I am grateful for the time afforded to me from Christmas through New Year’s to reflect on what the year has given me, and this year has been particularly giving as far as Cyberpunk is concerned, because it’s the year that I discovered the term. If you take a quick look at the posting history of this blog, you can see that it was born on March 20th, 2018. But my discovery of the term dated slightly before that, right near the beginning of the new year, in February when the legendary Altered Carbon series came out on Netflix. While binge-watching the series I discovered something within myself recognizing a passion that had been born long before that fateful cold afternoon–back when I saw The Matrix for the first time, in the blissful days of my childhood.
My, what a journey 2018 has been since then. After discovering that there was a name for the genre, linking The Matrix to Altered Carbon and then to Ghost in the Shell from the previous year, I dove headfirst into the genre. It was really those three movies that I loved so dearly that created the click in my head, that there was something here that linked them all. After some quick research I found my favorite Cyberpunk blog, Neon Dystopia, from which I found the most comprehensive definition for the term. I then looked up the “founding fathers” of the genre, having a bit of a hard time but finding some common denominators that the entire movement could be traced to. The two main ones that I found were the novel Neuromancer and the 1982 movie Blade Runner. So I read the book, re-watched the movie, and then read the novel that was the loose inspiration of the movie, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I then moved on to more modern Cyberpunk, Snowcrash, while at the same time devouring any tv shows or movies I could get my hands on for the genre. Meanwhile, I read Ready Player One twice, and then went to see it in theaters during opening week. I created a reference book for all the media I was consuming, to help me keep track of what happened in them and the interesting ideas I discovered in each one. I created this blog as a way to post some of these reviews and ideas online, as well. It was also this year that I discovered synthwave, and some of my new favorite synthwave artists like Le Matos and Carpenter Brut.
I wrote to my favorite Cyberpunk blog, and then after months of waiting, I was happily rewarded by joining the writing team for Neon Dystopia, contributing to their weekly Last Week In Cyberpunk (LWIC) but also having my first review of cyberpunk media published, a review for Killtopia. It even inspired me to write my own Cyberpunk novel, for which I’ve already written an outline and have written the first couple chapters.
I wonder what 2019 will bring, but one thing I know for sure is that my love for everything Cyberpunk will continue. I will carry on consuming and writing about cyberpunk media, starting off with this new year with watching the newly released Bandersnatch episode of Black Mirror, and then hopefully from watching Replicas and then Battle Angel: Alita. I’m also excited to read the newest addition to my cyberpunk library, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, as well as learning more about Philip K Dick–his life, his writing, and his philosophy.
What about you, dear reader? When did you discover Cyberpunk, how, and will you be consuming more Cyberpunk media in 2019? What movies, books, TV shows, or music are you excited for?