Posted on October 28, 2008 by Monica Valentinelli
Cyberpunk. The word can conjure images of nihilism, drug abuse, post-apocalyptic societies and a world gone wrong because someone, somewhere took advantage of technology. It’s often a classic look at the “haves” versus the “have nots” which, in this case, typically are those who understand, own and manipulate technology better than the end user. A sub-genre of science fiction, cyberpunk usually delves into heady themes that involve morality, Machiavellian politics, addiction and a breakdown of the social structure.
Empathy is the first novel in the series Street, written by Ryan A. Span. First offered online, this is a book that falls neatly within the cyberpunk genre. You might not think so by the cover; a painting of a woman with a “third eye” graces the cover of the book. While the painting was done well (thanks to the talented Jan Popisil), it does nothing to allude that the book is cyberpunk, and it truly is.
Posted on October 25, 2008 by Flames
A Bad Beat Rocks the Street
The shadows are abuzz about the new drug in the sprawl: tempo. It takes the user on a unique trip, better than anything experienced before. Druggies can’t get enough of the stuff, and even beetleheads are giving it a shot. Tempo’s popularity shifts the balance of power between the syndicates and soon the blood and bullets are flowing.
Ghost Cartels is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.
Posted on October 16, 2008 by TezMillerOz
Religion is electrified in the snappy first book of Jeff Somers’ cyber-noir series featuring Avery Cates.
John Lennon might have imagined a world without religion, but this futuristic tale features a church gone mad, where to convert means sacrificing your brain to a cyborg’s body. And if you don’t want to convert…well, the Electric Monks want to kill you. (I think. I read a lot of this in front of the TV, and thus didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.)
If your mission is to kill the head of a legalised-yet-suspicious religion, where might they live? In England, apparently, in Westminster Abbey – only what Avery Cates finds there is mind-blowing. But before that he has to build up a team to help him take down Dennis Squalor – which is nice, but I got tetchy waiting for the assassination to begin.
Review by Tez Miller
Posted on August 24, 2008 by Flames
Three new Shadowrun titles are now available at RPGNow!
HACK THE PLANET!
Unwired is the advanced Matrix rulebook for Shadowrun, Fourth Edition. For everyday users, it explains how the Matrix works in easy-to-understand terms, and provides new software, qualities, and gear. For hackers and technomancers, it introduces new hacking tricks, malware, echoes, and sprites. It also covers system security and new Matrix phenomenon, from AIs to the resonance realms.Unwired contains everything players and gamemasters need for exploring the Matrix in Shadowrun.
Posted on April 17, 2008 by Flames
In the future, telepathy is no longer a fantasy; it’s a job.
Gina- just Gina- is a woman with no future, trying to make her living along the Street of Eyes, where people go to hire the desperate and the suicidal for their unique services. She is one of the sellers, the new underclass, who use “third eye” or “Spice”- a powerful drug that gives them the ability to read minds- as their way of making ends meet. The drug has only one downside- it drives the user insane.
Street: Empathy is the first volume of the acclaimed online series by Ryan A. Span. Buy it now from Amazon.com.
Posted on March 3, 2008 by Flames
I’m a Gibson fan. I came up through the whole Cyberpunk thing – part of the reason I embraced the internet so readily – and followed onwards through the rest of his books as he became a publicly acceptable ‘important author’ rather than ‘just’ a science fiction author. Aside from a few short stories and things here and there I’ve read everything he’s put out from Burning Chrome to this, Spook Country.
Spook Country follows several different threads of stories and picks up on and carries along with a few bits and pieces from his previous novel, Pattern Recognition, which I loved and which suggests this may be part of a loose ‘trilogy’ much like his Cyberpunk trilogy (Neuromancer/Count Zero/Mona Lisa Overdrive) and his near-future trilogy (Virtual Light/Idoru/All Tomorrow’s Parties). This would seem to follow several patterns you can see in Gibson’s work…
Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough