My debut novel STELLARNET REBEL will be released in just two weeks, and I’m hard at work on the sequel.
My publisher is calling SR a “cyberpunk thriller,” but that’s entirely accidental. What I mean is, I didn’t sit down thinking “I’m going to write a cyberpunk thriller.” I sat down to write the kind of story I wanted to read — one that seemed to be missing from a literary landscape dominated by steampunk, zombies, werewolves, vampires, and epic space operas that resembled fantasy as much as science fiction.
I was also inspired by Alex Steffen’s article, “Science Fiction, Futurism and the Failure of the Will to Imagine.” I wanted to write about a future extrapolated from current technology and social trends. The result was “cyberpunk.”
Wikipedia defines cyberpunk as a SF genre that focuses on high tech and low life, hackers, artificial intelligences, and megacorporations, set in a near-future Earth rather than a far-future galactic vista. Cyberpunk Review defines cyberpunk as having such elements as:
1) Negative Impact of technology on humanity
2) Fusion of man and machine
3) Corporate control over society
4) Story focused on the underground
5) Ubiquitous Access to information
6) Cyberpunk visuals: Dirty “lived in” look, darkness contrasted with neon
STELLARNET REBEL is set in the squalid confines of an extra-solar space colony where humanity not only connects via personal devices, but all things — walls, ceilings, tables, clothing, even bottles of whiskey — are interactive and connected to the Net. It features computers, video games, virtual reality, hackers, the Internet (or, as it’s moved beyond Earth, the “Stellarnet”) and rebellion (thus the title, uh huh see what we did there? lol). But technology is portrayed as a good thing, enlightening, entertaining and connecting humanity, rather than oppressing and depersonalizing us.
Some people claim the term “cyberpunk” is overused, misused, or out-dated. When you hear the term “cyberpunk” or “cyberpunk thriller,” what do you think of? Share your thoughts here in the comments for a chance to win a prize package with promo items, your very own nagyx “soul stone,” and a $10 gift certificate to ThinkGeek. Contest ends at midnight EST January 2, 2012.
– J. L. Hilton
For more information about the book, check out StellarnetRebel.com. Advance copies are available through NetGalley.com for review. Follow the author at JLHilton.com or Facebook, Twitter, deviantART, Goodreads and Google+.