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C.T. Phipps

The Cyberpunk thread

70 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Wait, by your new definition, Robocop would not be cyberpunk.

Eh, Robocop has a computer in his brain. But let me correct to say, "High tech" period. Be they replicants, cyborgs, computers, or so on.

58 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I dunno, what tech did the rich and powerful have in Robocop?

Well, we could start with Robocop.

OCP beats out Weyland Yutani and the Tyrell Corporation for the ultimate cyberpunk evil corporation because not only are they awful fucking people, they're AUTHENTICALLY awful. They're a bunch of douchebags who do all their evil not because evil or to be a god is the goal but because it's to make money--and their cost saving measures as well as incompetence has horrifying effects. They oppress the world with things like ED-209 but only because ED is a horribly made machine designed to line their pockets and the human cost of such a thing is unimportant to their bottom line.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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That was kind of a one off thing though. Andit certainly isn't used on the rich or powerful.

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5 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

That was kind of a one off thing though. Andit certainly isn't used on the rich or powerful.

I think you mean poor and disadvantaged.

And no, Robocop isn't but ED-209 is.

Clarence Bodiker and his cronies also get advanced military grade hardware which they deploy against Robocop as well. The sequel replaces them with the more authentically cyberpunk Robocop 2, of course. For me, the heart of why Robocop is a good example of cyberpunk is that it captures the spirit of fighting against the Man and the fact technology isn't being used to solve major social crises.

But if it's not cyberpunk for you, that's your judgement call obviously.

1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Boy and his dog is simply apocalyptic. It's not cyberpunk in any way, unless you consider pop tarts sandwiches.

Blindsight is a cool scifi story that isn't particularly cyberpunk at all; the future is certainly not dystopic, there's no sign of rebellion, and there's very little special about tech. it's an alien story, and that's it.

To me, cyberpunk requires a level of criminality, a dystopia, and asymmetrical tech fueling a lot of that dystopia. It needs a massive class difference between have and have-nots. It needs tech that only benefits the rich and powerful. it needs people fighting against that system in some way, usually quixotic. It needs to be about the cracks in the system being exploited, and tech's use not keeping up with tech's morality.

Tech by itself is not enough, nor is a dystopia; Handmaid's Tale is decidedly futuristic and dystopian, but isn't cyberpunk. Neither is Children of Men. It's not post-apocalyptic either, as it's all criminals all the time there. Altered Carbon is certainly cyberpunk, but the sequels were not. I think Robocop has everything save the positive criminal element; Robocop is basically a cyberpunk story told from the side of the megacorp. And even there it has some good bits with Boddicker. 

I agree with most of what you've said here.

While Robocop is a police officer, it's also a random note he's a criminal for the latter half of the movie too. Which is to say while it's not a positive criminal movie by any means, quite the opposite, it does have a distinctly cynical view of the law.

Weirdly, I've always been intrigued by the corporate henchmen in these sorts of movies.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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9 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Eh, Robocop has a computer in his brain. But let me correct to say, "High tech" period. Be they replicants, cyborgs, computers, or so on.

...

Hmm, does that make Universal Soldier cyberpunk as well? That is more of a technothriller action movie.

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7 hours ago, Seli said:

Hmm, does that make Universal Soldier cyberpunk as well? That is more of a technothriller action movie.

This is just me as a long time fan of Tom Clancy but I tend to think of technothrillers as using plausible science fiction while cyberpunk is softer.

Of course, this runs into the issue of genre argument I think is frequently abused. Specifically, that books don't have to actually be in ONE genre alone. The Dark Tower by Stephen King is fantasy, a Western, AND horror. So, I think things like Universal Soldier have cyberpunk elements whether or not they are completely so or not.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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14 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I dunno, what tech did the rich and powerful have in Robocop?

They had access to state of the art military hardware including giant explosive guns that shoot uranium bullets, ED-209, Robocop itself, and they essentially bought their own city. In that movie it was less that they had access to super awesome tech and more that they had all the really cool normal stuff and everyone else had fuckall. 

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I think you'll enjoy it.

