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Cyperpunk

Posted by Brande on 04/30/2017

While cyberpunk can be entertaining, like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, there is one element that is often ignored, and that is the surveillance technology of tomorrow. If a story takes place in an urban dystopia, cameras, microphones and monitoring of your internet traffic, bank account and use of technology would be everywhere (possible even technology that monitored your mind). With nanotechnology, one even talk about "intelligent dust". With fully digital, cheap and wireless technology, in addition to AI able to notice suspicious behavior, facial recognition and everything else connected to your identity, rebellion against the authorities in such a future would be very hard, if not impossible. Have you ever given any thoughts about if it is possible to write about such a society in a credible way? The closest thing I can think of is Person of Interest, and how they were able to hide from the Samaritan (but countless smaller and independent AIs around the city could represent a problem). Going against the system would be very hard if there are no way to hide from it. If Tom Cruise found it hard to break into a high tech building in Mission Impossible, living in a future where the whole city is like one of those rooms would be an even greater challenge.

Re: Cyperpunk

Posted by Greg Bear on 05/01/2017

Good points, Brande. I think you'll find I did not ignore these issues in a number of my novels, including BLOOD MUSIC, QUEEN OF ANGELS, SLANT, DARWIN'S RADIO and DARWIN'S CHILDREN, VITALS, QUANTICO, and MARIPOSA. Further research is clearly necessary!

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