Registered: Mon 28/06/10
Loc: Monterey, CA
So there's no pressure on Jim ...
What is your Cyberpunk vision? What does that world/system/galaxy/universe look like to you?
William Gibson's Neuromancer was, fittingly, my introduction so his vision colors mine. As I mentioned to Jim earlier, the character of Molly is forever imprinted in my mind.
It's a world of dark, dingy ghettos where the poorest and the rebellious live as well as world of towering, shiny chrome and steel built to house the corporate powers and those who serve them. The corporate cogs dwell in the myriad levels between them the opulence they live in directly proportional to their usefulness to the powers that be. Throughout it all is the glint of neon. Outside of megaopolises there lies the wastelands of low tech, no tech, forgotten tech, populated by the denizens the likes of which could fill the Mad Max movies.
I'm also searching the Net for Cyberpunk rule sets that i can evaluate and incorporate. I don't much care for rules, save for giving me a framework to build characters... But, somethings i have seen seem interesting enough to serve my potential needs and leave me the freedom for running a narrative story based game.
Molly does leave a lasting impression.
Wolf? tell me about your seminal cyberpunk influence?
For me it was actually Blade Runner.
What about other influences?
I would later get into Shadowrun a little, but the crunchiness of the system was overwhelming, but i loved reading the sourcebooks. Next was Neuromancer and then Snow Crash. I have a kindle with several other novels and anthologies awaiting my attention too.
Mike Pondsmith was an acquaintance I met thru Erick Wujcik in the 90s and so I experimented with cyberpunk and CP2020.
While Manga was not really my thing, I did enjoy a number of anime such as Akira, and the original Ghost in the Shell.
There are a number of other influences as well.. we can get into that later though.
Anyone else care to participate in the conversation- I understand this does not denote interest in the game should one arise from this... just conversation.
Visually, I think cyberpunk is quite nailed down. Blade Runner, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, et al, it's the fine detail that tend to vary more, does it have hover cars/spinners? Cybernetics? Wasteland outside the walls? Prominence of the Net, etc.
Even though stuff like The Matrix, RoboCop, Appleseed, has strong cyberpunk elements, it doesn't have the neon noir visuals.
For me, cyberpunk is Pondsmith's CP2020. Here's a nice video ode to Night City.
Registered: Mon 01/06/09
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
I keep reflecting that we are in a type of proto-Cyberpunk world of reality already. Just think about all of the levels of tracking, hacking, manipulations, economic disparities and yet technologic dependence that we live with on a daily basis.
Don't get me started....
I'm a big fan of the genre. I was probably influenced first by Blade Runner -- and for the record I like the voice-over -- probably because I grew up watching '30s and '40s movies on KTLA.
Of course Neuromancer and Mirrorshades solidified my understanding - as well as a crazy anthology called Semiotext(e) SF. I even worked at Borders with one of the authors way back in the '90s!!!
I loved the dive towards magic that Shadowrun took - and that it was set in the PacNW.
Still have my original copy of Cyberpunk and a bunch of little supplements I somehow acquired. Gotta love the Nagle-esque artwork!
Phoenix - I like to be a storyteller, so I completely get your thoughts about game systems and mechanics.
Admittedly, never much into Manga and/or Anime - though I kinda like Cowboy Bebop.
Ividia - Your description was perfect! With Kristianne/Crimson I was excited to explore a character that moved between the high-low worlds and was fundamentally flawed. And the styles!
Not that I'm saying I would join in another writing project...but.... it would give a bit of my soul back from economics homework!
My cyberpunk influennces? Oh my ... the issue being mine go way, way, way back ...
I start with the Brunner 'trilogy' - Shockwave Rider, Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up ...
True, many folks put them on the dystopian New Wave shelf, but they provided a rock solid foundation for what would become Cyberpunk. Shockwave Rider's "Net" is closer to today's Internet than anything out there, its where the term computer "worm" came from ... Stand on Zanzibar's rubrics introduced the dark (and often bitingly sarcastic) intrusion of the corporate, personal, vibrant, noisy world's intrusion on the story ... both feature hypercorporations ... and then there's Sheep, which has to be the best and most dark prediction of the future.
But, then, of course, there are the classics - I ran into Bladerunner AFTER I went through my Philip K Dick binge - Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep and A Scanner Darkly - Then the Gibson binge - Neuromancer of course, but I really liked the the collection of short stories from Burning Chrome better. I also admit I bailed on cyberpunk at about the same time that Gibson and Sterling did - understanding that when you start calling yourself cyberpunk you were no longer cyberpunk - just chrome and mirrorshades fashions that were so ten minutes ago.
