Hackers was a financial flop, but its hilariously over-the-top early CGI visuals, oddly prescient view on technology, and glam-cyberpunk aesthetic rendered it a cult classic. To honor its 20th anniversary—at a time dogged by newfound fears about what the future of technology holds—we thought it would be fitting to bring together a group of actual hackers to screen and discuss the film. - Hackers watch "Hackers"
Archillect, billed as The Ocular Engine, is a recent project from enigmatic designer Murat Pak. [more inside]
It's 2015, so first-person-view quadcopter racing is a sport now. [more inside]
China has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group. Called Cyberspace Spirit, the tune features a large mixed choir and four solo singers who regale an audience while informing them that they are also keeping a close eye on everything they view and type. "Keeping faithful watch under this sky, the Sun and the Moon," they sing. "Creating, embracing everyday clarity and brightness; Like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts." The chorus exclaims: "Internet power! The web is where glorious dreams are; Internet power! From the distant cosmos to the home we long for."
You probably know Richard Garfield as the creator of Magic: The Gathering. But his favorite creation is actually Netrunner, intended to be a "richer game" with bluffing and skill "more like Poker." Android: Netrunner is an asymmetrical Living Card Game based on the original Netrunner (which still has its fans). Set in a cyberpunk future, you play a megacorp using "ICE" to protect servers hiding company agendas (like The Future Perfect and Hostile Takeover) or the hacker "runner" trying to steal them. Chose from five megacorps and three runner factions and get started with a few data packs, important jargon, and deck-building. For the initiated, prepare for this year's regional championships and read up on quantitative analyses of cards, runner economies, corporation economies, ICE and icebreakers, opening moves, studies in variance, and the ever-changing metagame. Still not sure? Watch the Worlds 2014 Final (or read the champ's recap) and practice online using OCTGN or newcomer Jinteki.net, a browser-based version in development by World Champion finalist Minh Tran. And as always, beware Scorched Earth.
Removing Fish From a Surreal Abandoned Shopping Mall. Thousands of carp, tilapia and catfish will be relocated to less absurd settings by Bangkok officials.
Deep Lab is "a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture and society."
"By zooming in on high-resolution face photographs, we were able to recover images of unseen bystanders from reflections in the subjects' eyes." Science catches up with Blade Runner.
The video for Perturbator's (previously) She is Young She is Beautiful is an amalgam of Gothic horror, cyberpunk science-fiction, late 80s anime aesthetics, post-apocalytpic Miami and the best parts of b-movie cinema. All done up in a pixel art style reminiscent of the classic Out of This World (recently) series of adventure games.
Grinders: Tomorrow’s Cyberpunks are Here Today [NSFW]. "Installing magnets, microchips and sensors in their own bodies — this is how cyberpunk biohackers went from fiction to reality." [Previously, Via]
Paolo Bacigalupi writes hard sci-fi set in the near future, inspired in part by the stories from his science journalist friends and the imminent future of cyberpunk. Some of his works have been classified as "biopunk," due to his focus on bio-engineered products that run rampant, with involvement for battling mega-corporations that (try to) run everything in a world where oil is expensive and human labor is cheap. His first published novel, The Windup Girl (Google books preview), won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2010. He has published three novels since then, all categorized as Young Adult fiction, but Bacigalupi sees his only adaptations for a younger audience to be to shift the focus to pacing, and less sexuality, but otherwise similar to his "adult" works. He has also written a number of short stories (plus a few non-fiction pieces) over the years, many of which can be found online. [more inside]
Dreamspace is an animated cyberpunk comic-presented-as-visual-novel/adventure-game by artist Cryoclaire (potentially NSFW; artistic nudity) about networked psychedelics, consciousness expansion through underground social networks and gorgeous trippy neon GUIs. Like most cyberpunk fiction, the characters are all sunny, cheerful personalities, everyone has a good time and absolutely no one winds up crippled, dead or insane by the end.
The Mondo Moment. R. U. Sirius has published an excerpt of his upcoming book, Use Your Hallucinations: MONDO 2000 in Late 20th Century Cyberculture.
"20 Minutes Into The Future" (full length film on YouTube) was a sci-fi telefilm with a dinstinctly dystopian/cyberpunk flair produced by Channel 4 in 1985 primarily known introducing the character Max Headroom. The character portrayed by Matt Frewer though popularly believed to be a fully computer generated personality, became something of a pop culture phenomenon. In the UK, hosting a music video block with no wraparound intro, which eventually evolved into more proper chat program The Original Talking Max Headroom Show. In the US, the characters popularity led to Max Headroom (full episode 1x01 "Blipverts") a sci-fi television series with a distinctly dystopian/cyberpunk flair that aired on ABC for two seasons 1987-1988.
Season 1 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is an anime TV series from 2002. The series takes place in 2030 in Japan after World Wars 2 & 3. The story centers on the activities of Section 9, an anti-cyber cribe and anti-terrorist group. The continuing bad guy of the series is the cyber terrorist known as the Laughing Man. Here is Season 1 on YouTube: [more inside]
"The apartment block behind my shop wasn't there when I moved in either. That was just shanty houses stacked one on top of the other. It's tough these days for a developer to legally purchase a patch of land and everything above it, but 'connected' guys can be pretty persuasive. They kept the boat dock at water level, but demolished the rest. I know some of the folks who live in the lower levels of that building, but the guys up top keep to themselves. One thing I've learned living here for so long is not to ask too many questions." - Henry Li, On the NeighborhoodThe Cyberpocalypse is an incredible build featured at Brickworld 2013. Shuppiluliumas has been describing different bits of it in this photoset More pictures can be found in the creator's photostreams, linked inside [more inside]
Lorem Gibson carbon smart-sensory Legba urban receding rifle refrigerator. Bomb boy saturation point j-pop rebar knife San Francisco car. Dome drone Shibuya computer plastic katana rain kanji. Tank-traps courier beef noodles plastic rain motion papier-mache.
