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Subject: Cyberpunk Lingo 101 rss

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Randall Shaw
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After having flirted around the edges of the Cyberpunk genre for a long time, I've now jumped in with both feet.

Hello Android: Netrunner. cool

To truly get in the mood, I'm reading Gibson's Neuromancer for the first time. Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble with some of the terminology and have decided to consult the experts. What are the meanings for the following:

Sarariman

Simstim

Joeboy

Street Samurai

As I'm only about 1/3 of the way through there will prolly be more where these came from...

Thanks!

 
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Joshua R
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Sokadr wrote:
After having flirted around the edges of the Cyberpunk genre for a long time, I've now jumped in with both feet.

Hello Android: Netrunner. cool

To truly get in the mood, I'm reading Gibson's Neuromancer for the first time. Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble with some of the terminology and have decided to consult the experts. What are the meanings for the following:

Sarariman

Simstim

Joeboy

Street Samurai

As I'm only about 1/3 of the way through there will prolly be more where these came from...

Thanks!



Sarariman: "Salaryman" (with 'japlish' r/l swap) - a corporate-type that works for a Zaibatsu. Somewhere, I think, between a wageslave and an executive.

Simstim: Simulated Stimulus - synthetic sensory input as a form of entertainment. See the film "Strange Days."

Joeboy: I forget exactly how this is used, but IIRC, it's just a typical street hood, a low-end punk that may not even be all that criminal.

Street Samurai: See the RPG Shadowrun for a full description. Street Samurai have cybernetically enhanced reflexes, muscle grafts and other artificial implants and enhancements to make them excellent bodyguards, bouncers, enforcers, etc.

Enjoy the book!

Edit: fixed some spelling and added a couple links - strangely, no official class description of The Street Sam in Shadowrun seems to be available. =\
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Martin Presley
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Sarariman AKA Salaryman, this is a Japanese white collar corporate employee.

Simstim A recording of one person's experience, which is played back directly on the senses of another.

Joeboy A novice.

Street Samurai Someone who has extensive cybernetic augmentations to make them better at combat.

I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer, though as I recall I was never comfortable with it until my second read through.
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Randall Shaw
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Thanks for the fast replies!

Clarification: In the movie 'Strange Days', the simstim was only a playback device whereas in Neuromancer it can provide realtime experience (but the effect is still the same)?

"Enjoy the book"

Absolutely. My only problem is I'm going to want to sail right into Count Zero when I'm finished and my local library doesn't have it (but does have Mona Lisa Overdrive--go figure shake

 
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Martin Presley
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Sokadr wrote:
Absolutely. My only problem is I'm going to want to sail right into Count Zero when I'm finished and my local library doesn't have it (but does have Mona Lisa Overdrive--go figure shake



Good news is Neuromancer is really excellent as a contained story, so don't feel like you need to complete the trilogy to have a satisfying read. After you're done with Gibson I'd recommend the comic book series Transmetropolitan.
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Joshua R
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Sokadr wrote:
Thanks for the fast replies!

Clarification: In the movie 'Strange Days', the simstim was only a playback device whereas in Neuromancer it can provide realtime experience (but the effect is still the same)?

"Enjoy the book"

Absolutely. My only problem is I'm going to want to sail right into Count Zero when I'm finished and my local library doesn't have it (but does have Mona Lisa Overdrive--go figure shake



Yeah, simstim can be broadcast (and there's a lot more of it in his later books). That's definitely different than Strange Days, good call.

I hope you find Count Zero! The trilogies are definitely best enjoyed as full sets (though it's not as "mandatory" as a lot of other literary series, imo).
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Randall Shaw
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"I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer,..."

I am too but wanted to make sure (ie was more or less correct on Street Samurai but less so on Joeboy).

"...comic book series Transmetropolitan."

Will do.

What do you think of Stephenson's and Sterling's offerings?
 
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Geoff Hollis
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hoobajoo wrote:

Joeboy A novice.


I got the impression it meant something more along the lines of "casual apprentice". Perhaps it's just a slightly different shade of meaning, but I think it's worth mentioning. Gibson does go on to use the term "Hotdogger" in Count Zero as a derogatory word for "novice".

Street Samurai: Muscle for hire, typically with cybernetic modifications.
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Martin Presley
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Sokadr wrote:
"I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer,..."

I am too but wanted to make sure (ie was more or less correct on Street Samurai but less so on Joeboy).

"...comic book series Transmetropolitan."

Will do.

What do you think of Stephenson's and Sterling's offerings?


