Gollancz have announced a gorgeous set of new editions of William Gibson's seminal Sprawl books, which began with 1984's Hugo, Nebula and Philip K Dick award-winning novel Neuromancer, designed by Daniel Brown (previously), using software that created fractals based on 1970s apartment buildings. Read the rest
Science fiction writer/hacker/mathematician Rudy Rucker (previously, a Gold Star Happy Mutant if ever there was one, has reissued five of his classic titles with new forematter and his own paintings on the covers, priced to move at $12 for paperbacks and $2 for DRM-free ebooks: Saucer Wisdom ("brilliantly funny, prescient, and as fully engaging as a coffee-fueled late-night conversation with a slightly manic genius"); Spacetime Donuts ("A plugged-in rebel becomes the incredible shrinking man"); The Sex Sphere ("An alien named Babs and her crew take the form of disembodied sex organs that attach to human hosts"); The Secret of Life ("A coming-of-age science fiction novel, blending realism and the fantastic in a transreal style"); and White Light ("A hipster math prof's journey to Abosolute Infinity...and back"). Read the rest
Archive.org posted the first issue of Mondo 2000, from 1989. (It says #7 on the cover because the first couple of issues were called High Frontiers, then Reality Hackers.) I loved Mondo 2000, which was edited by R.U, Sirius, and it was a big inspiration for Carla and I to start bOING bOING, the zine. David was also a fan. I wrote a few pieces for it, and many of the contributors later went to work or write for Wired, which unlike Mondo, paid contributors and came out on a regular schedule.
Mondo 2000 was a glossy cyberculture magazine published in California during the 1980s and 1990s. It covered cyberpunk topics such as virtual reality and smart drugs. It was a more anarchic and subversive prototype for the later-founded Wired magazine.Read the rest
Cyberpunk pioneer and games-writing treasure Marc Laidlaw writes, "The latest and for now final addition to my Kindle collection is now live. I've never had a collection; I put this one, 400 Boys and 50 More, together myself. It contains basically all my short stories, novelettes and novellas from the last nearly 40 years (except for the Gorlen series)." Read the rest
Marc Laidlaw, the cyberpunk pioneer who went on to serve as writer on some of Valve's greatest video-game titles -- the Half-Life series, Portal -- has just posted his entire backlist to Amazon as $3, DRM-free ebooks, including his debut novel Dad's Nuke (think Fallout, but with religious extremist militants who subsist on "Host on a shingle," this being the cultured recovered foreskin tissue of Jesus Christ on fortified crackers) and Kalifornia, a brilliant and prescient novel about media, cultural disintegration, and celebrity. Read the rest
Archangel is a five-part science fiction comic written by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith and illustrated by Butch Guice; Issue #1 came out last month and sold out immediately, and IDW has only just got its second printing into stores this week, just ahead of the ship-date for #2, which is due next Wednesday. Read the rest
If you love Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece, Blade Runner, the minutia of film, and nerding out over typography, prepare to have your neck bolts blown. Dave Addey runs Typeset in the Future, a website dedicated to the typographic elements found in sci-fi films. He has previously examined the titling, signage, logotypes, text messaging, and visual displays found in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, and Alien. Here, he turns his typographical attentions to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, Blade Runner.
In 5,000 words and hundreds of screen caps, Dave goes through every scrap of textual content seen in the film. What's equally amazing to the point of the piece-- typographic analysis--is how much you learn about every other aspect of the film. This one narrow skew of the movie reveals so many other angles and tangents. Blade Runner is a film I already know too much about and I still learned so much more and had numerous "ah-ha" moments.
The first time we meet Deckard, he’s sat in the Los Angeles rain, idly reading a newspaper. The headline of this newspaper is FARMING THE OCEANS, THE MOON AND ANTARCTICA, in what looks like Futura Demi: Here’s a close-up shot of that newspaper prop, from an on-set photo of Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott: The subtitle reads WORLD WIDE COMPUTER LINKUP PLANNED, in what looks like Optima Bold. While the idea of a World Wide Computer Linkup might seem passé as we approach 2019, it was still very much unusual in 1982 when Blade Runner was released.Read the rest
This absolutely gorgeous under-six-minutes short film, called Adam, was rendered by the Unity team, in real-time, to show off the capabilities of the current Unity game engine. Here's what Unity Technologies has to say about the film.
