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Archived Memories: Toward an ANR Community Reading List


Not a reading recommendation, but Janelle Monae’s first album, Metropolis Suite I: The Chase, is a concept album about a robot on the run for falling in love with a human. (There are other parts of the Metropolis Suite, but she leans hardest into the theme in the first part.) She uses a lot of cyberpunk and Afrofuturist imagery in her art and videos: The short film for “Many Moons” is a particularly great example. Her style in general feels very Netrunner to me in how they bring vibrance and humor to the cyberpunk aesthetic.


Wow, I’ve never heard anything like this. Thanks. This is a great thread.

Actually I do hear some Andre 3000 in here, I think.


This is such an amazing book. The entire series is awesome, I picture Marid Audran for Nasir every single time.


If you really wanna blow your mind with some out-there Afrofuturist tunes, check out some Sun Ra (Atlantis is a good place to start). It’s not much of a direct influence on Netrunner (and thus tangential to this thread), but it’s fucking awesome nonetheless.


[quote]As they worked, Case gradually became aware of the music that pulsed constantly through the cluster. It was called dub, a sensuous mosaic cooked from vast libraries of digitalized pop; it was worship, Molly said, and a sense of community.

my favorite quote from Neuromancer


The Peripheral (Gibson) was excellent. Highly recommend.


Cryptonomicon by Stephenson has a lot going on but sort of fits the bill as well.


Gibson has great ideas and can turn a hell of a phrase, but in terms of narrative I find him really boring. I’ve heard that his short story “Burning Chrome” avoids this, though.

Speaking of short stories, I once had the excellent fortune of seeing China Miéville do a reading of “The Rope is the World” at Comic-Con. Go read it. Now.

Anyone read Burning Chrome?

I agree that narrative isn’t his strong point (especially the first and last chapters - I’ve never read a Gibson book that starts or ends strongly). GIbson is a world-builder through and through. That said, it’s about priorities. I’ve always thought Stephenson has good, creative ideas, but his prose is so bad I can’t make it through 30 pages.


Snow Crash is amazing. There are a couple of chapters that are mostly lectures on Sumerian mythology, but for the most part it’s like a Hollywood movie but a bit more cynical. The hero’s name is Hiro Protagonist. He is the world’s best hacker and swordsman. His sidekick in the thing is a courier like a bike messenger, but she uses a magnetic grappling hook to drag behind cars on a skateboard. If you don’t want to read that book there’s something wrong with you. It’s a miracle it hasn’t been ruined by Hollywood by now. A ninja hacker on a motorcycle begs to be ruined by Hollywood. The fact that the bike is on autopilot while he learns about the Sumerian god Enki on his way to Alaska is the way it’s been saved from such a fate.

After the Run Last Click guys did their talk about cyberpunk books (a few years ago perhaps), I recommended them some cool non-western cyberpunk/conjectural-sci-fi stuff. That recommendation is as follows:

“To make a recommendation, I love cyberpunk that isn’t as Western-centric. It might not be really cyberpunk, but I read a book called The Dervish House by Ian McDonald a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Nanotech and NBN-speed finance in a vaguely realistically futuristic Turkey. I also very recently read a short story by Bruce Sterling called “Green Days in Brunei”. I had first read it at a book store in high school in my first reading Neuromancer days. It was a random selection from a collection that seemed promising and it was excellent. Pro-hacker in a society made equally strange by technology and culture. Because it’s so short it is dense in setting-storytelling and action packed.”

In terms of Gibson, I think ovamod is on the money, but I think I can put it better. He’s a guy who can lay down a setting that is so immersive it requires its own vocabulary. He makes that world deep and real. He can make a cyberpunk world that is worthy of defining the term cyberpunk. That doesn’t mean he tells a good story. At least from a point. (OK, maybe not better than ovamod).

I think he got better at storytelling after Neuromancer though. It’s hard to analyze the guy looking at Neuromancer with its innovative setting and bizarre narrative. His other stuff really cements him as the author of the cyberpunk genre. He could make it. Then he could make it again in different ways that worked well. A cyberpunk with a bike messenger, with however you describe Idoru, with voodoo, with such interesting and exotic things, that’s what Netrunner is digging from. Gibson made cyberpunk and he also made it universal. Cyberpunk has never been western-centric because of Gibson. Cyberpunk has never been tied to any specifics in time and space because of Gibson. A virtually homeless messenger is as cyberpunk as a rasta on an orbital in Gibson’s vision of the future.

If you like cyberpunk, you read Gibson. That’s just the thing. Like one or another, dislike one or another, if you like the cyberpunk setting, you’re going to have to read Gibson.


Found no other place for this:

Hoppers, Punitive Counterstrikes, Bioroids and a huge Atari logo:


And another Netrunner-esque movie adapting a novel: Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon on Netflix


This show has all my attentions. I seek to know more.


Oh I hadn’t heard about that! Altered Carbon and its sequels are great and I was gonna post to suggest it, they’ll make for awesome tv!


Your movie man is back! Look what we have here a whitewashed anime with Bioroids and we even see Null and Kit! And Adams console!


If we’re not constrained to written word: Cowboy Bebop.


So guys, let’s talk about TV shows. Asmodee has announced the launch of an Entertainment Studio to develop new content such as feature films, TV series, comics and graphic novels:

Asmodee Launches Asmodee Entertainment

So they are going to produce entertainment stuff on the Asmodee IPs. Sign me interested for watching an Android: Netrunner TV show in the future. Or Twilight Imperium in cinemas.


It’s oddly revealing of my character that my immediate excited reaction was about Sunshine Junction.


I’m currently, for the first time, reading the millennium trilogy. I’m a little way into the second book - the girl who played with fire and I’m constantly reminded of netrunner and I don’t think that’s because I’m a fanatic that sees netrunner in everything (I only play a handful of games a month).

Specifically the main female reminds me so much of maxx that I have to wonder if maxx was based on her. And there’s one sequence that could easily be the inspiration for liberated accounts - especially the art.


I’m resurrecting this thread to recommend Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. It’s very cyberpunk, but also very modern, by which I mean that it feels more like the terrible corporate-controlled future that we’re heading towards now than like the terrible corporate-controlled future that we thought we were heading towards in the eighties.

Edit: I should probably say something about the book, I guess.

Jack is a drug pirate who justifies reverse-engineering popular recreational drugs on the grounds that it funds her work distributing antivirals and such for cheap. She recently distributed her first batch of a new work enhancement drug (makes work fun!) that she didn’t investigate super carefully, because it resembled other worker drugs she’s seen and she assumed that the corp that made it had obeyed the laws about drug safety. This assumption was very, very wrong.

The International Property Coalition agents sent after Jack are a lot more concerned with stopping Jack than with the fact that the legal version of the drug is also seriously flawed. They also aren’t too concerned with whether Jack’s friends and contacts survive their investigation. I’d say they aren’t concerned with whether Jack herself survives the investigation, but actually they are quite interested in making sure she doesn’t.

One of the IPC agents is a newly manufactured robot, and one of the characters Jack spends a lot of time with is an indentured young human, and a lot of the book deals with autonomy/freedom. (In-universe, robots can be indentured for up to ten years to recoup their manufacturing costs, and humans can be indentured because the courts agreed that it didn’t make sense to allow indenture for one sentient species/group and not the other.)