Wow! Over the weekend, The Sword of the Magi cracked Amazon’s top ten in the cyberpunk category. This is amazing. Obviously, first, I have to say thank you to the fans. This wouldn’t have happened without you. An extra thank-you to the fans who have posted reviews! Remember to sign up for the mailing list to receive notice about the upcoming sequel, A Heaven for Demons, and opportunities to receive an advanced copy.
Cyberpunk has had an interesting history. I grew up on Gibson in the 1980s. “Fragments of a Hologram Rose” and “Burning Chrome” are two of my favorite short stories of all time, regardless of genre. And then in the 90s, of course, I encountered Stephenson – and never forgot Hiro Protagonist. But cyberpunk has really expanded since then.
If you take a look at Amazon’s list of best-selling cyberpunk novels, you’ll see everything from space opera to transhumanism to scifi spoofs. The emphasis is definitely on cyber and less on punk; Gibson’s sprawl and Shadowrun’s spiky hair are less important than anything with an integrated circuit.
That makes sense. Cyber is everywhere in our lives now, so why shouldn’t cyberpunk leave behind its grunge roots and go mainstream?
Cyborgs are everywhere. People with IV ports, pacemakers, headsets, glass. Designer babies aren’t just a possibility. Music, sports, communication, everything comes to us through cyberspace now. It’s not the province of a small segment of society like it was when I joined my first Compuserve forum back in 1984. So – naturally – cyberpunk is a big-tent phenomenon too. That’s too bad for some of the .info Bryces who loved being l33t and viewed the internet as a positional good, but it’s good news for anyone who likes art. Yeats talked about Byzantium being a time where man was closest to unifying artifice, nature, and religion, but it seems to me that now is to Byzantium as ten is to one for that sort of unification.