The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum.
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Showing posts tagged: cyberpunk click to see more stuff tagged with cyberpunk
Mar 20 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: George Lucas Checks in on His Baby

George Lucas buys Star Wars comics

George Lucas stopped into Midtown Comics on Wednesday, and there were some familiar faces on his pull list! Apparently he got Marvel’s Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia series, plus some old-school issues of Heavy Metal, which seems awesomely appropriate.

Morning Roundup has news from the shores of Dorne, an update on Neill Blomkap's Alien film, and an in-depth essay on why fantasy literature is vitally necessary for human brain function.

[Plus, you really should’ve weighed that idol more carefully, Indy...]

Feb 13 2015 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Whoever Sings, We Lose

Predator Singing "Welcome to the Jungle"

Rocky Davies may be named after a hero of the 1980s, but he has chosen to celebrate some of that garish decade’s most famous villains! In his 80’s Villains series, he gives us Freddy, Stay-Puft, and The Joker all paired with perfect power pop lyrics for maximum ironic dissonance. But we were particularly enamored of his take on Predator. We can totally see him rocking out with Slash at the Rainbow Room, man.

[via Laughing Squid!]

Morning Roundup brings you a tiny Wookiee, a sneak peak at (yet another) Apocalypse, and an appreciation of The Legend of Korra!

[Plus Natalie Dormer goes punk!]

Apr 22 2014 4:00pm

Visit Neo-Hogwarts in Harry Potter’s Cyberpunk Adventure!

We weren’t sure at first, but now we want these Nacho Punch people to transform every single page of Harry Potter’s adventures into 1980s anime. From Neo-Hogsmeade to Harry’s sweet red bike to Hermione’s kitty ears, this parody is a perfect love note to both J.K. Rowling’s world and Katsuhiro Otomo’s—all that’s missing is Harry screaming “RON WEASLEYYYYY!!!” repeatedly while stuffed animals explode. And the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort is perfect, but we don’t want to spoil it. Watch below!

[Click through for the full anime experience!]

Sep 16 2013 12:30pm

From Zima to the Deep Web: Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge Thomas Pynhcon

‘90s and ‘00s references; Mafioso and hackers and dotcom billionaires; unscrupulous government agents of uncertain affiliation; terrorism; conspiracy theories; underground videotapes; the Deep Web; murder; karaoke nights. These are a few of the things you will find in Thomas Pynchon’s newest novel, Bleeding Edge. If that doesn’t sound so far off from Neuromancer or Ready Player One it’s because, in essence, it’s not. Bleeding Edge is both a literary and a genre masterpiece, a cyberpunk epic and a memorial to the pre-9/11 world.

[Read More]

May 23 2013 9:00am

Is There A New New Wave of Science Fiction, And Do We Need One Anyway?

science fiction new waveJust shy of half a century since the young Michael Moorcock took the editorial helm of a long-running magazine called New Worlds and ushered in a new age of avant-garde science fiction, it appears that we might be in the throes of the birth of a new New Wave.

The original New Wave moved away from shiny futures and bug-eyed monsters and offered more experimental literature, both in technique and subject matter, perhaps best exemplified a couple of years later in 1967 when Harlan Ellison released his Dangerous Visions anthology, bringing new voices, new ideas and a new way of telling stories to take over from the rocket-ships and square-jawed heroes that had gone before. New Wave also brought to the fore many more female writers, such as Joanna Russ and James Tiptree, Jr.

But does the emergence of a new aesthetic in (largely) contemporary British SF signal a similar movement nearly 50 years on?

[Read more]

Apr 3 2013 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Doctor Who Zygon Can’t Find His Friends

Doctor Who 50th anniversary Zygon

Oh no! 50 years of Doctor Who and we're still fighting fish people. Have they no respect for Earth's finest science fictions institutions? The above photo is one of the fan set pics from the first day of shooting for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special.

Your daily offsite links include what's happening to the Math labs, Captain America's future, why movie reboots often fail and more!