Back in 2000, R. Talsorian Games released on their website a series of overviews of what they considered to be classic Cyberpunk movies, along with notes on incorporating their characters and ideas into games. [more inside]
Feeling a little bit worn? Need to upgrade your body? We've been doing it for a long time. An overview of more recent advances (PDF) and a near-future timeline. [more inside]
Dynamo ep1 It’s an experiment. It’s a story. It’s a series of shorts. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy/’cute cyberpunk’ webseries. It’s the result of four years of late night discussions between friends. It’s a convoluted puzzle about the nature of reality (and monsters! and horrible romance!) It’s a narrative with layers of interlocking pieces. It’s the best thing we know how to make- and it’s pretty wacky! [more inside]
I EXPLAIN CYBERPUNK TO THE MASSES by writer/film critic Anne Billson "Believe it or not, there was a time when people didn't know what "cyberpunk" was, and indeed had probably never even heard the word before this three-minute clip, in which I explain it to them. Sort of. Don't blame me if I got it wrong - you're looking at this with the benefit of hindsight, while I was making it up as I went along..." [Via: Multiglom - The Anne Billson Blog]
"If you’re not getting it wrong really a lot when you’re creating imaginary futures, then you’re just not doing it enough."
Wired talks to William Gibson: on Why Sci-Fi Writers Are (Thankfully) Almost Always Wrong, on Twitter, Antique Watches and Internet Obsessions, and and on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and ‘Gangnam Style’.
Homebuilding a 474mm tall model of "Robocain" from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head. Clips of Robocain and the other Robocop prototypes from the movie. All photos from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser live.
In 1993, in the era of television reinvention following the earthquake of Twin Peaks, ABC aired a 6-hour miniseries executive produced by Oliver Stone and Bruce Wagner -- Wild Palms. Featuring a monster cast (James Belushi, Dana Delaney, Robert Loggia, Angie Dickenson, Kim Cattrall, Ernie Hudson, Nick Mancuso, Bebe Neuwirth and Brad Dourif, just to name a few) and with episodes directed by the likes of Kathryn Bigelow and Phil Joanou, it was a near-future cyberpunkish surreal Television Event that the New York Times described as "nothing so much as an acid freak's fantasy, drenched in paranoia and more pop-culture allusions than a Dennis Miller monologue." [more inside]
"It's 1993, I better wake up and be part of it. I'm sitting there, a 1977 punk watching Courtney Love talk about punk, watching Nirvana talk about punk, and this is my reply." [more inside]
On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
The Will Joines-directed video for Com Truise's "BrokenDate" is a pitch-perfect tribute to the 80s/90s cyberpunk aesthetic, with nods to Blade Runner and Tron, among others. The track is taken from the artist's latest album, Galactic Melt.
The Fiction Liberation Front: cyberpunk/slipstream/transreal author Lewis Shiner has released his collected writings under a Creative Commons license, including his award novels Frontera, Deserted Cities of the Heart, and Glimpses. Shiner may be best known for his inclusion in the seminal 1986 cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades, alongside the likes of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and Rudy Rucker. A few years later he was pronouncing the movement dead.
Statsis: A short film by Christian Swegal In the future, an Ex-Soldier is placed in virtual exercises to cure his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the simulations, he sees glimpses of a mysterious girl, presumably someone from his past. When a Stranger appears in his facility offering answers, the Soldier finds himself once again asked to kill, this time for her... [more inside]
Rudy Rucker's Ware Tetralogy is now available online under a Creative Commons license. [via Futurismic]
Taking Liberties: a Deus Ex story - on the enduring appeal of the 2000 Cyberpunk RPG/FPS. The Making of Deus Ex. Behind the scenes.
Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1, part 2, part 3), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame - a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.
Flurb! Issue 2 of the Webzine of Astonishing Tales -- edited by Rudy Rucker, featuring 'demented and counter-cultural' stories from luminaries of the cyberypunkery like Charles Stross, John Shirley, Mark Laidlaw (who also wrote the story for Half Life 2), Richard Kadrey, one of MeFi's favorite snark-targets, Cory Doctorow and others besides -- is out. [found via the RU SIRIUS podcast] [Previously: Issue #1]
"The streets of 2030's New York remain the only venues not under the thumb of the monolithic corporations. Manhattan’s three major hacker gangs have developed black-market technology that enables them to jack into the phone network though the payphone nodes, and redirect the payment deposited into that phone into their own coffers." The premise of a new cyberpunk novel? Nope. A new street game you can play with your friends.
RanXerox is a science fiction graphic novel series by Gaetano 'Tanino' Liberatore and Stefano Tamburini. "Ranxerox in New York" ran in the magazine Heavy Metal back in 1982. The series follows the adventures of the intensely violent robot named "RanXerox" and his pre-teen girlfriend Lubna. Still somewhat underground in popularity despite the game, the desktop theme, the t-shirt, the podcast (there were rumblings of a movie). The stories are dark satire. The adult artwork made it sophisticated enough to ban in some countries. (Some images NSFW, babelfish can help translate pages)
A history of Mondo 2000 : "It had arrived at a particular moment where there was at least a subculture of people in the computer community that were ready for it," remembers Sirius. "At the time there was no competition at all. There was absolutely nothing to compare it to. It talked about how technology was important in our lives at a time when people were in denial about it."
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