I also like Strange Days, The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius (fine, who knows what genre *that* is), The Stars My Destination, Snow Crash, Akira,
(and fine - I also have a soft spot for the British version of Max Headroom - which is a great example of how the follow up versions forgot what the original was about)
Personally Gibson's more recent books (like Pattern Recognition, Spook Country) are not only more mature and more intelligent but MUCH better written.
Now-a-days I am surprised where I find good cyberpunk - you know, the stories that reflect on the day after tomorrow's technology effect on human nature and how we deal with the interface of real and virtual worlds - which brings us to Psycho-Pass andSerial Experiments Lain
Registered: Mon 01/06/09
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
When we started FFF back in 2013 I picked up a short-story collection on iBooks called Re-Wired - Post-Cyberpunk Anthology. It was fun to see how the genre had shifted. I think short-stories work really well with the genre: just enough to give a taste but not get too caught up in _all_ the details. Burning Chrome was great as well.
Registered: Mon 01/06/09
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
It was all behind the scenes as we were fleshing out introductions. Wolf and I just jumped in to story.
There was a start to set-up character connections with AJ writing a tech-broker named Joseph 'Joe-D' Dimacci and to a street-samurai from Pandemonium named Antonio "Chico" Windsor. However we never got to take it any further.
Registered: Mon 28/06/10
Loc: Monterey, CA
Some digging and collating and here we are: ============================
Jenner and Madoka
Knowing Bushido Red kept business to Tokyo time, she had taken the time to rest before going to see him for confirmation and final payment. It was 4:00 AM local time as Jenner left The Rickshaw Club, her business concluded. There were fewer people on the streets at this hour though it was never empty. There was once a saying about a city that never slept. In her experience no city did. There were always some people about. Having no place to be and currently flush with funds, she wandered along until a certain organ rumbled at her.
She stopped at one of the street side noodle bars and went in. She took a seat against the wall and at the window looking out. She pressed her order into the menu set into the counter and watched the passing people as she waited.
"Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudon! Inaniwa domo, with all the little tiny shrimp exploded with tempura, hai!"
It is with a bright flounce, a playful jingle of long pigtails bound in steal rings and the clump clomp of unlaced boots upon the backless chair's lowest rung that the streetwaif bebops into place. From the pockets of her Hokusai print jacket she starts unloading an odd array of small things - mostly change that getsslid aside, beads and trinkets, a rainbow of data chips and bits of wire and other oddities upon to the counter.
After the coins have been counted she leaned back, smiling bright.
"And green tea please, hot hot hot!"
The ret of her treasures are swept back up, the prerequisite coins remaining.
Fingers silently tapped out a four by four rhthym as she waited for her meal, closing her eyes to sniff-sniff as she heard the sounds of cu linary delight behind the counter.
With a nod and a mile she offered Jenner a bright,
“Good morning, Madoka-chan,” Jenner said as she accepted her steaming noodles. “How does this fine morning find you?”
The woman peers at Jenner through her rose colored glasses, thin traceries of light flickering across the lenses.
" ... usually when I throw open the doors of the crate after waking up and all. It's not like I'm hiding or anything. Mornings on an infinite loop, so its not like there's any way to escape except by sleeping in. But then you lose the sunrise, breakfast noodles and little shrimp exploded in batter ...."
She smiles as her udon noodles topped with shrimp was set before her.
" ... and seeing who is out and about."
The corner of her mouth lifted in a partial smile. As always, Madoka answered the question she chose to hear instead of the question that was posed. Fortunately she was much more forthcoming in business dealings.
“It is a lovely morning.”
Lifting her fingers form the table she snares a pair of chopsticks, snapped them apart with a flourish, polished away the splinters and still to her own personal beat stabbed her noodles. She then showed proper nihon ettiquette, sluroping up the first of her breakfast ... unlady like loud.
"A sunrise of orange and saffron, warm udon, good company and a riff that has promise. It is a very lovely morning."
She curled noodles around her chop sticks and stirred before lifting some to her mouth to eat them. After a couple of bites, she asked, “Are you just out for an early breakfast or were you out looking for me?”
"No ones gotten me a box of real, farm grown cherries yet, hai? And that's required to close a contract, and without a contract there's nothing to ship a secure hardcopy of to Zurich for."
She then wrinkled her little nose, continuing to slurp her noodles, answering between delicate bites.
"Though Kundalini makes pretty bikes. I should have asked for lessons."
