Thursday, June 16, 2011

The sounds of cyberpunk

I am close to completing a collection of short science fiction stories.  As my work habits are erratic, I can’t really give you a due date by which you can have the collection in your sweaty little hands, but I can tell you that I plan to add three more stories to the ones that I already have.  Two out of these three will be cyberpunk.

To get myself into the proper headspace for that, I’ve done what I always do in the pre-writing phase: turn to my music collection.  Now there has been a long, bloody online war raging since about 1990 as to what cyberpunk “is.”  A sub-argument of that is “what is cyberpunk
music?”  I do not contend that any of the songs I’m about to list are or are not cyberpunk. 
I really don’t care either way.  I just know that they help set the spirit for what I’m about to write.  After all, the best definition I’ve heard for “cyberpunk music” is “in the end, real cyberpunks listen to whatever they want.”

Kraftwerk, “Radioactivity”
A couple German guys produce music entirely with machines.  That sets the tone for me.

Fear, “I Don’t Care About You”
Definitely the cyberpunk attitude.

Front Line Assembly, “Mindphaser”
If the song doesn’t do it for you, the video certainly will. 

Duran Duran, “Wild Boys”
You know I couldn’t get through this without at least one DD track.
Here once again, it is the video that really makes it cyberpunk in my
humble o.

Duran Duran, “Out of My Mind”
Fits directly into the concept of identity, a theme of one of the stories.

U2, “Zooropa”
“Let’s go to the Overground, get your head out of the mud, baby.”

Bjork, “All Is Full Of Love”
Bjork becomes a cyborgized, androginized, android. No sign of the swan dress, sadly.

Orgy, “Fiction” and their cover of “Blue Monday”
Dreaming in digital, because it’s better than nothing.

Nine Inch Nails, “Zero Sum”
A mournful tune that sounds like the headspace of someone looking over a post-cyberpunk landscape.

They definitely captured the spirit of the burgeoning Internet back in 1993.

Just getting into this one.

Adam Ant, “Stand And Deliver”
Fits one of my characters.

Einstuerzende Neubauten, “The Garden”
My friend Daiv turned me on to this song and Chris, another friend, recently listed this among his own set of cyberpunk tunage.  I think it works.

Billy Idol, “Shock to the System”
Yeah, totally kidding on this one.  He probably should’ve finished reading Neuromancer.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets


  1. Great selections. "Man Machine" by Kraftwerk would have been another appropriate choice.

  2. Thanks, Daiv! Yeah, Kraftwerk were way ahead of their time.

  3. On Facebook, Bernard the Ghost Dogg said: "Dude, you have inspired me to try my own hand at science fiction."

    I'm very glad to hear it.

  4. Forgot another good one, Daiv. Gary Numan, "Are Friends Electric?"


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