Tag: Science Fiction

Featured Blend: Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is dead, long live cyberpunk!  The genre that was the hottest thing in science fiction in the 1980s and early 1990s has had its death certificate drafted many times.  From the signature works of William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling and K.W. Jeter it supposedly ended soon after authors like Neal Stephenson started writing cyberpunk so over-the-top that it almost parodied the genre. But if you look at some of the classic elements of cyberpunk:

  • A near-future urban setting, often gritty and veering towards dystopia.
  • A dark view of technology often with innovations that seem amazing but end up with a loss of individual privacy or identity, and the technology being often embedded or integrated into biology.
  • A tone Influenced by hardboiled and noir detective fiction, usually paired with the fast pace of a thriller.

This description could be applied to plenty of books before Neuromancer came along, (Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination being one strong example), and there are books published in recent years that carry the cyberpunk torch, using elements from this recipe book to create new and entertaining SF novels. By all means, if you prefer you can call it something else, but I’ll just be over here reading it. From a blend point of view, most cyberpunk falls under the SF/Adrenaline umbrella in the blender.  Here are a few from the last 5 or so years, but feel free to comment with your favorite cyberpunk torch carriers. (more…)

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach


TITLE:  Fortune’s Pawn
AUTHOR:  Rachel Bach
PUBLISHER:  Orbit, 2013
SERIES:  Paradox, Book 1

THE BOOK: Searching for a way to get noticed and get a spot with the Devastators, the elite king’s guard of Paradox, Devi Morris takes a security job on the most dangerous trading ship in the region, The Glorious Fool.  It doesn’t take long for Devi to realize why one year with this ship counts as five years with any other trader.   (more…)

Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch

TITLE: Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Thomas Sweterlitsch
Putnam, July 2014

THE BOOK: In the near future the city of Pittsburgh has been destroyed in a nuclear blast, and even though John Dominic Blaxton was out of town when the bomb went off, he never recovered from the loss of his wife. Ten years after the tragedy, the Pittsburgh Archive is a digital recreation of the city and its people that serves as a virtual environment survivors and tourists alike can visit.   (more…)

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher


Title: The Burning Dark
Author: Adam Christopher
Publisher: Tor, 2014
Series: Spider Wars, Book 1

THE BOOK: From the moment decorated war hero Captain Idaho Cleveland arrives on the U-Star Coast City he knows something is not right. No one on board seems to have heard of him. Ego aside, the battle that he survived should have been known to anyone in the military, as it was the only successful fleet action against the Spiders. Ida is being eased out of the military, and this posting to the station is his final assignment. (more…)

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Title: The Shining Girls
Author: Lauren Beukes
Publisher: Mulholland Books, 2013

THE BOOK: Harper Curtis is a time traveling serial killer.  How about that for a one-sentence pitch? Harper discovers purely by chance a key to a very creepy house whose doors open on different times.  The catch is that the house wants Harper to find and kill certain girls —  girls that shine. (more…)

Lexicon by Max Barry


Title: Lexicon
Author: Barry, Max
Pub.: Penguin, 2013

THE BOOK: Car chases, kidnappings, blowing stuff up — all these elements are most often found in your bog standard thriller and yet they all can be found in the first 50 pages of Max Barry’s latest SF book Lexicon.  There are two storylines in Lexicon which playfully obscure and reveal truths about each other as they race to a action-packed convergence in the end of the book.   (more…)