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Old 09-15-2022, 09:51 AM   #51
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Cyberpunk, Space Travel, and Setting Design

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Originally Posted by Arith Winterfell View Post
I do like horror/darker settings however. It may simply be (as IRL I see myself as mostly an academic, and very much a person who follows the rules) that I have a lot of trouble connecting with the "low-life" end of the "hi-tech, low-life" definition of Cyberpunk. Maybe my issue is connecting with a poverty culture (even though in real life I'm poor) or the rocker / punk aesthetic of Cyberpunk.
I hear you. When I visualize my "cyberpunk" setting (inspired heavily by Battle Angel Alita), I tend to see the main NPC as something of a community leader among the downtrodden. Tries to keep things quiet to avoid bringing down harsh retribution from the crystal spires and toga people. Perhaps accused of being a Quisling by the more revolutionary minded.
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:11 PM   #52
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Cyberpunk, Space Travel, and Setting Design

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Originally Posted by Arith Winterfell View Post
I'm actually kind of turned off by the "thug life" or outlaw emphasis of cyberpunk, and while I in the past thought of Ghost in the Shell as Cyberpunk, I'm actually beginning to wonder if I really should think in terms of general Transhumanism as a basis for the setting.

I do like horror/darker settings however. It may simply be (as IRL I see myself as mostly an academic, and very much a person who follows the rules) that I have a lot of trouble connecting with the "low-life" end of the "hi-tech, low-life" definition of Cyberpunk. Maybe my issue is connecting with a poverty culture (even though in real life I'm poor) or the rocker / punk aesthetic of Cyberpunk.

All that said, I do rather like the idea of fighting oppressive evil corporations type thing. And I find the idea of Cyberpunk's net-running and cyberspace to be what I really find appealing about the Cyberpunk genre.
Sounds like what you might want is a hopeful "quasi-Cyberpunk." It's got the setting dressing of Cyberpunk - evil corporations, cyberspace, netrunning, etc. Perhaps corporations don't actually have legal immunity, it's just that the law doesn't prosecute them due to heavy corruption. Rather than the "punks" being scummy low-lifes just trying to get one over on the world, they are (possibly-jaded, at least at the beginning) idealists who are actively trying to make a better world. While it was fantasy, Mistborn actually took a similar approach - while the government was indeed the enemy there (but the Great Houses functioned very much like megacorporations), and the heroes were indeed criminals, when Kelsier recruited his team, he specifically chose a team that was made up of legitimately good people, people who had been beaten down by the world but wanted to make things brighter, even if some of them failed to realize it.

You can also compare and contrast Gibson's original "Johnny Mnemonic" short story and the Johnny Mnemonic movie. In the former, the data in Johnny's head wasn't anything that really made a difference to the plot, aside from people wanting it (a classic MacGuffin), Molly was basically just a mercenary he hired to keep him alive, and the Lo-Teks were just a gang Molly had an "in" with, and that could help Johnny get access to what was in his head... via a smack-addicted, cybernetically-enhanced dolphin that was trained as a codebreaker. Once they take out the Corpo assassin, they get the data and sell it to the highest bidder, then make a business using the dolphin to recover all the previous data Johnny had been a courier for and selling it off. It's later revealed in Neuromancer that eventually the corporations got fed up with all that and sent a new, better assassin, who killed Johnny at his desk without anyone the wiser.

In the movie? The data is a cure for a debilitating sickness that's affecting the impoverished masses, Molly is nowhere to be seen and we instead get the unprofessional Jane, who suffers from said sickness (and isn't terribly useful, rather than being a chromed-to-the-gills, one-woman army), the Lo-Teks are rebels trying to rescue the masses, the dolphin I believe was actually rescued from a research project and helps them willingly (rather than being found after being discarded by its original owners, and continued to be pumped full of smack to keep it compliant), and they ultimately use the data in Johnny's head to spread knowledge of how to cure the disease around the world, wiping it out and saving untold thousands - if not millions - of people.
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