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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology

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But the rest of it was relentlessly tacky: ephemeral stuff extruded by the collective American subconscious of the Thirties, tending mostly to survive along depressing strips lined with dusty motels, mattress wholesalers, and small used-car lots. She saw these things as segments of a dreamworld, abandoned in the uncaring present; she wanted me to photograph them for her. While the 1995 movie adaptation of Gibson’s story, Johnny Mnemonic, featured Molly renamed as Jane, and with no visual augmentations, the Wachowski Brothers brought her back to the trilogy that kept cyberpunk alive and kicking for the next century. The Cyberpunk Anthology the result, it is both broad in scope yet delimits the idea of what cyberpunk, or at least can be.

Such debts are never repaid, only acknowledged and—so we hope - passed on as a legacy to those who follow in turn. But times have changed since the comfortable era of Hugo Gernsback, when Science was safely enshrined—and confined—in an ivory tower. By playing with anachronisms, the story features a 15-year-old Mozart, who sports all the qualities of a stereotypical millennial — as if the authors managed to predict the youth of today way back in the 80s.We must get a complete physical picture—a superCAT scan, cerebral chemistry and electrical activity profiles.

When I opened them, I willed myself to see the mileage meter, the pale road dust on the black plastic dashboard, the overflowing ashtray. As unique and startling as that novel was, without seeing the diversity of writing in the Bruce sterling edited anthology I might not have grasped what SF short fiction was really capable of. Wright’s building looked as though it had been designed for people who wore white togas and Lucite sandals. They’re semiotic phantoms, bits of deep cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own, like the Jules Verne airships that those old Kansas farmers were always seeing.I saw a dozen shots of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson’s Wax Building, juxtaposed with the covers of old Amazing Stories pulps, by an artist named Frank R. All across the continent, daily, people who were more normal than I’d ever aspired to be saw giant birds, Bigfeet, flying oil refineries; they kept Kihn busy and solvent. And now that technology has reached a fever pitch, its influence has slipped control and reached street level. George Jordan sat on the kitchen floor and vomited, then pushed himself away from the shining pool, which looked very much like what remained in the can. Then again, I’ve been reading Murakami again and find his stories very strange and a bit opaque, as well as incredibly bizarre, so you never know.

While I may not like William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, I am not ignorant when it comes to their importance in popularizing and shaping the genre. The online zines like Clarkesworld, Fantasy and Strange Horizons all have good things, and Asimovs and Weird Tales often have interesting stuff. Cyberpunk comes from the realm where the computer hacker and the rocker overlap, a cultural Petri dish where writhing gene lines splice.Explora la mayor tienda de eBooks del mundo y empieza a leer hoy mismo en la Web, en tu tablet, en tu teléfono o en tu dispositivo electrónico de lectura. And that was my frame of mind as I made the stations of her convoluted socioarchitectural cross in my red Toyota—as I gradually tuned in to her image of a shadowy America-that-wasn’t, of Coca-Cola plants like beached submarines, and fifth-run movie houses like the temples of some lost sect that had worshiped blue mirrors and geometry. I blog both over at my own blog, the River of Gods entry is a touch long (I was back from holiday with time on my hands, what can I say?

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