:)

Interestingly, there's a good argument cyberpunk is a genre which can't exist the way it originally was because human society has changed to the point a lot of the elements traditionally associated with it as shocking: the economic downturn, the ubiquitous of computers, corporate hegemony, and the technologically skilled high tech thieves are pretty much now facts of the 21st century. As such, its satirical element no longer exists. It's why we have shows like Mr. Robot and games like Watch_Dogs which are cyberpunk but take place in the "real world."

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Oh I've seen Robocop like a billion times. :P

But now you watch it for LITERARY CRITICISM.

Interestingly, the subject of "what is and what isn't" cyberpunk is discussed heavily here on the RPG.net forums with many of the same arguments here.

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?702219-Is-there-a-better-cyberpunk-movie-than-quot-RoboCop-quot

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The 2014 RoboCop is on tonight in the UK. I'll probably watch it to check out the main actor, who is also playing Takeshi Kovacs. Ha, appropriate.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The 2014 RoboCop is on tonight in the UK. I'll probably watch it to check out the main actor, who is also playing Takeshi Kovacs. Ha, appropriate.

2014 Robocop had the kernel of a movie that would be incredible to watch. There's a part where they figure out how to bypass his choices and make him think he made a choice when it had already been done, and they could have gone with the ramifications of that - but they chickened out. 

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The new version is toned down everything.

I appreciated it tried to deal with drones, though.

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20 hours ago, Werthead said:

The 2014 RoboCop is on tonight in the UK. I'll probably watch it to check out the main actor, who is also playing Takeshi Kovacs. Ha, appropriate.

If you want to really pubish yourself, you can check out "Suicide Squad" as well. I've heard the actor has had better opportunities to shine in TV projects though.

Speaking of "altered carbon" does anyone know what's happening with Morgan's "Black Man/thirteen" sequel? I think it's been over a year since Morgan had excerpts on his website and he appears to have abandoned his blog for updates. I thought it was maybe imminent at the time but now I'm wondering if it was still very much a work in progress or has been abandoned? I could imagine his publishers urging him to have something from Kovac's world available in anticipation of demand after the show's released? Then again, Morgan has never sounded like someone willing to play the corporate game.

Although it could be he's pretty involved in the show based on this very old Q&A he did

  • Are you going to be involved in the project?

Yes.  My contract specifies providing consultancy for the series, but above and beyond that, I’ve now been invited to go out and spend time in the writer’s room, contribute to scripts, maybe even take on an episode or two of my own (though this last very much depends on the time constraints on the project and on me).  I’ll be heading out to LA later this year to meet the writing team, and we’ll see how things pan out after that.

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2 hours ago, red snow said:

If you want to really pubish yourself, you can check out "Suicide Squad" as well. I've heard the actor has had better opportunities to shine in TV projects though.

Speaking of "altered carbon" does anyone know what's happening with Morgan's "Black Man/thirteen" sequel? I think it's been over a year since Morgan had excerpts on his website and he appears to have abandoned his blog for updates. I thought it was maybe imminent at the time but now I'm wondering if it was still very much a work in progress or has been abandoned? I could imagine his publishers urging him to have something from Kovac's world available in anticipation of demand after the show's released? Then again, Morgan has never sounded like someone willing to play the corporate game.

Thin Air is currently scheduled for August 2018.

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18 hours ago, Werthead said:

Thin Air is currently scheduled for August 2018.

Thanks. Hopefully we'll see it around then. It's odd to think it's been 10 years since his last SF novel. Or at least SF that's not masquerading as fantasy :)

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This is virtual reality... I like the Blade Runner series

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On 11/24/2017 at 4:49 PM, C.T. Phipps said:

...Interestingly, there's a good argument cyberpunk is a genre which can't exist the way it originally was because human society has changed to the point a lot of the elements traditionally associated with it as shocking: the economic downturn, the ubiquitous of computers, corporate hegemony, and the technologically skilled high tech thieves are pretty much now facts of the 21st century...

 

This is so very true.

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On 11/28/2017 at 0:40 PM, Wilbur said:

This is so very true.

A bunch of hackers taking down a for pay website devoted to helping spouses cheat sounds like the background story of a Max Headroom episode.

:)

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