Thursday, July 22, 2010

forged in the black country, under blood red skies

Fans of Fallout? Want to show off that fandom in a quirky way? How about Nuka-Cola artifacts from the wastelands? Man, talk about making the digital real. She does great work.

And building in Mikela Isle, I came across this:

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My mind tells me--due to the price tag and the name both--that this is never something Earalia Nolan wanted released for ten Lindens. But my mind also tells me that whenever this was ripped, it was ripped a long time ago, because nano prims are fairly common now.

Still. Marked as L$800. For sale for L$10. Hmm.

(I am also amused at the yellow text to the side: "Prims are small because of well crafted sculpty maps, NOT illegal hacking". Good to know. Considering this ad was quite likely illegally hacked. Oh, the irony.)

It's looking very likely that we'll see a big-screen version of Neuromancer sometime soon--director Vincenzo Natali has the rights and is actively looking for funding, apparently.

As much as Gibson dismissed Neuromancer in the early days, it was one of the first solid codifiers of what was, at a gut level, recognized as cyberpunk--the decaying vestiges of the old world seen and sold for trinkets, influence of another culture (alternatively Russian or Chinese, depending on the idea and the author), the freefall of morality and militarization, the highest of high tech in the lowest of low places. And it started things, my gods, did it start things. Not only two more books from Gibson set in the same universe, nearly the same city, but several other authors had Chiba City encodings stamped on their imagination sets.

Now, Natali is a fairly new director; most of his work credits are for storyboarding, art panels (notably, he is listed as a storyboard artist for Johnny Mnemonic, though he's uncredited in the film itself). But there is one additional nod to something that could be very interesting for Neuromancer: Natali directed Cube.

Cube,Vincenzo Natali,horror,sf

Cube was, gore aside, very much a thinking person's horror film. It wasn't so much about the moments of terror--and there were moments of terror--as much as it was involved in heavy social commentary. Namely: when we are stripped of everything we rely upon, who are we?

Cube,Vincenzo Natali,horror,sf

This is necessary terrain for Neuromancer. In the net, on the grid, on the wire--who are we away from meat and bone? Who are we but the words we use to present ourselves, the emotions we display, the pixel looks we choose? When we cannot look at another being and read them, eye to eye, we rely on what we're being shown. And at times, what we're being shown is flawed simply because it's something other than who we are.

Cube,Vincenzo Natali,horror,sf

It's been a few years since I saw Cube, honestly, and I'd managed to completely forget David Hewlett was in it. But the point still stands: Cube is, at its heart, less about the Saw-like traps and tangles, and much more about the people trapped in the heart of the device: what happens when we are cut loose from our moorings? What happens when we have to judge quickly, and realize even a casual mistake could equal death? Of what value are the guiding rules of our societies, we are asked, when life is on the line? How soon do those ethical trappings fade away?

What are we, when we are reduced to fear, and anxiety, and the need to survive?

Cube tells us, over and over, two things: that we are beings that choose five minutes more of panic-stricken life, over dying nobly, virtually any day of the week; and that we are beings who profoundly do not think ahead to possible future outcomes. One of the people trapped in the Cube, after all, is the fellow who designed it--and never thought, beyond that moment, about the future use of such an object.

Overall, I think this is a good time for Neuromancer to make an appearance, and I think Natali is an excellent choice for director. I'll be watching for news of the film as it goes on.

Speaking of matters digital, apparently, there's an excellent cyberstalking app that's been released for the iPhone. It makes it so much easier to find out exactly where one's victim has eaten, where he or she works, where he or she is likely to go, and her likes and dislikes. Is that what the developers of the Foursquare app wanted? Not likely. But it's what they have.

And finally, a bit of funny to end this missive with: the Write Sex blog's take on Mulder and Scully, and the modern death of tease in paranormal fiction. Torchwood is mentioned at the end; for Torchwood fans? It's worth reading just for that sublime little pay-off.

2 comments:

Rhianon Jameson said...

Dying nobly versus five more minutes of panic-stricken life? Yeah, doesn't sound like a close call, really. :)

Emilly Orr said...

See, I think this is also why I'm out of the gene pool, on a genetic level, too: because honestly? Just kill me. Fighting through room after room, all potentially trapped? I *may* die at any moment? Seriously?

Or serial killer has me, is removing one part (finger, toe, organ) every three days, and I'm have two options--irritate him into killing me, or wait, in fear and pain, hoping beyond reason I'll find a way to escape.

Really, some situations I'm going to fight, I know that. But some of them? Just kill me, already. I'm going to die before the film ends anyway; why drag it out?