|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The post below reminds me that I've promised to review Tim Maughan's collection Paintwork, each of whose three stories takes the idea of city environments overlayed with locally-experienced virtual reality - augmented reality - a step or two into the future. They've already been widely and enthusiastically reviewed, and rather than rehash the storylines I'll just flat out recommend them - at a couple of quid for the ebook, it's not much of a risk to check out, and well worth it - and remark on what I think makes them distinctive, which is this.
The cyberpunk vision of the future has been around for a quarter of a century - more than long enough to become default. You can handwave it, you can buy one off the jpeg. And like the shiny and trekky and trippy futures that preceded it, it's become in itself an overlay, a mirrorshade between us and the emergent future in the present that cyberpunk once forced our attention on.
Tim Maughan is, in these stories, doing with now what the original cyberpunks did with then. I hope he does a lot more of it.