Snaring a batter covered shrimp in her chopsticks, she nibbled it to death before speaking again.
"Archiving is at the end of the month, however. I'll walk to your branch office when I need it skipped to Europe."
“End of month it is. I will make sure I am available.”
She drank from the small cup of no longer steaming tea then finished off her noodles and rose.
“If you find you need me sooner, you know how to find me. I bid you good day.”
Caught midway through a tempura nibble, for a moment, for a moment the street waif looked crestfallen.
"Hoi, so soon a sweet parting, a sayonara, and auf-veinna-schnitzel!"
Taking a sip from her tea, however, she bounced back brightly.
"How far are you skipping today? It must be so very adventurous, to spend each night in a different city!"
She stepped aside as the busser came and collected her dishes.
“Not far. Not far at all. This skip is for myself and no other, and I have set no points or schedule.”
The waif touched her rose tinted glasses, returning a smile.
"Nowhere is far for me; one of the best things in the world is that everything is linked in a web of interdependence that would amaze even Lao Tzu."
She shrugged, worrying her noodles with her chopsticks.
"Also, one of worst. But Lao-chan would also say that is the necessity of being.
"No worries ... if I need, I can find."
“Sayonara, Madoka-chan,” she said with a small bow before leaving the noodle bar.
one .. two ... one two three four ...
The beat suddenly splashed across The Haight, right at the Ashbury intersection. The ricksaw bikes which fought against the spinners on the street almost piled on top of each other as traffic suddenly screamed to a halt.
There ... flicker ... shimmer ... the tall electronic billboards that rose into the sky shuddered and sparkled, and when they re-rezzed it was to an already a mosh pounding crowd, the four four time already picked up as the streetside beat. White hair, wild, all zettai ryouiki in dark reds and blacks, but it was the black guitar that sent the bright rock and roll chords across the city ... sharp four beats to the bar that suddenly dropped into a sultry ballad ...
The city stopped, the traffic paused ... and it was nineteen sixty something all over again ... for a moment, folks s topped, they smiled and danced.
When I woke up I was steel and chrome, A stream of code what I called home. How was I to know what it means? Just a lonely hope in metal dreams. I looked up to a glitterin' sky, Saw the stars sparlklin' so high, How could there be anything to life I could bring? For all I wanted to do was sing …
One in particular. There, a top a traffic trapped hovercab, She danced ... beneath Yamamoto Rei's multistory image. Dressed in dark leathers, street chic armor, flashy and pragmatic. Her long dark hair flew this way and that and her hands were empty as she spun, but they were playing an imaginary guitar, one hand drawing out air-chords ... the other rising up the air-guitar's air-neck to press fingers against air-frets.
The dancer had not just caught Jenner's attention.
"Look at that .... LOOK AT THAT!"
"SHE KNOWS THE CHORD CHANGES!"
It was true ... and more ... the dancer's motions not just matched the virtual singer up above ... move for move, chord for chord, it was synchronicity. Which should have been impossible ... for a song that had never been heard before.
" ... no ... that can't be ... Kusanagi-hime?"
The whys and wherefores, however, were lost, forgotten, as one of the huge, hi-jacked billboards suddenly went black and when it rebooted it was with two meter high strings of diagnostic code. Imagine ... a hemisphere of jacked in rockerboys and rocker girls ... all scrambling for a download, because they know that anytime after this one time ...it's just a recording.
" ... sweet sugar in the morning ... they just crashed the NHK servers ..."
Then a quieter whisper.
" ... holy jeezus ... she's singing about equal rights for Aye-Eyes ..."
When they looked ba ck up, the cab top dancer was gone.
'cause I am more than data ... I am more than lines of text. I want to know what's next ...
I want to walk side by side. I want to someone's hand to hold.
To know what its like to be warm, Never again in the cold.
I want to feel my life. I want to fall in love.
I want to spend my nights dancing, With all of the stars up above
Later, as the crowd finally broke and slowly the city came back to life, there was a quiet voice at Jenner's side.
It was Madoka. She looked flushed, as she slipped her long pigtails back into their metal rings, but also happy. Not that she wasn't habitually happy, but today, a bit more so. Now it was not unexpected to find her here; she did live in this crazy little city state.
What was suspicious was the heavy leather coat, carefully folded into anonymity, under one arm.
The display certainly caught her attention like it had everyone else’s. There was abrief smile at the exuberance of the cab top show. With most stopped and staring, she stepped closer to the nearest building and leaned against it. It was not like she had anywhere immediate to be. She was also unsurprised when the waif appeared at her side.
