Tag Archives: cyberpunk

Technology and specie inclusivity

I like to read from time to time cyberpunk books, so how comes up until recently I have been a luddite?

Although I have read cyberpunk books, bio-punk books and such the likes, I read them with a dim view.  I enjoy those books, but I lived in fear of technology taking over, like it has in many of those books!

I saw those books as a warning sign!

A flag up for society a shout out of do and doom!

Dramatic I know!

But forearmed is forewarned, that was my philosophy anyhow!

You are beginning to see now that I am a frightened creature, a creature that is easily made tensed and living with a sense of perpetual panic… about mostly everything!

You’d be right in thinking I a prepper, because I was a girl guide “be prepared” was our motto too you know!

But just because I read books, doesn’t mean I am very smart in everything.  My intelligence lies with literature in general, languages, the environment, animal welfare and social sciences – not technology!

You can’t learn much from the average cyberpunk and bio-punk novel, other than developing a sense of fear or excitement over it.  It doesn’t tell you how to use twitter set up an YT channel and upload pictures on Instagram.  I wish it did, but there you go!

But I still stand with how deeply concerned I am that as society is progressing to becoming more and more cyber oriented, we are not increasing our understanding of nature and working designs out to be more wildlife inclusive.

Really, you’d think that as we’re now so technologically and scientifically advanced these days that we’d have developed cities akin to the Venus Project and that more cities, especially in the 2020’s would look like Singapore or better versions of it!

But lo and behold… no!

We’re still making concrete coffins to cover the land, it’s spreading like a virus and I don’t like it!  It’s not pretty and it’s certainly not healthy!

You know this technology is amazing and it really can be a much more amazing thing if we think outside the box and thought more inclusively about nature.  Never before has humanity bragged its sense of inclusiveness so dramatically as it has now, but failed to include other species within the spectrum of inclusivity.

Until we do so, maybe then, we will find alien life as they will know that humanity isn’t speciesist!  That should be a new word in the dictionary – speciesist, meaning disrespect of other species and anti-biomutualist. 

It’s something to consider.

It’s something also that is mentioned a lot in my books!

Specie inclusivity, bio-mutualism and so forth; why not?  Hardly anyone has touched on the subject to the degree I have.  Except of course, our precious David Attenborough, and to me he is a precious member of human society that if bio-technology needs to save one human in the world from death, it is him!  Forever may he live!

Thanks for reading!

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Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

The above is a mouthful, but that is not its real name, aren’t you relieved?– its real title will give away too much about what is in the story and we don’t want to do that this early on!

The general themes in the story are as follows;

Cyberpunk

Anthropomorphic animals

War

Revenge

Dystopian

Survival

Imprisonment

Inventions

And last but not least – comedy

The above story has been inspired by;

The animals of Farthing Wood

Wind in the Willows

Watership Down

Mad Max beyond the thunderdome

Secret life of pets

The hunger games

Nuclear warfare

Rude dog and the dweebs

Frankenweenie

And very much Tim Burton inspired

The above is the work that is likeliest to be sent out first and it is only really a couple of months away from being perfected to its final draft!  However, with the upcoming surgeries I am going to be having, it is best that this work should not be sent any sooner than mid-autumn, potentially before winter – though November to the second week of January is not the best time to send anything to an agent – it’s their busiest time of the year!

So unless it’s polished before NaNoWriMo 2022, it may not be sent until late January 2023, but I am working on it being sent out by early October!

This book will be a series, so this is only book one that will be polished by then and I know that agents are not keen on new writers sending in series as a first approach, but I think this is something special and I am sure they will see it too?

I have spoken to a handful of very close friends about this story and I have several people excited over it – this is why this story became my primary focus and I dropped my original first novel whilst I do this one.  Because, the other story I think should be my first novel – is actually less exciting to my friends than this project.

Some friends think I should ditch it as a novel and make it a comic, but I have had other friends suggest that my prose like writing does better as a novel and that to write it as a comic may actually kill the story’s effect overall.

Time will tell – it may be a case that it may turn into a comic a few years down the line, I don’t know if that sort of thing happens, but I suppose it’s possible?

Anyway – happy reading!

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Space travel and cyberpunk update

Recent reading lists have included both cyberpunk and space travel, which is interesting because I normally don’t have much interest in space travel, but I generally do have an interest in cyber-dystopian lifestyle. 

