“Why though? Shouldn’t you guys be partying it up, celebrating all your success? Is one guy and one girl really worth all this?… I mean, after a while you guys just gotta ask what this is all about, right?”
– Corey Martin, The Metal Within
“You’re writing what?”
I get that a lot. I’m a gamer who became a Christian. Now I’m a Christian, and I write cyberpunk. Kinda like walking a high-wire in a windstorm. I know, not a whole lot of people get it.
In part, I write for the non-Christian sci-fi fans who are disappointed by some of the suppressed, lackluster character development found in some of the “character doesn’t matter” style of cyberpunk. Now, I get that cyberpunk is by definition punk. High tech low-life; people gonna do what people gonna do. But when people do, there are realistic consequences and emotional tolls that I feel a lot of authors flat out ignore. It’s like there’s a reality that’s abstracted right out of the equation, making (some) cyberpunk authors proponents of the same lies they claim to fight against – the selling out of the human condition for some corporate profit. I try to inject a little bit of emotional reality into that equation to see what comes out. So for the cyberpunk fans, I offer what I hope to be a realistic reboot to cyberpunk. I truly hope you like it, I’m giving it my best shot.
Some Christians don’t get it because they think I shouldn’t be wasting my time on fiction. Like I said in my welcome post, I myself struggled for a couple decades before I came to the conviction that I had to write it. So I wrote like I used to teach tweens’ Sunday School – if it’s not going to work on the streets, I don’t bother to waste the kids’ time, or mine for that matter. I figured their parents were trusting me to help their kids get ready for real life, and as a father of five, I know I appreciated the backup. The point is, I told the kids like it was, because if I’ve learned one thing in my stints in the military it was “train to the fight,” and growing up in this day and age has its challenges. Now Christian publishing has lots of material for younger kids, and there’s plenty of fiction for girls and growing relationships, but there comes a time when little Johnny grows up beyond some of the younger reader books and graduates to a new library. If he’s into swords and fantasy, C.S. Lewis and Tolkien are there for him. Mostly thanks to their work, Christian low-tech fiction is now acceptable and there are other materials out there he can find. But not all Johnnys are into swords and fantasy. They like cars, they’re tech-savvy, and they want something relevant for today’s culture. Most guys like action movies – to be honest, it’s how we’re wired. They might not be satisfied with stories of back-country girls developing crushes on guys who play an acoustic guitar. In all honesty, I know quite a few Christian females wanting more than that. Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you don’t need a break from self-help books, just like “regular” people (which, of course, we really are). Enter Christian science fiction. And the world isn’t always what we’d like it to be, so enter Christian cyberpunk, because honestly, the more headlines I read between the more I see that you don’t have to wait for 2048 in order to experience what cyberpunk authors write about. You just need to open your eyes.
Grim? I don’t know. William Gibson is portrayed as a speculative presentist. I’m not Gibson (may the reader note the tip of the hat). Read between the headlines and judge for yourself.
Oh yeah – and, as always,
Enjoy the Ride!