Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A short story I read, and revisiting cyberpunk


Late last month, I read an article on Slashdot about Google turning 7 years old. In the user comments of that article, someone posted a short story that I really enjoyed. Here's a link to the story where it originally appeared:

The Nine Billion Names Of God

Here's an excerpt:
"You know what Google is?"

"Yes," I said. I was running low on patience.

"No, I mean, do you really know? More than just the site?"

Reluctantly, I shook my head.

"You ever meet anyone who worked for them?"

"Don't think so."

"You haven't. Nobody works for them anymore."

I shrugged, and took the man's empty pint. I didn't offer to refill it.

"They're self-contained. It's all automated, in there. It's underground."
The story is a nice bit of sci-fi, and arguably cyberpunk in its presentation. (Amongst other things, it made me think of Darren Aronofsky's Pi)

As a teenager, I used to be impressed by certain authors' romantic portrayals of worn-but-wily heroes struggling to make it in dark and oppressive cyberpunk futures. I don't know if I'm heroic at all, or clever enough to be considered wily, but these days, I really do feel like we live in a world that's pretty close to those dystopian visions. [See the following link for a really nice explanation of cyberpunk: Exploring Dystopia: Cyberpunk]

Even though the word has lost some of its edge in recent years, "cyberpunk" fiction is still something that I am very interested in because it's all about technology and society (and the ways that they co-construct each other), issues of power, and the ways that marginalized outsiders and reluctant insiders alike seek to challenge the status quo (even if it's just a little bit).

Here are some movies I have enjoyed that I consider cyberpunk even though fan-made lists of cyberpunk films don't always include them:

Battle Royale (based on the novel by Koushun Takami)
New Rose Hotel (based on the short story by William Gibson)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (yes, the one with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie)

While these films don't feature characters sporting cybernetic implants or prosthetics, and the worlds they portray are not as visually dramatic as the one portrayed in Blade Runner, they share certain thematic and stylistic elements that immediately strike me as being cyberpunk in flavor, even though some would disagree with me. Have we become so used to cyberpunk themes in fiction, or has society become so cyberpunk itself, that the label has become superfluous? Just a thought.

110 comments:

  1. The movie version of New Rose Hotel was ok, by I felt ultimately disappointing. Fox was way to loose, not enough "biz".
    I'm nervous about the film adaptation of "Pattern Recognition" since all the Gibson films have been a let down.

    ReplyDelete
  2. also try nSpace, from the Dovin Melhee story:
    http://www.amazon.com/nSpace-Dovin-Melhee/dp/0557221889/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with the first commenter's comment.

    ReplyDelete
  4. battle royal is cyberpunk in my eyes.
    what else would describe the odd ideas it portraits.

    haven't seen New Rose Hotel yet, so thanks for the recommendation against boredom.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back. Sikkim Ration Card Details

    ReplyDelete
  6. This post shares some good quality content I want to know from where do you get all this information. And thanks for sharing it here.
    Gmail Contact Number

    ReplyDelete
  7. I comprehend that there's another method for closure a story which is the open-finished one. In doing this be that as it may, you should in any case bring your group of onlookers some place. Don't simply cut the story and that is it.watch free movies online

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is conceivable to watch new movie trailers online. The universe of movies has consistently been intriguing and a prominent diversion.cinema movies online movgotv

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your articles and contents are inspirational. mangakakalot

    ReplyDelete
  10. The online film rental industry has made the whole leasing process considerably more advantageous. Presently,123movies at the snap of a mouse, you can lease a film for a calm night at home.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As an example, Netflix offers numerous plans but their most popular plan allows users to have up to 3 movies out at a given time for $17.99 per month. If a typical user views only 6 movies in a given month this would average out to $2.99 per movie. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Fmovies

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon are the top three cartoon channels today. A lot of characters that were present in each channel has really give the kids a lot to laugh and making fun with it. This is where cartoons rule the community of kids. manga dex

    ReplyDelete
  13. thank you for the information provided, we are waiting for the next info

    ReplyDelete
  14. Short story is not always exciting but sometimes it has no purpose for making a good movie, so don't count me in that article 123movies

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pick the Right Plan - I switch designs constantly, assuming that you pick some unacceptable arrangement, you can undoubtedly switch it on the web.https://www.buyyoutubeviewsindia.in/youtube-marketing/

    ReplyDelete
  16. however nothing had the option to overcome this horror film in the cinematic world in its prime. Watchseries

    ReplyDelete
  17. Excellent information on your site, thanks for the platform to allow us make comments. roofers northampton

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. plastikines dezutes

    ReplyDelete
  19. Noteworthy indeed. Much appreciated.chinese medine

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for this good quality content. www.roofingpeterborough.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  21. We like to read more content like this. metal roofing sudbury

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great blog. Thanks for sharing. Jenn @
    Hair salon Easton MA

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awesome! This is helpful for me. flea control

    ReplyDelete
  24. I understand that there is another way to end a story, which is the open-ended style. Whatever the case may be, you should take your group of bystanders somewhere. Don't just trim the story and call it a day. Short stories aren't always entertaining, and they don't always serve the objective of making a good film.

    Source: https://techieloops.com/games-lol-keybinding-setup-for-fps-games/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the great info! Food delivery

    ReplyDelete
  26. Awesome post Gameboy Advance Games

    ReplyDelete
  27. Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail, the article is very interesting and effective. Thank you and good luck in the upcoming articles Allstar Stucco Repair

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for sharing such a great information.. It really helpful to me..I always search to read the quality content and finally i found this in you post. keep it up! Patriot Stucco Repair

    ReplyDelete
  29. articles that are nice and very interesting I like to read the articles you make. Patriot Window Replacement

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wish to see much more like this. Thanks for sharing your information. Academic Tax Attorney

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your blog got me to learn a lot,thanks for shearing,nice article. Society Hill Wedding Planner

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great info. Thanks for sharing. Doors installation

    ReplyDelete
  33. well written post. It`s so useful…thank you Elite Dog Training

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you so much for sharing such a useful information! Resolve DUI Attorney

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for the sharing good knowledge and information its very helpful and understanding.. Instinctive Dog Training

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've been playing Cyberpunk 2077 for the first time in the weeks afterward. My eyes are as clear as they can be because I skipped the first game to prepare for the inevitable second swing. If you're searching for a soundbite, here's my verdict: Cyberpunk 2077 is now a fairly solid game. It is effective.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Very interesting topic, thank you! credit repair dallas

    ReplyDelete
  38. I find these discussions most interesting when I am a business owner of Landscaper Leicester Thanks for sharing I will recommend this site to my colleagues.
    pressure washing sarasota fl

    ReplyDelete
  39. nice post . Thank you for posting something like this Allstar Stucco Repair

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is a fantastic website , thanks for sharing.seo paslaugos

    ReplyDelete
  41. nice article, waiting for your another :) dantu protezavimas

    ReplyDelete
  42. thanks for the post keep sharing.electrical in fresno

    ReplyDelete
  43. very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.geles kaune

    ReplyDelete
  44. Like the post which you shared here and thanks for sharing this with us. Northampton fencing

    ReplyDelete
  45. very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good blogbest movers san diego

    ReplyDelete
  46. This is a fantastic website , thanks for sharing.suliniu valymas

    ReplyDelete

  47. thanks for the post keep sharing.seo specialistas

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is a fantastic website , thanks for sharing.recovery bristol

    ReplyDelete
  49. Really great content. Thanks for sharing with us! airbnb cleaning sunny isles beach

    ReplyDelete
  50. Good website! I really love that it is easy on my eyes and the data is well written.airbnb cleaning boca raton

    ReplyDelete