Cyberpunk: A Glimpse of the Future

Cyberpunk is known to be a subgenre of science fiction usually with a dehumanised and futuristic society. In a lot of cyberpunk books the protagonist is paranoid or questions society itself. So let’s start with William Gibson who is sill said to be the Godfather of cyberpunk. Many have said Gibson was actually programming the future with his work Neuromancer. If you are one of the growing number of people, like me, who love to listen to a good audio book, Neuromancer is a good one to buy.

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Of course many came after him, influenced by the central concept of humans entering cyberspace where the abstraction of the matrix becomes visible and known as “virtual reality”. Many books and movies have themes that question the advancement of technology and its purpose in society. Yes, movies too have taken on the cyberpunk genre. Brazil is a classic. Then there is the 1982 film, Blade Runner. This film  is loosely based on the novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. It’s set in 2019 in a dystopian future.Though Blade Runner is classified as a dystopian science fiction film it certainly fits into the cyberpunk category.

Blade Runner’s flying police spinner beside huge advertising-laden skyscrapers has to be one of my favourite scenes. These early special effects were the benchmarks that influenced many subsequent science-fiction films.

Many, many books with a cyberpunk theme have been turned into movies. One that comes to mind is, The Lawnmower Man by Stephen King. I, Robot is another movie that fits into the cyberpunk category.

Today there’s cyberpunk books, graphic novels, art, music , anime, movies and games.  Here’s a teaser game trailer for Cyberpunk 2077.  (Warning some content may be inappropriate for children) Cyberpunk 2077 Along with many thousands of games  there are now cyberpunk zines, and believe it or not, cyberpunked living which revolves around robotic tourism. I’ll let you look that one up.
For anyone who wants to step into the cyberpunk world believe me when I say each day we are getting closer and closer to living the cyberpunk dream. Check out this DYI 3D printed Google glasses. Notice how they mention both Blade Runner and Neuromancer in their first few paragraphs. Of course video glasses also called personal media viewers aren’t a new idea and  you can find many different expensive versions if you Google search video glasses.  This is just the beginning as we, believe it or not, move into a real form of a cyberpunk world.

Yes we have been witness to storytellers providing us with a glimpse of a possible future. Whatever blend of these characteristics a writer might use it’s safe to say the story could be the work of a plausible future. Is it possible that today’s writers are foretelling the future? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Fast Micro Fiction Fun Challenge.

A great idea is to challenge yourself to write a short piece of micro fiction each week. The story doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a fantastic writing challenge. Pick a theme and write a micro piece.

Team Hackers
By Vacen Taylor

Electronic messaging streamed down sparkling shades of blue from a sky that was not recognisable.

Cyberspace.

‘I’m in,’ BlackDeath said.

His artificial voice fused with his virtual self,  a black faceless body filled with nothing but program fillers. The fluro skull on his chest was just for fun. The weapon he carried into cyberspace  was a virus, and there was nothing funny about it. He ran towards blocks of virtual buildings. Each building was a duplicate of the one next to it. Blocks of data filled the translucent walls. He was here to find one particular building in a virtual city filled with imitations.
‘You’ve got three minutes,’ another artificial voice warned him.

RunningMan, his teammate, had done a vulnerability scan, found the opening, and iced out the firewalls. Now he continued bouncing an anonymous trail of code around the world, in the shape they called a hive, to confuse any white hats trying to crack their efforts.
‘I’m not going to make it!’
‘Move faster!’ RunningMan moved uncomfortably in his chair in the real world. ‘I can’t hold the firewalls down for much longer.’
‘Wait, I think I’ve found it.’

Inside the building was a tunnel made up of a continuous grids filled with streaming blue code. He raced along the streaming sea of blue.
‘One minute left.’
BlackDeath’s virtual eyes found the release point. ‘Time?’ he asked.
‘Thirty seconds.’
BlackDeath’s virtual shape reached the release point and he began to download into the grid. His virtual feet began sinking into the network flooring. Then all of his virtual shape was sucked into the myriad of lines.
‘Twenty seconds.’
From there the BlackDeath virus spread like a stain, corrupting, eroding and immobilising every bit of data it came in contact with.
‘Ten seconds,’ RunningMan said. ‘Eight, seven, six…’
In the real world,  section by section,  New York City began to lose power. Then the whole city went dark with five seconds remaining.

Cheers from spectators filled a room. The other three teams of two ripped off their virtual masks and tossed them to the floor.
BlackDeath aka Russel and RunningMan aka Sam had done it. They were the new Team Hackers for 2014.

The End

So until next time. Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.

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