William Gibson says reality has become science fictional, and therefore all his science fiction is now set in the present day. Authors like Charles Stross and Margaret Atwood have followed suit, writing books set in the near-future. What is this obsession with near-future SF? We asked io9's muse, science fiction author Ken MacLeod, whose latest book The Execution Channel is set in a not-too-distant future, and marks a strong departure from MacLeod's far-future space opera phase that included books like Learning the World, Newton's Wake, and the Engines of Light trilogy. MacLeod says he turned to the near-future out of fury with the present. Read our interview with him to find out more.