I was surprised that I liked the novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir enough to rate it five stars on Goodreads.com it is not usually a subject I would love enough to rate highly and I am actually surprised at the quality of writing from the author which self-published this book originally – as I don’t have a high opinion of those who self-publish, generally because I spent a lot of money a few years ago on downloads of promising blurbs in fantasy and horror on my kindle to find it was mostly all a bunch of rubbish that was poorly edited and way too corny.  But then again, I chose books that were cheap and never heard of outside of the kindle shop, so I guess I got what I paid for!

But to me Andy Weir’s “The Martian” was excellent and on par with one of my favourite authors Max Brooks, which is actually one of my top three favorite horror authors at the moment.

I have no personal interest in writing anything regarding space travel or anything that talks in depth about technology, despite my reading interest recently; I am just taking advice from a friend who said that I really should read more broadly outside of my normal chosen genres in order to get a feel about what’s out there and finding different styles that I could maybe work with in my own writing.

I usually stick with comedy, comics, graphic novels, fantasy and horror – but I have an interest occasionally in mystery and crime fiction too – but they said I need to broaden my scope further – I won’t pick up romance though, I had enough of Mills and Boon bedtime stories growing up from my mother!

I may pick up a couple more space novels by the end of the year as I have heard some good reviews and blurbs from a couple of them recently.

I think my interest in Cyberpunk was started because of the trilogy “arc of a scythe” by Neal Shusterman, after I read those I read 1984 and then started looking around for more and found recommendations on YouTube namely by YouTubers FIT 2B READ and TheShadesOfOrange, though generally I don’t usually let YouTubers influence what I read, they just sometimes help me research areas of interest better.

I personally started my interest in Cyberpunk because of a story idea I have around a dystopian world where technology really starts to save the day for my characters, with their new inventions and survival innovations, this idea was started Spring of 2021 but I hadn’t really thought about it too much until Christmas time and it is starting to dominate my ideas entirely recently. 

I have to admit though, this story was originally thought to be steampunk, but the more I learned about cyberpunk the more I realised I would have categorised the book wrong entirely. 

It was almost like a push from the universe when I decided that my story wasn’t going to be steampunk but cyberpunk when my favorite YouTube channel FIT 2B READ started cyberpunk week – I just had to believe that it was the universe telling me I was absolutely right about my hunches – too much of a coincidence otherwise!

This is when I decided to make summer of this year a cyberpunk reading bonanza – if I am going to write this as a cyberpunk, I had better get to know what the fans of that genre expect!

You know looking back I find it rather amusing I thought it was originally steampunk but with a few additional neon lights and tubing, it seems foolish now to think that!  But we live and we learn, don’t we?

Happy reading everyone!

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When am I sending work to an agent?

Because of the Covid I had at Easter my plans to send work to any publisher by the start of Autumn 2022 has been shifted now to late winter 2022/2023; this is because I know that the current finished products are not ready to be sent to the world, but there is one that I am confident will be finished by the end of this year because it is so fresh in my mind and the most unique of the stories I have planned to send.

Basically I want my first published book to be special, who doesn’t?

Also I am in a quandary about one of the two books I am thinking about sending out – because one of those books I really want to make as a comic series, but I have little knowledge in creating comics and though I have studied a lot of “how to” books and watched a lot of “how to” YouTube videos, I am still not very confident about shifting a novelisation I have made into a comic book format, especially as I am not confident as an artist!

At the moment it is being written as a series of novels, I hope that eventually I will gain confidence in breaking it down into comic book form, because I think making this particular idea a comic book series would do better for it, than novels.  I doubt I would get advice on this from my future agent, but I hope it is something I could talk about with them eventually.

It is the second idea that is likely to be published first, the pure, simple, traditional novel with no comic book planning whatsoever.

Though I am sure that someday there may be comic book adaptions written by fans as it could work as that eventually too, but then again, most books of this particular genre end up in comic book format eventually.

Neil Gaiman’s snippet at the back of one of his Sandman comics about how to write comics has been a big help, as well as Peter David’s book “writing for comics” and a YouTube channel called Serkworks Art Lab.  Without these, I’d be even more clueless about what I am doing.

The thing is, I want the comic series, more than I want the novel idea out there first.  But, I am just so nervous about presenting a novel to an agent as a book, then saying, I can eventually break it down as comics, which was always my intention… how willing are agents to take on work like that?

I have to admit I am a little too afraid to approach them on that even as a question as I hate wasting people’s time!

The comic book I am writing has a lot of characters and action, but it is focused particularly on a group of three characters which work as a team together against a common evil, though the evil is from the same source, they too are different groups – it is like a gang warfare dystopian comic series with mild horror elements, to allow it to be sold to a young adult and possibly an older child audience.