Stephenson's writing style is superb, but it's a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it affair. Some people can't stand his long digressions into backstory and setting details, but those are my favorite parts. His story structure isn't as good as Gibson, but he makes up for it with colorful prose and memorable characters. Snow Crash is absolutely the place to start. Diamond Age is also very good, but isn't really cyberpunk.

I haven't read Sterling, so I can't recommend a title. I know he's one of the cyberpunk Big Names, so certainly check him out.
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Joshua R
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Sokadr wrote:
"I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer,..."

I am too but wanted to make sure (ie was more or less correct on Street Samurai but less so on Joeboy).

"...comic book series Transmetropolitan."

Will do.

What do you think of Stephenson's and Sterling's offerings?


Transmetropolitan is a good rec...

The only thing of Sterling's I've read is The Difference Engine (co-written w/ Gibson) and I thought it was alright. I remember being a little underwhelmed, but it had interesting elements.

Stephenson gets a lot of cyberpunk cred despite only really writing one cyberpunk book*, but Snow Crash is awesome. All of his stuff is very, very good, but it's all over the map in terms of subject matter. Know that before getting into it and you'll enjoy it more. Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite books ever, I thought Anathem was really good, too. Most of his other stuff I've enjoyed, but not as much as those threee titles.

All IMHO, of course,

*kind of like how Gibson is revered in steampunk circles despite co-writing one steampunk book and that's it
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Andy Mills
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Reamde has elements of cyberpunk, but was also enjoyable.
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Evan
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hoobajoo wrote:
His story structure isn't as good as Gibson


I'll grant that Stephenson (whom I love regardless) often just sort of keeps writing until the narrative abruptly runs out of gas, but this has to be the first time I've ever heard Gibson's story structure described as "good."
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Rayne Smith
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I'm reading through Neuromancer for the first time as well. It's a great book. I plan on reading Snow Crash next. It seems like these are the two books that come up every time someone asks about good cyberpunk books.
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Randall Shaw
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I may do the same myself as my library did have Snow Crash. It should show up about the time I finish Neuromancer. cool
 
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Michal Dziewonski
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hoobajoo wrote:
I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer, though as I recall I was never comfortable with it until my second read through.


That. Also, good to see tasty recommendations for follow up reading. I would also recommend http://cyberpunkreview.com/ for further research.

Stay wired!
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Scott C
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reitoei wrote:
Sokadr wrote:
"I really enjoyed learning the slang from context in Neuromancer,..."

I am too but wanted to make sure (ie was more or less correct on Street Samurai but less so on Joeboy).

"...comic book series Transmetropolitan."

Will do.

What do you think of Stephenson's and Sterling's offerings?


Transmetropolitan is a good rec...

The only thing of Sterling's I've read is The Difference Engine (co-written w/ Gibson) and I thought it was alright. I remember being a little underwhelmed, but it had interesting elements.

Stephenson gets a lot of cyberpunk cred despite only really writing one cyberpunk book*, but Snow Crash is awesome. All of his stuff is very, very good, but it's all over the map in terms of subject matter. Know that before getting into it and you'll enjoy it more. Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite books ever, I thought Anathem was really good, too. Most of his other stuff I've enjoyed, but not as much as those threee titles.

All IMHO, of course,

*kind of like how Gibson is revered in steampunk circles despite co-writing one steampunk book and that's it

Manydills is right -- Reamde is sort of a noveau cyberpunk. Maybe it'd be more accurate to call it a cyber-thriller, but I think it's got enough anti-authoritarian elements to genuinely assess it as a modern revival.

For those pursuing/trying out Stephenson, definitely start with Snow Crash and Reamde. Cryptonomicon is excellent, but the pace can drag in several places. I'd actually recommend Zodiac over Cryptonomicon for that reason.

As for The Difference Engine: don't let the people who define steampunk by Victorian accessories and goggles fool you; it's a cyberpunk story through and through. It's information warfare in the Gilded Age.

Sterling's cyberpunk cred primarily comes from his work from the critical angle, documenting and editorializing on the movement from the perspective of an author who was more a frequent collaborator and sounding board in the right circles than a contributor himself, IMO. His work collecting and selecting for Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology is more than enough, on that account, but he's also written several excellent prefaces. As a body of work, I feel cyberpunk really shone in short form, and Mirrorshades is as iconic a collection as Burning Chrome but more diverse.
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Joshua R
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I did really like Reamde a lot - I just didn't want to start listing his whole oeuvre... That's why we have Wikipedia.

Since this thread has gotten a bit off the rails, I'll just point out that this thread still exists:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/863504/cyberpunk-recommendat...
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