[Read more]

Dec 14 2012 5:00pm

Cyberpunk is the New Retro: Rosa Montero’s Tears in Rain

Cyberpunk is the New Retro: Rosa Montero’s Tears in RainRetro-futurism is usually associated with the likes of Hugo Gernsback’s stories and the streamlined cars and idealized cities of Norman Bel Geddes. But given the way nostalgia works, it seemed inevitable that the backward-looking retro-future lens would shift its focus from the Thirties and Fifties to more recent science fiction. Having apparently skipped the Seventies altogether (unless you count the attenuation of the Star Wars franchise), we’re now looking back to the Eighties and to cyberpunk, as in Rosa Montero’s Tears In Rain.

To say that it wears its Blade Runner influence on its sleeve is an understatement; almost anyone reading this review will recognize that the title is derived from Roy Batty’s famous dying words. That scene itself is quoted verbatim when the heroine recalls how a friend showed her the “old, mythical film from the twentieth century in which replicants first made an appearance”, and the “technohumans” of 2109 are referred to colloquially as “replicants” or “reps.”

[Read more]

Oct 19 2012 3:00pm

Gaming Roundup: “An Ancient Evil Awakens” as Halo 4 Goes Hollywood

Watch the new Halo 4 trailer

Last night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon brought about the debut of a new, Hollywood-powered Halo 4 trailer. Produced by David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and directed by Tim Miller (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), the new CGI/live-action hybrid trailer provides a few hints as to plot direction and also teases the series’ new big bad – after all, Master Chief can only kick Covenant butt for so long until he requires a change of pace.

[“An ancient evil awakens...”]

May 4 2012 5:00pm

A Different Kind of Audiobook. Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero

Stories have always been a source of Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zeroinspiration for musicians, but this illustrated cyberpunk anthology turns the tables by using music as an idea catalyst for the authors of these stories. A group of twenty-eight authors, musicians and graphic artists have combined their talents under the name of “The Very Us Artists” to create Foreshadows. It’s a near-future world that is dark and gritty, but not without hope.

For this project, the musicians got first crack at describing the Foreshadows world. How will life change as society continues to deteriorate, mega-corporations vie for world dominance, and technology blurs reality with fantasy? Nineteen songs later, the music-makers had their answers and then invited various authors to select a song they liked and write a story to go along with it, reflecting that author’s perception of Foreshadows society. This unique approach gives those who purchase the book an intriguing bonus, as all of the songs are included on a CD in the back of the book. Those who prefer to download an e-book will receive the text and an MP3 file of the music.

[Every song has its story ...]

Feb 3 2012 3:00pm

Looking Back on Womack’s Ambient, Cyberpunk, and Elvis Presley’s Vomitous Death

In order to understand Jack Womack’s first novel Ambient, I want to go back to the future that was the summer of the year 2000.

I’d become somewhat obsessed with an art exhibit; the Walker Art Center’s traveling exhibition of postmodern art entitled Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures. It ran at the Portland Art Museum from early July through mid-September, and I visited it often, bringing friends and family members back with me and introducing them to Jeff Koon’s penis, Takashi Murakami’s pornographic statue of an anime girl whose giant breasts gushed milk in a frozen action sequence, Dara Birnbaum’s Wonder Woman spin video, and a video reenactment of Elvis Presley’s vomitous death on his toilet. For some reason, I wanted everyone to see these things.

[Read more]

Jan 11 2012 11:00am

Cyberpunk Bowie, New Wave Bowie: A Look at Scary Monsters

Do you remember a guy that’s been
In such an early song…

So asks David Bowie at the beginning of “Ashes to Ashes.” That guy, of course, is Major Tom, the lost astronaut hero of “Space Oddity,” and when Scary Monsters was released in 1980, much had changed in the 11 years since the major had originally gone floating ‘round his tin can. 

1980: the beginning of the Me Decade. Bowie might have been announcing its arrival in his song “Up the Hill Backwards”: “the vacuum created by the arrival of freedom.” Ronald Reagan was elected that year, and Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister of Great Britain for a year. Ridley Scott had just released Alien the year before, and he was two years away from Blade Runner. AIDS had not yet entered public consciousness; its emergence was a year away. Look back at 1980 with the clarity of hindsight and you’ll find dark currents under bright colors: a tangle of ideological warfare, Cold War anxiety, dystopian murmurings, hints of looming doom behind photogenic smiles.