Madoka had a habit of doing that, just suddenly being there. It was something Jenner could certainly appreciate.
“Konnichiwa, Madoka-chan,” she greeted the girl.
The young woman still held the music's beat in her step, offering a morning spin too!
"Konnichi wa! I didn't expect to see you in the crowd ... are you on the way to something else?"
The girl’s cheerfulness even managed to break through Jenner’s stoic attitude. With a head bow in her direction, she answered, “Hai, I am between here and there. And what brings you out into the throngs this day?”
She bounces on her heels, looking up to the tall billboards with wide eyes.
"I never ever ever miss a Rei-chan release!"
Her head ducks and she whispers,
"Electronic, techno, industrial, comtec, house, hardhop ... there's too much music out there that's built around tribal rituals and banging guitar strings with a metal pipe ... and most digital chords are too perfect, they lack the warmth of a lift pushed down ..."
With another spin she looks back up, sing-songing an ancient riff.
" ... I love rock and roll ... put another dime in the jukebox baby ... "
“Do you come out just to enjoy or also for the little shows that occur?” she asked as she continued along her path. “Or perhaps both?”
She would not remark upon the jacket tucked up under Madoka’s arm. It was not her business.
With a hop and a scramble she beat-steps after Jenner.
"Hai ... hai .. hai ... tabun ...!"
Yes, yes, yes and maybe.
Tucking the jacket close so she doesn't lose it, she wrinkles her brow and bites her lower lip.
" ... besides, Yamamoto-san would be disappointed if I didn't. Or at least I would hope so. I think so. She should be. I'm not sure. It all depends. One can hope, hai?"
" ... I love rock and roll ... put another dime in the jukebox baby ... "
That little sing song ...
She had just heard the same voice singing from the holographic billboards.
Intersesting. She sounds exactly like Yamamoto Rei….
A simple brief answer was all she gave.
“Did you need something, Madoka-chan?”
The streetsider blinked.
"Ie ... no ..."
She then skipped a step.
"Does one always need a reason to walk with someone they know? Have we become so broken by coin and corporate mores that the simple pleasure of walking a couple blocks with someone who knows your name and you know hers is in need of explanation?"
She spins again, looking back to her companion.
"It is a lovely day. Yamamoto Rei stopped traffic and for a moment ten whole city blocks were dancing and smiling ... and ... and ... everyone was being nice.
"What more can one wish for, on a San Francisco morning?
"Except perhaps a flower for your hair."
“I suppose no reason is needed,” she said with a slight shake of her head and a brief smile.
She paused in her walk just long enough to snag a bright fiber optic hibiscus flower from a vendor. With a bow she offered it to Madoka.
“A flower for your hair. It befits you more than I.”
That soft sing song was back, as she gratefully accepted the cutting edge flower, slipping it into one of her chromed hair rings - a bit jaunty, definitely patchwork, and somehow fitting her makeshift image.
" ... if you are going to San Francisco ... be sure to wear some flowers in your hair ..."
The singsong was back, definitely softer, reminiscent of a more gentle span of time.
"Scott Mckenzie, nineteen sixty seven, for the first Montery Pop Festival ..."
She looked back up to Jenner, her gaze suddenly serious.
"Back then, they actually thought music could change the world.
"Saint Lennon, Country Joe and the Fish, Buffy St. Marie and Dylan who proved that even if you can't sing, people would listen to you ..."
The streetside w aif stopped, then, and cast her arms out, as if indicating the crowded street, the tall billboards, from mountains to sea.
"Ten blocks. For three minutes ... that's .... art.
"If tomorrow, or the next day, or the next ... if one person, only one, that's all one asks ... if only one person hesitates, for just a moment, just one heartbeat, and for some reason - perhaps a beat, perhaps a rhthym, perhaps a scrappet of lyric ... decides to hold back instead of strike ...
"That's a miracle."
She smiled, returning to her bright be-bopped pace.
"One can live for the little miracles, Jenner-san.
"Like a pretty flower gifted upon a summer day, in what's left of San Francisco, upon the very streets where patron saints once walked and set their dreams to a quarter-time beat with an accent upon two and four.
“ ;Domo Arigato, Jenner-san."
A few steps more, before she peeked back from beneath her rebellious bangs.
"So ... between deliveries, just what do you do? How does a courier relax?
"I mean, taking a vacation to some exotic city, wouldn't that be too much like work?"
There is something about Madoka that has slid under Jenner’s tough exterior, a fondness for the girl she cannot explain. It makes her willing to answer her questions where she would probably tell another to pound pavement.
