Wired Magazine's January issue consists of 15 science fiction stories they commissioned to allow us to "approach reality a little more obliquely". SF has always been the best way to tell truths about the future that mere prediction can't manage, and more importantly to tell truths about the present that are impossible to express directly.
Most of the stories are freely available on their website, so I'll start with N. K. Jemisin's The Evaluators. She tells the story of humans contacting an alien species through their correspondence. The story has the same driver as John Campbell's classic Who Goes There? (Link courtesy of Free SF Online) A super powerful, adaptive predator threatens to subvert the species. What Jemisin does with the predator's origin is what makes the story worth reading. 3 stars