimaginable is simply a day in the office for these talented sci-fi writers... who wouldn't want to hear what people like that have to say?"
The MOD emphasised that the writing involved would be fiction, saying: "The events, statements, and views expressed are fictitious and should not be taken as a definitive or indicative view of, nor an endorsement by, the Ministry of Defence".