“I wander and make memories of places and things,” she told her. “I try new foods and new drinks. I see new sights. I may go to “exotic” places in the course of my work, but I rarely see much of them.”
"I like that ..."
The street waif kept pace, weaving through the sidewalk as only a well practiced pedestrian could. She held her jacket to her chest like a school might her books, both traditional and practical, at least so in the less surveillance'd city blocks.
"It's one thing being able to visit everywhere ...
"It's quite another to ... well ... actually experience anywhere, hai?"
“Hai. It is quite another,” she agreed, her steps slow and unhurried.
She was not out on business nor truly had any particular destination in mind.
“I was thinking of taking the ferry to the waterfront and trying a restaurant there I have not tried before. Would you like to join me?”
" .... Hai! I love the waterfront; the way the waves ripple, the sun dancing to the surf's beat ... and it is never, never the same twice.
"It's like listening to the ocean, the world jam."
With a bright skip in her step she follows,
"Domo arigato ... I don't often get out beyond the streets and shipping crates ... I know I should ...it's just ... just ...
"Everytime I turn around, there's something new to see, to hear ...
"Sometimes I feel like a shadow person, a kage-aidoru kashu ... caught between the here and now ..."
She smiled wistfully as she tapped her rose colored glasses, and they rippled a playful tapestry of deeper crimson lines, a flash, there and gone.
" ... and the other here and now."
She then grinned brighter.
"But all that pales against good food and good company, hai?"
“Hai, good food is made better by good company, and good company is a rare thing indeed,” Jenner agreed with a shadow of a smile for the waif.
Good company was very rare. There were not many people Jenner liked to be around. Most tended to pry into things she would not or could not talk about under the pretense of small talk. She kept it to business. It was better that way, for all. She made the exception for Madoka. She could not say what it was about the girl that brought forth this willingness to bend her own rule….
They arrived at one of the transit stations and Jenner purchased rides for both of them then led the way onto the tram.
Madoka's thanks were bright and easy, for the offered tickets and the tram ride. Obviously she liked the tram; there were quiet oohs and ahs as she looked out the window, that and a very curious gaze. She watched over the other passengers, and her look was intent.
As if she really did care about these folks; and it was not the corporate types with their bodyguards; but the blue collar workers, the pair of students, the old couple at the end.
Not the rich one percent of one percent, the stories the screamsheets made important.
Just everybody else.
She smiled, looking up to her companion. And her words, they were not prying, nor are they anything but a shared observation, an earnest one.
"One .... one can piggyback the holocams ...
"One can access real time in a tri-d ee image
"But it is so so so different ... to actually ride the tram"
She pressed her forehead, looking out the clear pane of plastic.
"You do this every day.
"You are very very lucky, Jenner-san!"
She gave a shrug. “One makes one’s luck. I just like to be out among the people. Hai, it is very different from watching by cam or vid. The eyes catch only so much. What you hear and smell can tell you more.”
She nodded to the couple. “They smell of earth and probably have a small garden.”
“One worker is going home, another just starting out. And the students share considerably more than classes and notes.”
"Hai! This is where the real songs are; shipping crates, sidewalks, little cafes and trams. if you close your eyes you can hear not just the pulse and rhythm of all of us ...
"But hear the heart of the Haight.
"Hear her laugh and dance when a boy and a girl walk hand in hand ..."
Her words fall off a bit and she hugs herself tight. Her head shakes back and forth, long pigtails dashing.
"Hear her cry when we hurt each other.
"But she's just metal and steel Jenner-san.
"Metal and steel can't sing ...
"Someone has to sing for her."
Biting her lip, Madoka shook head once more. When she looked back up, then, her eyes were bright and her smile back. She tapped the side of her rose colored glasses. Once, twice, and then blinkblinked and hopped and looked down and away, her cheeks the bri ghtest red and all flushed and bothered.
"More than classes and notes and homework OH MY!"
She then whispered, conspiratorially.
"They really really oughta upgrade their comtech software ... their chitchatering is bleeding all across the local commnet bandwidth ..."
Registered: Thu 18/05/00
Loc: Fort Wayne IN USA
LH, there are two ways that come to mind at the moment. First, you can break it up into 'chunks' that will fit into a post and then post them all. That might be more work, but pretty straight forward.
The other possibility would be to post it to one of the 'cloud storage' services like Google Cloud and then post a link to it. That =should= work, but I don't know if anyone has actually done that yet, and the reader ends up downloading the file, so it would need to be in a format that is easy to open ... like '.rtf'. If you decide to go that way and need some help, lemme know.