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Bullshit & Ignorance

January 13, 2011

A (very) Short Story

I am a huge fan of the Cyberpunk genre. I was bored, so I wrote a short story.

Best Dressed

Christian Miller was full of promise. A bright, rising star in the corporate world. He came from a family who ensured he had everything a young man could want or need to get the very best start in life.

His transition from corporate academy, to University and into full time employment, albeit in a junior position with GenX (The leading light in functional and fashionable personal protection devices) was as smooth as they come. His subsequent assent up the corporate ladder, was recognised by his peers as one of the fastest, yet most deserved in the corporation’s history.

With a rise through the corporate ranks came money and with it, influence. Young Christian found himself the centre of attention everywhere he went. People latched onto him and hung on his every word. Popularity comes easily to those with money and influence.

This is where Christian’s story takes a familiar turn. A turn readily associated with musicians and actors. The parties were always wild, the drink and drugs were plentiful. Christian took every precaution to ensure he was always the best dressed person in the room. His suits were personally designed for him by top fashion houses and he was sure to have only the latest and greatest in accessories.

He carried a gun, of course. Everyone who was anyone did these days. Like everything else that Christian owned, it was a highly valuable, and extremely fashionable item. He snubbed his own corporation’s wares, they were fine for street fashion but Christian knew he was better than that. His own weapon was from a private designer. It was more than a weapon, it was a work of art.

With his gun tucked inside his jacket, a wad of cash and the encouragement of his friends, Christian thought nothing of venturing out of the warehouse party he was attending. It was on the riverfront – edgy, cool place for a party everyone thought. You could see the combat zones from there.

He wanted to score a little something extra for him and his friends and hell, he’d be safe. No one was going to screw with someone as rich and powerful as him. Besides, he was armed.

Christian Miller was full of promise. Now he was full of holes. His blood soaking into the silk of his very expensive suit. No one sent the Smiley Sharks the memo about not harming rich and powerful corporate executives.

The Smiley Sharks with their gang leathers had seemed likely folk to ask about acquiring some party prescriptions. However, the negotiations went a little differently than Christian expected; offer was usually met with counter offer that’s true, but “How about you just give us all your cash and fuck off before we kill you?” wasn’t quite the counter offer he expected.

He’d pulled out his gun. That Antoine DeLaney, one-of-a-kind with all it’s highly impressive etching. They’d laughed. That wasn’t quite the response he’d expected either. It also jammed, when he pulled the trigger, expecting to wipe the smiles of their faces.

That night, Christian Miller got a lesson in why GenX was the choice of the masses. Moments after the ill fated decision to try and shoot a booster ganger in the face; a variety of GenX’s best selling weapons appeared in their hands and sprayed the street behind Christian with promise.

At least he was the best dressed corpse in the gutter that night.

November 7, 2010

On the subject of books

I just finished reading Zero History by William Gibson – which is I suppose a sequel to his earlier novel Spook Country. I got into Gibson by reading his cyberpunk classic, Neuromancer many, many moons ago. His more recent books have stepped away from the science-fiction he used to write – he’s still dealing with the same subjects of corporate corruption and industrial espionage, staples of the cyberpunk sub-genre of course, but he believes we’ve now reached a point where his fictions are being realised as facts. His recent books therefore, are set in our present day, with the technology he writes about being things we often use ourselves, or are at least aware of.

I enjoyed Zero History, though at times I felt like I was watching one of the new James Bond movies. I don’t mean because there was all kinds of spy stuff going on – but because throughout the book Gibson is dry-humping Steve Jobs and his ever expanding catalogue of over-priced, over-hyped Apple toys, to the extent it really started to feel like product placement. Maybe it was, who knows.

On the subject of movies

I watched The Crazies last night – that’s the 2010 remake of the 1973 film of the same name by Zombie-movie-godfather, George A. Romero. Remakes often fall short of original movies and while I must confess that I have never seen the original in this instance, the 2010 version is definitely worth a watch if you like horror movies. In many respects it’s something of a twist on a zombie movie in its own way, inhabitants of a small town in the US are infected by some form of toxin that makes them all start trying to kill each other and our band of plucky heroes makes a valiant attempt to fight their way out past hordes of zombies crazed infected people to safety, and just for an additional size 12 to the groin, the army has shown up in gas masks and isn’t letting anyone out.

There are plenty of suspenseful moments and aside from one or two “What the fuck are you doing?!” moments, generally the characters manage to avoid a lot of the typical horror-movie-survival mistakes that make me root for the monsters in a large number of the films I watch.

March 24, 2010

Cyberpunk 2010

cyberpunk

Cyberpunk, for those of you who don’t know, is a sub-genre of science fiction. If you’re not sure what it is, Wikipedia has a fairly good article to explain it to you. The thing is, every day the fantasy element of Cyberpunk seems to be eroded more and more. The tech some of the genre’s seminal authors have written about is not only real now, but in some instances has been surpassed. Some of the social and political developments these people were writing fiction about are now facts.

We’re living in a world where robotic prosthetics are constantly being developed and improved, where a double amputee athlete wasn’t allowed to take part in the regular Olympics because his prosthetics were deemed to give him an unfair edge (seriously I’m not making this shit up) and where military science is developing crazy fucking force-field armour for tanks.

Add to that the growing dominance of huge corporate entities in world economics and politics, and really, where’s the fiction? We’re already living in a corporate run, greed driven dystopia where life is cheap and only style is forever!

Someone pass me a Glock and point me to the nearest Ripper doc already!