Enter Scary Monsters.

[Read more]

Aug 17 2011 2:04pm

From Chandler to Gibson: How Noir Led to Cyberpunk

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.” —Raymond Chandler, “Red Wind.”

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” —William Gibson, Neuromancer

The link between film noir (and its literary antecedent) and cyberpunk is not a revelation. The influence has been noted by countless critics, as well as cyberpunk authors themselves, most frequently that which Raymond Chandler had on William Gibson. Chandler, who came to writing late, not publishing his first short story until he was in his mid-40s, wrote boldly and flamboyantly. His protagonists were men embittered by the injustices of the American system, but resigned to working either within or parallel to it. As an older man, and one whose writing career began due to his previous one ending in the Great Depression, Chandler had earned his cynical world-weariness, something very few of his imitators could say, and quite simply no one could ever write prose like Raymond Chandler.

[Read more]

May 9 2011 4:09pm

A Necessary Apocalypse: Lyda Morehouse’s Resurrection Code

Resurrection Code by Lyda MorehouseLyda Morehouse’s AngeLINK novels are some of the most insanely inventive books I’ve ever read. They’re a spicy brew of urban fantasy and cyberpunk, nanotech hacker adventures fused with end of the world prophecy, books where artificial intelligences rub virtual elbows with the Archangel Michael and where cyborg priests from the Inquisition have taken over international policing duties from Interpol.

It is no wonder to me that these books have built an intensely loyal fan following over the years. Appetite for stories set in this universe did not diminish when the series finale, Apocalypse Array, was released in 2004. Over the years Morehouse has fed readers morsels of short fiction that expand and embellish her storylines and her characters’ history. Now, with the release of the so-called AngeLINK prequel, Resurrection Code, we get our first full meal in almost a decade.

[Read more]

Feb 15 2011 10:09am

The Film Zenith Bends Both Reality and Your Suspension of Disbelief

Retro-futuristic Zenith movie

Zenith is a movie that plays tricks with its audience. Nothing is what it seems to be with this movie, including its promotional tactics. I’m not just talking about the extensive J.J. Abrams-esque cult of enigmatic blogs, websites, and YouTube videos that floated around for six months leading up to the film’s premiere. Describing itself as a “retrofuturistic steampunk thriller,” Zenith has flagged attention from curious art-house critics and the steampunk community alike, jumping on film festivals for both. Watching, Zenith, however, was a bit of a deceptive experience. No airships, no sepia-tones, no gears or tactile technology or mad scientists (though these were plenty of off-kilter people, and one strange British accent).

So, did Zenith live up to its hype? Retrofuturistic—okay. Steampunk—not at all. Thriller—sure, at least I was entertained.

[Cue in the drugs, sex, and debauchery]

Oct 26 2010 11:24am

The Common Ground of the Punk

Difference Engine steampunkMore than once, I’ve heard that steampunk is a reaction against the world that cyberpunk gave us. The argument is fairly straightforward. Modern life is smooth and plastic and seamless. We’ve created a life out of near constant connectivity, powered by endlessly upgradable and ultimately disposable tools that are themselves mass produced in some distant territory. Our friends are online profiles that we refresh, our communities are by subscription service. For many of us, the work of our days and our lives comes down to little more than lights on a screen. Disposable.

Steampunk means to put that on its head. The hope is to build an enduring community of Makers and musicians and writers who dream of yesterday’s future that never happened. The intention is to create some kind of permanence in our increasingly fractured lives, to ground ourselves in things that we’ve made with our own hands, to find solace in the act of creation.

[Read more...]

Jul 16 2010 4:20pm

Frequency Rotation: Neil Young, “Sample and Hold”

Each week, Frequency Rotation probes a different song with a speculative-fiction theme. Genre, musical quality, and overall seriousness may vary.

When you think of cyberpunk, who’s the first musician that springs to mind? Billy Idol? Please. Naturally, it ought to be Neil Young.

[Read more]