Tag Archives: cyberpunk

GQ in conversation with William Gibson: Just how fucked are we?

Read the wonderful interview here.

This is a great interview; I’m d.y.i.n.g. for his new book coming out next week. I feel like Gibson has an almost singular genius for being able to seemingly reach at will and get the pulse of Western cultural anxieties, that he then just…curates into something bleak, funny, textured, but with some vague tinge of hope, po-mo nihilism only sometimes tongue-in-cheek.



There’s no writer / blogger / creator whose brain I most try to invade and shamelessly steal from as Warren Ellis.

Since 14 or so, every artistic obsession of mine (what I consume, what I want to create) is rooted in his varied, rich, visceral, staggering career.

Cityscapes, the dirty urban, the sprawling technet, the weird and shimmering PRESENT and all the ways it is tense, convulsing, reaching.

Rant over — but his scribblings over at are so beyond worth subjecting your eyeballs and feeble brains to.

Time for Dr Whisky and re-reading FreakAngels. Gnight dearest comrades.

Review: ‘Shovel Ready’, by Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready: A NovelShovel Ready: A Novel by Adam Sternbergh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I will be honest and admit I wasn’t overly convinced of this novel right away; as a lover of William Gibson and Warren Ellis, the setting and premise felt a bit too familiar and overall the ground felt a bit well-tread. I knew right away I’d probably not be disappointed because this kind of gritty, noir speculative fiction is deeply in my wheelhouse, but I wasn’t sure it was going to live up to the expectations I had been building up for it for months.

In the end, I had really been swept up by this book, which manages to be more than the sum of its parts, which is not necessarily a knock on the parts. Adam Sternbergh has an obvious talent for pace and a heavily stylized narrative voice. The plot remains a bit well-worn, a heavy-drinking hitman anti-hero meandering about a dirty-bombed New York City full of shanty camp towns and the rich plugged into yet another flavor of a Matrix-like mass hallucinatory cyberspace bites off big on a strange job that only gets stranger. But Sternbergh is a fine storyteller and more than competently ushers along an engrossing tale. But the real strength here is in the frenetic tempo of the entire story, the way tension is elevated higher and higher and kept taut through the end.

The real danger of writing in a familiar genre is too easily falling into tired tropes and half-hearted style, and the book manages to mostly avoid it; the grit and noir are convincing and textured, rubbing the right away and making sure it burns. I really can’t commend enough Sternbergh’s risky approach to style, rapidly hammering one scene into the next with staccato, almost absurdly lean prose. The culminating effect feels like an action movie or graphic novel, with things getting hot early and never settling into any downtime.

I was happy to learn, as I suspected, that this isn’t a standalone debut but that at least one more ‘Spademan’ novel is in the works. I look forward to seeing how these characters and this refreshing approach to pace and structure bear out with more time. The world Sternbergh has created may not be as ultimately unique, but it’s an enjoyable nod to its predecessors and well worth spending your time in.

View all my reviews

Of First Downs and Other Trivial Things

This semester will either be my most sadistically-orchestrated wreck, or my finest proverbial hour.

I’m working until roughly 1-2am, then getting up at 7:30am Monday – Thursday for class. For many years now I’ve been a staunch advocate for Too Little Sleep and Caffeinated-Anything as underrated tools in the writer’s arsenal (at least, -this- writer’s arsenal), but even I have limits. It does take me to a place I enjoy writing from, but it also admittedly makes me rather irritable and gloomy, two qualities that I serve up too much of even on a good day. In the off chance I became crabby-assed toward anyone out there, rest assured it’s most likely due to (though, of course, never justified by) the above-stated.

Also, as I’ve mentioned briefly before, my work as a creative blogger has become official with the signing of the first-month, probationary contract. The first post goes live on September 15th, and rest assured I’ll point everything that direction when the time nears. The income from the project is needed and welcome, as is the experience.

I’m also apparently on board to be an assistant-editor with the ever-awesome Vince for the Analecta this year, an endeavor that I feel honored and eager to be a part of. Also, I may or may not be doing some proofreading work in the future, thanks to Charmi.

I think once it becomes a bit more routine I’ll acclimate to it well, as I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember, and have not regularly let myself receive more than 6 hours of sleep since I was around 10 years old, when my mother gave up trying to have me do otherwise. I’m simply one of ‘those people’ that feel that time is quite sincerely the most valuable thing in the world, and I’ve felt for a long time that I’m battling my own clock, be it toward death, the inabilities of extreme old age or what-have-you. Those little cliche realizations people have on sitcoms where someone dies, the old egg about ‘living every day’ and all that — I was fortunately born with this attitude, though it quite resolutely decides to manifest itself more as ‘surely there is something interesting I can be doing besides lying unconscious for three extra hours’, even if ‘something interesting’ is catching up on a favorite TV show, writing a blog that no-one reads, and so on.

I feel lazy when I sleep more than 6 hours, and on the very rare occasion that I accidentally (always accidentally, I’m serious) take a *gasp* nap, I mentally berate myself for hours afterward and feel like an absolutely lazy oaf. I get so little real time to myself, that I feel sleep is a monumental waste.

Damned weak flesh that traps my mind! I suppose this is what attracted me to the Enhance-Everything world of cyberpunk.

I’m sure you’ve all been quite entertained now by my rantings on not liking sleep; if you were bored, you may all write letters of complaint to the kind and friendly Talia, who insisted I update more often with my Ryan Rambles(TM).

On a less rambly note, the highlight of my day/week/month thus far has been the addition of a dog to our family! My mother and I recently moved into the first house in a long while where we were allowed anything other than our two cats (Sweetie and Oracle). A good friend of the family knows a woman near Bremen who runs a small-dog pet rescue, and we went to visit, and came home with a Chihuahua-Manchester Terrier mix named Hoosier. At first I didn’t like the name, but it’s so adorably rural that it grew on me rather quickly.

He is the cutest, kindest little dog I’ve ever encountered. Very laid back and quiet, he just likes following people around and napping, and of course randomly leaping onto laps and licking. He’s the perfect little dog. Pictures are coming soon, I promise.

And yes, of course, more poems to come as I find time to write them, and don’t feel ashamed to share them.

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I hope this ramble didn’t bore anyone too terribly much, and I wish everyone a very relaxed Labor Day.

Always in thought-