The Unity Demo Team built Adam with beta versions of Unity 5.4 and our upcoming cinematic sequencer tool.
Adam also utilizes an experimental implementation of real-time area lights and makes extensive use of high fidelity physics simulation tool CaronteFX, which you can get from the Unity Asset Store right now.
To make Adam, the Demo Team developed custom tools and features on top of Unity including volumetric fog, a transparency shader and motion blur to cover specific production needs. We’ll make these freely available soon!
Adam runs at 1440p on a GeForce GTX980. Attendees at Unite Europe were able to play with it in real time, and we’ll make a playable available soon so everyone can check it out.
Open it to full-screen, HD, for maximum impact. It is quite impressive. Read the rest
A must-have for the with-it cyberpunk, and it's appropriately hard to get ahold of, being sold only through a Japanese website that uses translation-software-resistant graphics of Japanese text set against an animated background that made mincemeat of all the Japanese-English OCR software I tried it on (I think this is the orders page, but couldn't get more than one word in four out of Google Translate's photo-text converter). Read the rest
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I was 34, a first-time parent, married, a recent university graduate with a BA in English literature. I had published a few (very few) short stories in Omni, a glossy magazine from the publisher of Penthouse. Omni paid around $2,000 for a short story, a princely sum (particularly when compared with science fiction magazines – digest-sized, the traditional pulps – which paid perhaps a 10th, if that). Omni left me no choice but to write more.
Their first cheque cashed, I’d purchased the cheapest possible ticket to New York, intent on meeting the mysterious human whose editorial decision had resulted in such a windfall. The late Robert Sheckley, a droll and affable man, and a writer whose fiction I admired, took me out to lunch on the Omni tab and gave me two pieces of sage advice: I should never, under any circumstances, sign a multi-book contract, and neither should I “buy that big old house”. I have managed to follow the first to the letter.
Rudy Rucker sends us, "videos by Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling discussing their new anthology TRANSREAL CYBERPUNK: it's a thirty-year mind-warped ping-pong in which the authors are the characters themselves. As scholar Rob Latham puts it in his introduction, This book is unlike any other collaboration I know of in the field, ... the whole is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but wilder, and weirder, and more wondrous. Science fiction is the richer for it." Read the rest
I was ready to love Murder from the moment the game opened on a female police lieutenant waking from a rain-soaked cyberpunk nightmare about murderous robots, and walking out on her balcony to smoke a cigarette over the light-spattered skyscrapers of Future Tokyo. "Yes," I thought, "I'm in." Sadly, I spoke a little too soon.
Developed by Peter Moorhead, the creator behind the abandoned astronaut game Stranded, Murder is another brief, point-and-click adventure illustrated with beautiful pixel art. This time around, Moorehead promises players a "short story" that delves into some pretty lofty ideas: "the intersection of morality and sentience, in a future where both are commodities."
The moral crux of the story revolves around the sentient service robots of Murder's near-future world, and whether humans can ethically use them for unpaid labor. If that sounds familiar, it should. It's an idea that has been explored rather extensively by some very talented science fiction writers, and even trickled far enough into the mainstream to inspire a Will Smith movie. That doesn't meant there isn't anything left to say about it, only that the notion of robot sentience and the civil rights implications around it aren't exactly fresh ideas, and the mere mention of them is not enough to carry a story, even a short one.
Ostensibly, the game is a murder mystery; as Lieutenant Motomeru Minori, you're tasked with investigating a brutal killing, the latest in a string of mysterious deaths. But "investigate" might be a strong word—you visit one crime scene, exchange a few one-liners with some other cops, and that's about it. Read the rest
In this 12-frame animated gif, pixel artist Kirokaze imagines a small sliver of a rainy day in a world of "thought vigilance" and random ID checks, where a mysterious woman sips coffee and watches the world rush by, twirling a knife idly in her hand. Check out more of Kirokaze's work on Deviantart, or follow them on Twitter. Read the rest
When I saw my first issue of "Reality Hackers" -- at a bookstore I was working at in high-school -- I knew I wanted to keep reading this magazine, and made my boss place a big order for the next issue, which was called "Mondo 2000." Read the rest