Note — Oct 21, 2018

Exploring the Future Beyond Cyberpunk’s Neon and Noir

A pretty fantastic reading list. Jay Owens asked around on Twitter and assembled nine microgenres of fiction to go beyond cyberpunk, with a few (excellent, based on the ones I know) recommendations for each. Lots of interesting directions to explore in there.

Ning coins the term chaohuan, or “ultra-unreal,” … He describes chaohuan as a Chinese acceleration of Latin American magical realism: chaohuan seeks to capture a Chinese reality that is often stranger than fiction, and in which “there is nothing you can’t accomplish if you hold power.” […]

… its more literary practitioners have reclaimed its place at the vanguard of China’s national introspection. They are using it as a Trojan horse to sneak in truths obliquely, offering not feel-good bromides but twisted visions of what modern China has become. […]

It’s also a way of examining digital humanities, critical theory, and aesthetics. Afrofuturism and its Africanist manifestations “overlap around the speculative and the designed, and interact around the nexus of technology and ethics.” […]

“[T]hemes and ideas of Gulf Futurism emerge: the isolation of individuals via technology, wealth and reactionary Islam, the corrosive elements of consumerism on the soul and industry on the earth, the erasure of history from our memories and our surroundings and finally, our dizzying collective arrival in a future no one was ready for.” […]