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C.T. Phipps

The Cyberpunk thread

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Ha, didn't Stross have to cancel a novel because it involved a bunch of weird shit that actually happened in the real world? Something about CIA people going undercover on WoW.

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11 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Ha, didn't Stross have to cancel a novel because it involved a bunch of weird shit that actually happened in the real world? Something about CIA people going undercover on WoW.

I don't know but he basically said it's been an enormous pain trying to keep up with RL events in the Laundry. Part of the reason for the delay was that his original plot for the Laundry was utterly derailed by Brexit and several other developments that made what he considered ridiculous as well as shocking look tame.

Ah ha!

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/08/reality-is-broken-1.html

Mind you, in my cyberpunk novel sequel, I had a drone-happy EXPY for Hillary Clinton as President so I can't criticize.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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15 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Ha, didn't Stross have to cancel a novel because it involved a bunch of weird shit that actually happened in the real world? Something about CIA people going undercover on WoW.


The Atrocity Archive, first published in 2001, involves an obscure Islamic terrorist group, capable of thinking out the box, who unfortunately for themselves come up with idea of summoning up a Cthulhu-like monster. After 9/11 his publishers insisted on a last minute change to the name of the terrorist group, which was originally "Al-Qaeda".

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Right, but I thought there was novel in one of his series that was just completely canned. I'll have to see if I can find the link.

'

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9 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I don't know but he basically said it's been an enormous pain trying to keep up with RL events in the Laundry. Part of the reason for the delay was that his original plot for the Laundry was utterly derailed by Brexit and several other developments that made what he considered ridiculous as well as shocking look tame.

Ah ha!

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/08/reality-is-broken-1.html

Mind you, in my cyberpunk novel sequel, I had a drone-happy EXPY for Hillary Clinton as President so I can't criticize.

Wasn't William Gibson's upcoming novel supposed to be about an alternate reality where Donald Trump won the election?

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Following the revelations by Edward Snowden, Stross announced that there would be no third book in the planned trilogy. ""Halting State" wasn't intended to be predictive when I started writing it in 2006. Trouble is, about the only parts that haven't happened yet are Scottish Independence and the use of actual quantum computers for cracking public key encryption (and there's a big fat question mark over the latter—what else are the NSA up to?)"[11]

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William Gibson has an early quote, "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed."  I think that this is an overriding theme in cyberpunk, society's and individuals' reaction to the onset of rapidly-changing technology.  

I first understood this in a concrete way when Motorola started fulfilling contracts to build base stations in various African countries and launching the Iridium satellites.  These technologies allowed us to provide people who never had a landline telephone, nor would they ever have been able to afford the infrastructure to obtain such a thing, with hand-held phones that required nothing more than a hand-crank generator to access the internet.

And so in the late 90s you would see people all around the world as we traveled around - in Asia, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe - individuals who didn't own a second pair of pants using a mobile phone to read the news or chat with their friends.  People were "jacking in" without the need for electrodes.

In the 2000s, the wildest fantasies of the cyberpunk authors had all come true.  Wall Street finally achieved full regulatory capture of the SEC, and crony capitalism and all its ills destroyed the "widows and orphans" instruments like Chrysler bonds, for instance.  The craven reactions to Islamic terrorism such as the TSA turned the Bill of Rights into so much toilet paper.  The middle class embraced political decisions that were obviously against their own self-interest, driven by a constant drumbeat of nonsense from both political parties.  Corporations accelerated their abuse of the H1-B visa system to comprehensively wipe out an entire generation of American white-collar workers.  The "gig economy" turned back 100 years of labor rights won by the early union reforms.  "The Sprawl" had come to life, if not exactly as Gibson had written it, at least in all its spiritual reality.

The need for more cyberpunk had approached zero - we didn't need warning of what was already here.

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Oh yeah, this remains my most popular blog post.

Top Signs we're living in a cyberpunk future

Edit:

Mind you, this actually did lead to the creation of the TV trope "Post-Cyberpunk" and the creation of Contemporary Cyberpunk. Post-Cyberpunk is basically where a lot of the tropes are thrown into a story but it is simply depicted as life rather than dystopian.

Contemporary cyberpunk is stuff like Mr. Robot--which is a 2015 set series about hackers versus an evil megacorporation that doesn't in any way need sci-fi elements to tick all the boxes. Watch_Dogs and Watch_Dogs 2 are cyberpunk games set in present-day Chicago and San Fransisco with the latter highlighting how Silicon Valley has become the bizarre Disneyland the Tessier-Ashpools would have created.

So, I do strongly disagree cyberpunk is dead as a genre. It's just evolved.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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