Monday, December 13, 2010


You know, I think the real reason cyberpunk doesn't work so well any more is because too much of it has already happened.

No, not in the way writers predicted, but many people in the west carry pocket computers. Augmented reality is seriously in the works.

In fact, the most recent cyberpunk television series, Caprica, was set on another planet. And it still did not sell well, despite being critically acclaimed. I would also class Whedon's excellent Dollhouse as cyberpunk...and yeah, same thing happened. Good, but not popular.

Stephenson has stopped trying...his latest book, Anathem, is alternate reality science fiction (and very good). Not sure what Gibson is doing.

But let's see.

Decks? We have them. They're called smartphones.

Cyberspace? It's not full immersion yet, but Blizzard sold 3.3 *million* copies of the Cataclysm expansion to World of Warcraft within 24 hours of release. And it's often easier to answer the question of who is *not* on Facebook than who is. Some European countries are seriously considering the prospect that net access should be considered a civil right.

Megacorps? Hrm. Google, anyone? Virgin?

Smarthomes? If you have the money, they exist.

Memory editing?

Memory editing?

Well. We can now read memories, we may well be able to enhance memories, and editing...can't be that far behind.

A scary thought, even if it does bring hope to victims of things as diverse as post traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer's.

So, yeah.

Cyberpunk fiction, these days, would probably have to be sold as 'mainstream'.