Recommended: Cyberpunk

Read: Ghost in the Shell (by Shirow Masamune)

A Japanese Manga that follows the fictional Public Security Section 9 which is charged with investigating and subduing cybercrime and cyber terrorism. The Manga is a good mix of action and intellect, sometimes delving into philosophical questions such as what makes us human. It should be noted however, that this is very much an adult book as there are scenes of violence and sexual content.

The Manga is available from Amazon (at time of writing) for about £20. I recommend checking your local comic book store too just in case 🙂

Ghost in the Shell

Watch: Blade Runner (Dir by Ridley Scott)

A beautiful film with gorgeous visuals, a wonderful musical score and a very personal story. A book adaptation that differs to the source but without losing its soul. Based upon Philip k. Dick’s seminal Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Blade Runner, tells the story of Deckard, a man who earns his living by hunting rogue Replicants (synthetic humans designed to work off world).

At time of writing Blade Runner is available on Blu Ray and DVD from Amazon for less than £10.

Blade Runner

Listen: Blade Runner OST (by Vangelis)

The album is a wonderful mix of sounds that invoke familiarity and otherworldliness; a haunting and beautiful piece that will transport you to a very personal world. I find this album is a great option when you want to work or relax on a rainy night.

At time of writing the standard verison of the OST is available for about £5 from Amazon.

Blade Runner OST

Play: Shadowrun Returns (Dev by Harebrained Schemes)

Based upon the Tabletop RPG game, Shadowrun Returns is a Science Fantasy turn based Role Playing Game. It combines fantasy elements like magic and races such as elves and orcs with science fiction elements like cybernetics and hacking to create something a little different. It’s a classic style RPG with no voice acting but a fair amount of reading which had me completely immersed and delighted.

At time of writing the game is available for around £10 from GOG.com, Steam, and HumbleBundle.

shadowrun Returns

If you have any other Cyberpunk recommendations then please leave them in the comments below.

Advertisements

Betrayel Through Worry

A friend recently told me that they like me when I’m myself, and not when I’m worrying about whether I’ll do something wrong. When I’m like that I’m just a person who is worrying, I’m holding back and therefore, not being myself.

I considered the idea and it made total sense. When I hold back on saying or doing something out of fear or worry as to how a friend, relative, or stranger would react to it, I betray who I am. I also betray the relationship I have with that person.

In this respect, I therefore feel that I have betrayed many relationships throughout the course of my life. Every time I have held my tongue or stopped myself from doing something that I wanted to do, I was essentially lying. Regardless of how great or small it was, I lied.

We are defined by the actions and words we speak as well as the relationships we cultivate. We are defined by everything we put out into the world, regardless of whether it’s true to ourselves or not.

Based upon my friends words I can assume that if I continue to worry about everything I say or do and hold back on expressing myself, then I could lose a lot of good friends and loved ones. There may be some that like the person I appear to be, but they won’t know the real me.

So do I want to be surrounded by people who don’t really know me? And do I want to be defined as something I am not? The answer to both questions is no, I don’t.

I therefore plan to remind myself of this every time I’m faced with a situation where I worry or fear being myself. Not only does it mean that my relationships with people will be more honest and stronger, but I will also be a lot happier with myself.

Could Science Fiction Become Fiction?

I often wonder what science fiction of the future will be like, as we are constantly making scientific breakthroughs and developing more and more advanced technology because of this. Eventually many of the concepts and pieces of technology that are at present considered to be fictional will one day be factual. It’s easy to see present-day examples of this which were once considered Science Fiction even as recent as 10 to 20 years ago.

Take Star Trek for example, in the original series they possessed mobile communication devices and automatic doors which were not around at the time. Nowadays we take both of these things for granted. In Star Trek: The Next Generation they use touch screen computers and tablet computers/e-book readers. Again these are both things we are starting to take for granted in our everyday lives. To see any of these things in a story of any kind these days would not denoted Science Fiction like it would have done in the time of the aforementioned TV programs.

Is it possible then, that science fiction could one day disappear entirely? I think this is doubtful as there will always be new mysteries in the universe to be discovered, and new technology to be developed. As long as these two continue to be true, then people will write stories about them (of course the idea of us reaching that final point of no further development could also be ruminated upon in a story). There is of course also the fact that in story writing, the writer/author will often take liberties in regards to the science.

The genre of science fiction tends to include more than just the exploration of scientific theories and technological development; it is in truth more the consideration of what if. What if this happened or what if this will happen. A more accurate term for Science Fiction is Speculative Fiction as this covers all areas of science fiction regardless of whether it’s heavy on the scientific or the technological or not. This also includes the areas of alternative history, future development, disasters, alien life forms and more.

I love speculative and science fiction stories for this reason, they explore ideas and theoretical concepts, as well as thought exercises in what if, which in turn challenges our minds and our souls. It’s also quite nice to simply escape reality for a period of time and immerse oneself in a world with completely different laws of nature and boundaries.

I don’t consider myself to be a science fiction or speculative fiction writer, I’m simply a writer, it just so happens that what I enjoy writing about and the worlds I enjoy creating are not currently reality. If they happen to become reality within my lifetime, then I guess I’ll just be writing straight up fiction.