Cyberpunk SciFi Month is ready for lift off!

Updates

Yesss, I’ve been looking forward to SciFi Month for weeks! As much as I love Halloween and all things spooky season, science fiction is my one true love and I’m strapped in and ready for lift off. Though in all likelihood most of my reading won’t involve much interstellar travel or interaction with alien species, and that’s because I’ll be exclusively reading books set in the near future corporate dystopias of cyberpunk!

What is cyberpunk, you may ask? Well, I’ll be doing a full introduction post before any reviews or discussion posts appear, so if you’re unfamiliar with the genre then don’t fear, I’ve got you covered! But for a very quick and dirty overview, cyberpunk stories are generally set in the very near future where corporations have become more powerful than governments and tend to have settings featuring high levels of economic and cultural displacement, inequality and social unrest. Artificial intelligence, transhumanism and virtual reality feature quite heavily. Think Bladerunner or Ghost in the Shell as some of the most famous representations of cyberpunk in film and you’ll have a good idea of what the genre entails.

I don’t really do plans or set-in-stone TBRs, but I do have a well of potential books I’ll be drawing from, as well as a bunch of short stories, comics and films I might watch and talk about. As far as books go, a non-exhaustive list of some of what I might be reading includes:



So these are a mixture of classic and newer cyberpunk. Neuromancer is actually one of my fave books of all time and I reread it every few years, while Repo Virtual and Busted Synapses are very new. There’s an interesting dichotomy between classic and newer stuff in the genre because a lot of the stuff being written in the 80s was still very much science fiction, whereas now, the internet, biohacking and cyber crime are very real and inequality, social unrest and corporate power have reached fever pitch. In many ways we already live in a warped version of the society the progenitors of cyberpunk were imagining back in the 1980s.

In any case, this is just a small selection of some of the cyberpunk books I’ll be perusing this SciFi Month and please, if you have any fave cyberpunk books I haven’t mentioned here or recommendations you think I should look at, do let me know. In the meantime console cowboys, let’s lay back, relax and jack into cyberspace, we’re in for a wild ride.



If you enjoyed this post why not follow the blog for more reviews, ramblings and bookish content?

Reading Update 31/10/2020

Updates

Hey bookwyrms, it’s been a few weeks since a good reading update cos I’ve been playing through The Last Of Us parts one and two for a good chunk of October and that had me utterly hooked and absorbed for a good week and a half. Very much back into the reading rhythm now though and this update straddles the gap between the end of Halloween and the beginning of SciFi month.



Recently Finished: THE PATIENCE OF A DEAD MAN by Michael Clark
I read most of my horror in September this year, starting off strong with Mexican Gothic and The Year Of The Witching. I really loved those books so was disappointed to end on such a low note with THE PATIENCE OF A DEAD MAN. This messy, ill-conceived and poorly-executed haunted house horror didn’t impress despite a few spooky scenes that weren’t enough to redeem the rest of the book. I reviewed it yesterday, and while it’s def not gonna be a glowing recommendation if you’re looking for your next horror read, it will at least make you appreciate the things we can often take for granted in the books we do enjoy.

Currently Reading: REPO VIRTUAL by Corey J. White
SciFi month is on the horizon and I’m making the transition from horror to my true love of science fiction in REPO VIRTUAL. I’m specifically focussing on reading a lot of cyberpunk this November. Some of you may be aware that Neuromancer is one of my all time favourite books but I’ve never managed to find another cyberpunk novel that managed to hit the same heights. I find a lot of more recent cyberpunk has abandoned the grimy, high-tech-meets-low-life grittiness in favour of empty aesthetics. Corporate skyscrapers and neon-lit back alleys without the class politics which, despite its flaws in 80s cyberpunk, was still present. Sorry, I have a lot of opinions about cyberpunk and the representation of class struggle, but I’ll park them for now. Suffice to say, I’m only three chapters into REPO VIRTUAL at the mo, but I’m glad to say I think this story about a virtual thief and his contract to steal the world’s first sentient AI is gonna be a good ‘un.

Next Read: GLITCH RAIN by Alex Livingston
You guessed it, more cyberpunk! There’s gonna be a theme this month, gang. GLITCH RAIN is a few years old now, published by Apex back in 2016. It’s a novella about Akuba, a low-level hacker for the wealthy elite, making just enough to keep the bills paid and the booze flowing. Her job is to scrub the social feeds for faces who don’t want to be seen, hanging out at parties to guard the elite from errant social media statuses and incriminating photo posts. But when an old debt comes due early, suddenly she’s the one who needs to keep her face out of the omnipresent eyes of the drones. Thrown into the high-stakes world of international cybercrime, Akuba has to outmanoeuvre unlimited surveillance, high-tech con artists, and an international hacker kingpin if she wants to survive. I’ve not read anything by Alex Livingston before and actually only found this because I was specifically looking through Apex’s backlist for cyberpunk titles because I’ve been so consistently impressed with the fiction they put out and think they deserve a lot more recognition as a small press publisher. Plus this story sounds like it kicks ass.


Let me know in the comments what you’re reading at the mo, I love to chat about the books we’re all reading. And hey, if you enjoyed this update why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat.