VIDEO: Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross Talk Cyberpunk

Here’s an interesting video of the panel “Cyberpunk: The Dystopian Prism” held at the Nine Worlds Geekfest in London. The panel includes Rafel Praszczalek, Antoni Strzalkowski, Jan Wagner, Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, Dr. Demis Hassabis, Kieron Gillen, and Helen Keen (moderating).

Panel description:

Technology is advancing at a huge rate and with it are the moral and social questions it brings. Is Cyberpunk culture’s immune response to this advancement, engulfing the issues within stories, films and games to flag these issues in advance or has it become a self-fulfilling prophecy with the inevitable end where we’ll be reading a DRM-locked copy of Neuromancer in Google Glass as the irony passes us by. Join us and some of the top creators in this field to talk, cyber, punk, tech, specs and crashes together.

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[SF SIgnal welcomes guest interviewer Christopher Paul Carey!]

ABOUT K. CERES WRIGHT: Daughter to a U.S. Army father, K. Ceres Wright has lived in Anchorage, AK; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Frankfurt, Oberursel, and Munich, Germany; Seoul, Korea; and the Washington Metropolitan Area. She attended undergraduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a double major in economics and finance, then worked for 10 years as a credit and treasury analyst before deciding to change careers.

Wright received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and Cog was her thesis novel for the program. Wright’s science fiction poem “Doomed” was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Her work has appeared in Hazard Yet Forward; Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction; Many Genres, One Craft; and The 2008 Rhysling Anthology.

She currently works as an editor/writer for a management consulting firm and lives in Maryland. Visit her website at www.kcereswright.com and find her on Twitter @KCeresWright.


K. Ceres Wright’s cyberpunk novel Cog is one of the debut releases from Dog Star Books, the new science fiction imprint from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Cog is a near-future science fiction thriller set in a world of corporate intrigue and fuel-cell economy slums that delivers satisfying doses of action, technological extrapolation, and social commentary. I’ve taken a few moments to ask Ceres about her writing career and her new novel, which I found to be a compelling and enjoyable read.

Christopher Paul Carey: Why did you decide to start writing science fiction?
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BOOK REVIEW: Crux by Ramez Naam

REVIEW SUMMARY: Frighteningly plausible cyberpunk.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Following the events of the first book, Kaden Lane is on the run with bounty hunters in hot pursuit. Sam, having gone rogue, has finally found inner peace in the presence of special children born with Nexus connection. The Post-Human Liberation Front has found a way to weaponize Nexus in a frightening way and the United States government is taking drastic steps to fight such emerging risks.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Expands on the foundation of the original in a big way; continued character development; lots of character diversity; super-cool tech; moral ambiguity; intense action; lays the groundwork for future entries without coming across as filler.
CONS: A lessened presence of the Buddhism I found so cool and interesting in the first novel.
BOTTOM LINE: A worthy sequel that reads like a mash-up of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy, Naam’s cyberpunk thriller is even better than the original.
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In episode 179 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates gather a second group of panelists to talk about the past, present and future of Cyberpunk.

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In episode 177 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates gather panelists to talk about the past, present and future of Cyberpunk.

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Alex Graham is a filmmaker pursuing both fiction and commercial work while enrolled in film courses at San Diego City College. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and can be contacted at alexpgraham@gmail.com.

Behind the Scenes of Life and Death in the Valley

The cyberpunk world of Life and Death in the Valley was inspired by a strange place called Mission Valley in San Diego, California, that is one of the city’s most densely populated areas, and maybe its least welcoming. There are no schools, few parks, no real destinations, just a vast intersection of artery roads and freeway ramps linking stacks of condominiums to other places. People roll into Mission Valley’s hot concrete parking lots for football games or movies, but they don’t know each other and they don’t stay. So this place offered itself up as a vision of the future without my having to do very much besides photograph it.

The story is a simple one about a man who has to choose between doing his job and doing the right thing. And my goal, probably unattained, was to revisit this classic old template, and to do so well, by focusing my very limited directorial abilities on getting the best performances possible and creating a hero the audience likes, a villain the audience hates, and an outcome that is uncertain.
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REVIEW: Zero History by William Gibson

REVIEW SUMMARY: In the vein of Spook Country, William Gibson melds the form of the thriller with the observations of science fiction to create an always readable and often enjoyable, if occasionally too glib, examination of the end of the new century’s first decade.

RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Under the employ of Hubertus Bigend, former pop star Hollis Henry and ex-drug addict Milgrim join forces to search for the creator of the designer brand Gabriel Hounds.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Insights, ruminations and details of life in the twenty-first century; deft chronicling of life in twenty-first century Europe; engaging characters; ironic sense of humor; strong prose and generally elegant pacing; a breathless and body-count-free thriller about…

CONS: …jeans? Really? And its ending teeters dangerously close to standard thriller plotting.

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SF Tidbits for 9/2/09

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SF Tidbits for 8/11/09

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