To make life easier in explanation I will call this on my blog a dark fantasy side of my work, which would likely be under the pseudonym of my family entertainment side of my work.

Because I don’t want it to be too dark for family enjoyment!

It is about as dark as Watership down meets a tamer version of The Suicide Squad…

Just to tease a little there…

My actual novel which is likely to be sent out by the end of the year is more Warhammer meets Robocop, there are cyberpunk and fantasy elements in that story.

So there you have it, my plan for the year in writing.

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Cyberpunk surprise

There are times where I can’t seem to switch my mind off of working on novels or art and it can get tiring. 

Times like the 21st of May 2022, when I decided to take a break for just an hour and forty five minutes to watch a Lord of the Dance movie with my son, just to get me off of Sims 4 and thinking about my novels. 

Unfortunately I didn’t realise in this new movie that it would contain cyberpunk elements to it, the movie was “Michael Flatley: Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games.  I needed a break from thinking about the cyberpunk world, because I was getting new ideas for different stories and I am already struggling to focus on my current pieces of work – this worsened it, the movie was riveting, I loved it!

To make matters worse I am doing a cyberpunk reading summer – but it was just to broaden my scope of understanding the sci-fi genre, not to really engage in it too much in my works… but Henry has always had a deep love for robotics and he has always tried to influence me into writing a series of books where robots are doing something unique and I had always pushed against that.

I am finding it increasingly hard with Henry’s influence to do this nowadays and it seems Henry might be getting his way soon – and for me, the ideas I am getting are a little too oddball, I am unsure really how the publishing world will regard it – even I am struggling to think of how to present it, if I do.

I accept I write steampunk with dystopian themes, I accept that I have to present them as one or another, but what happens with the more unpopular cyberpunk?  I might be wrong about cyberpunk being generally unpopular, but I am reading the genre in order to understand it more… I don’t often hear in regular bookworm conversations anything about cyberpunk, this is why I am having a cyberpunk summer!

There are stories creeping into my mind, mixing up with some of the stuff that was already there and the mix is a cocktail that I am unsure agents and publishers would like to drink.

Thanks for reading!

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Combat sports and feminine culture

Combat sports is another big influence in my stories; being a former judoka from the age of ten, I was just six weeks shy of the Commonwealth games trials of 1998 when I was rushed into A&E with a serious mastoid infection that literally ended my career before it could even begin, because I couldn’t do any kind of self-care for two years after the life-saving surgery I had to undergo.

This devastated me totally on a mental health level, because I used judo as a means to train my body for the hard knocks I was preparing it for as a professional wrestler, when I left school for college.  My grandfather was a backyard wrestler in the early 40s and 50s and he was a huge wrestling fan and I wanted to make him proud of me as he looked down from heaven and saw his “little cocker” as he called me, as world women’s champion!

But that was never meant to be, because my surgery meant that I had lost certain bones at the back of the right side of my head, which meant any future impact could be life threatening, so all dreams of combative sports had to end right there and then!

I love combat sports of all kinds, judo, karate, cage fighting, boxing, you name it, and I love it.

A lot of the various gimmicks in professional wrestling and other forms of fighting, whether it is combative entertainment or real, had influenced a lot of my characters and sceneries in some of my books – particularly those of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres.

I have a lot of background knowledge in fighting terminologies that can help with understanding the jargon, but I do know that a lot of my readers will not be au fait with the sport jargon that could be in the books, so I have honed in my skills as a very good describer of action scenes – of which a former English tutor is rather impressed with and says is a rare talent.

Along with my love for combat sports, I have a massive love for war history and battle games such as Rome total war, Warhammer, Medal of Honour and such the likes.

Back in 2004 I became an online player of Rome Total War’s original game that was based on my favourite TV show “Time Commanders”, as an avid devourer of history books, this was a massive thing for me and I soon became one the top five best generals in the world on their game leader board for two years!  Under the name Raven Warrior!

More recently I follow the artist Jazza which lead me to finding his brother’s channel of which I enjoy immensely “Shadiversity” which talks about the history of weapons and how good they are or not.  This is another tool which has helped me a lot in writing action scenes and accurate war scenes in my books.

You will find that there is a lot of fighting in my stories usually, but it is not constant mindless violence, I hope you will agree someday.

