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fightcitymayor wrote: Am I the only one that finds the "cyberpunk" setting to be utterly predictable? Always a packed dystopian urban landscape populated by downtrodden plebs from whose ranks a champion rises to challenge the always shadowy corporatocracy who inevitably exists to further the interests of shadowy rich guys. Always with cybernetic parts enhancement & neon film noir tropes & "hacking" & floating automobiles & cyborg bad guys & eternal night. Same setting, same roles, same methods, same technobabble.
I'll give a pass to the kids who never watched Bladerunner or read Neuromancer or played Netrunner, but otherwise I struggle to buy into the hype.
A very small number of cyberpunk books and movies (especially movies) were excessively influential in defining the genre, making it seem more limited than necessary. Basically the early writings of William Gibson plus Blade Runner. Kind of like how Tolkien's writing had an overwhelming influence on the fantasy genre, to the extent that great writers like Fritz Lieber and Michael Moorcock have practically become obscure.
If you want to see a more exciting range of possibilities explored within the cyberpunk genre, here are some books worth trying:
When Gravity Fails (plus two sequels), by George Alec Effinger
Islands in the Net, by Bruce Sterling
Vacuum Flowers, by Michael Swanwick
Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes
Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
Steel Beach, by John Varley
The Glass Hammer, by K.W. Jeter
The Artificial Kid, by Bruce Sterling
Ultimately, cyberpunk is a small genre, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad. Blues music is also a relatively small genre (of music), but there is still a decent amount of variety and some outstanding individual songs.
Maybe there are parallels to "fantasy" where the genre allows for almost innumerable worlds and races and places and things, but almost always ghettoizes itself back down to generic elves & dwarfs & sword-&-sorcery tropes when it reaches popular culture. I guess if you consider "cyberpunk" to be a ghettoized sub-genre of "speculative fiction" maybe there is room to grow into something other than endless Bladerunner ripoffs.
I've always thought a great multi-part series anthology could be made just out of Harlan Ellison's output. Film a different short story for each two-hour episode & create a speculative fiction anthology series. Throw in some Ted Sturgeon stuff too. Like a bigger-budget Outer Limits or Twilight Zone upgrade. Put it on HBO or Netflix so it collects the modern-day must-watch cool factor.
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I saw a review of cyberpunk 2077 titled "Dad Rock, not New Wave" lamenting it's steadfast adherence to cyberpunk cliches etc. Pretty good title I thought, though you can't get too mad at a game literally called Cyberpunk leaning heavily into cyberpunk cliches.
Yet it steers so far away from the most obvious future tech aesthetic, Star Trek (if you subtract the spaceships and just focus on the personal tech) and aggressively squashes any optimism or sense of communal cooperation.
Anyway, I have high hopes CDPR has a great story in the game, not just engrossing but shocking side quests.
During all of this, you search for clues in the recording and gather intel for later use. It's fairly interesting, and considering the lengthy intro you get for it, I assume they will be using it more than a couple of times over the course of the game.
Side notes: The brain dance is the now infamous sequence that carries the epilepsy warning. It flashes a bit when you start it. While this brain dance is going on, your character is in a chair, and periodically the scene would supposedly cut to you talking to other characters in the room. I say "supposedly", because for ME, the camera jumped to my car in the parking lot. Nice bug.
I literally haven't looked at my Cyberpunk stuff in about 25 years, but I still have it and now feel motivated to get it out and look through it this weekend. Might take some time to give a write-up of the 2013 and 2020 settings, just so we can compare it with the reality of those years.
I recall an article talking about how Gibson was so ignorant of how a computer works that he didn't even know a hard drive had a spinning disc in it (though with those old PCs you could usually hear it pretty easily). Anyway, jump to now and most laptops use SSDs. Funny how that works out...future fiction written by engineers often drastically underestimated just how far we would come while the artsy hippy types just guess and end up nailing it.