I’ve never been a girly girl and seeing ultra-feminine and helpless women in fiction is rather irritating for me, my characters tend to be female lead, strong-minded and independent women that save themselves because of hard times dragging them through into survival mode; usually they don’t have time to sit back and daydream of their perfect love life, they are usually dreaming about freedom and where the next meal is coming from! 

Thanks for reading!

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Cyberpunk, fashion & shiny things

Cyberpunk has influenced me a lot over the years, in entertainment, fashion and art!

A majority of the books I loved the most have been in some form or another associated with cyberpunk themes.  “Arc of a scythe” by Neal Shusterman and 1984 by George Orwell are my favourites so far.

Movies such as Tank Girl, Judge Dread, and Escape from New York have influenced more than just one of my novels over the years.

Though for me I am sure it is the visual and descriptive porn that grips me the most in this genre.  I am one of those weirdos that notices things in the background of a movie, the behind the character settings – looking at all the gadgets and gizmos and the wiring and so forth, trying to figure out how to describe the technology in use and often I am entranced by the neon lightings that is sometimes usual in such movies – I do like my shinies.

As a teenager I likened myself as a Goth, but I liked to be colourful and bohemian and it wasn’t until my late twenties I realised I should have been a cyber Goth.

TV shows such as The Tribe have also massively influenced a group of characters in a novel; I am working on and so have the suicide squad.

Video games seem to be the best influencer for me in this genre and various music videos.  Mostly for me it is visual being translated into a written form and being influenced by the technological styles of a futuristic world and their fashions!  I am not technologically smart and generally I find learning new technologies boring, but if I can find out the basic gist of gadgets and basic jargon I sail through it easily on paper.

Really readers don’t really want to understand the exacting details of how to operate the machinery (or do they?), but they do want to be enthralled about what technology can do and to have innovative ideas in written fictional form to influence massive changes in the world!

For me, cyberpunk is about a world that is relying too much on technology, whilst having a near uniformed but cool fashion sense along with it, but lo and behold it also has a near apocalyptic feel to it, because their world is crumbling down around them, they are so super sapped into technological cyberspace that they have to learn to be primitive again in order to survive – that’s the kind of cyberpunk I love!

Largely I love fashion, so any way at all to get inventive with it in text is a big thing for me, yes I do tend to be a little descriptive of what the characters are wearing, because I have the fashion bug!

I am also a huge cosplay lover, so I love the idea of inventing stuff for my characters in case the stories ever get published and popular!  Because, why not?

Got to have fun right?

Happy reading!

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Summer of cyberpunk potentially

I decided in January that my reading year will contain less non-fiction in an effort to at least read twenty five full-length fiction books instead; this has failed miserably so far, because I am always in research mode. 

So far this year I have read thirty two books and of those there has only been seven books of fiction and five of those were children’s novels or comics, one was a chunky novel of five hundred and twelve pages and the other was an anthology of horror.

Basically I am trying to be like how I used to be, I used to read one or two novels a week with two or three non-fiction books, but in the last decade I haven’t kept to that, due to only having approximately three hours late in the early hours of the night undisturbed for myself. 

My Goodreads goal is fifty two books, I know I will reach my goal a few weeks earlier than the end of the year, but I would be disappointed in myself if I were to reach the end of the year and I hadn’t read at least twenty full sized novels.

So, with that being said I decided last night (Friday) to pick up some old classics I haven’t read before and I have started to read “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” by Philip K. Dick.  I have to say, as a slow reader of fiction, I am only fifteen pages in and it has hooked me already!  But I have attention span problems and fifteen pages take half an hour and I needed a break.  I have never been able to do anymore in more than half hour bursts!

I know the next planned book is not a classic yet, but I know I will need to finish up all the currently reading non-fiction books this month before I get this one from the library “Empire of the vampire” by Jay Kristoff, I heard its some seven hundred pages in length, which at my reading speed of thirty pages a day will take me around three weeks to get through!

Funny, but I read non-fiction faster; I can get through around eighty pages a day on average with non-fiction and still retain a lot of memory about what’s in the book!  I think I over imagine scenes in fiction, that’s what it is!

So, I know that I am currently reading in some seriousness right now “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” by Philip K. Dick, that’s my fiction for the week!  My non-fiction reads for the week are “Danse Macabre” by Stephen King and “The running hare” by John Lewis-Stemple.

I think after Empire of the vampire, around the beginning of July, I will think about picking up some more cyberpunk fiction, not sure what yet, but Snow Crash is kind of calling out to me a bit, I do like mafia characters.

So that’s what I think my reading summer is going to look like!

Happy reading everyone! 

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