April is Cyberpunk Month

April: the calendar year's creepy next door neighbor.

If there is one month out of the year that I don't like (as ridiculous as it may be to declare disdain for an entire month) it would be April.

Why? Because I hate Spring and sunshine, and Easter bunnies? Of course not! I don't like April, because that seems to be the one month of the year where people go a little crazier than normal.

Think about it. The Branch Davidians in Waco? April. Oklahoma City bombing? April. Columbine? April. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any others at the moment. I guess I should be thankful for that.

As people who have had cabin fever all winter emerge from their homes and out into the rapidly warming spring air (although not around here; it's still frigid) they take a little of their crazy with them.

So I have decided to celebrate April by escaping the crazies and living in the virtual world of cyberpunk.

What this basically entails is having a month long film festival of sci-fi movies. Over the last couple years I have amassed a pretty serious collection of cyberpunk movies, but it seems like I hardly ever watch them. So now, having April as Cyberpunk Month gives me an opportunity to do just that.

So, if you're interested, here's a quick list of my recommended flicks:

  • The Matrix Trilogy (for the proper viewing order click and scroll down to Enter The SuperNerd)
  • Ghost in The Shell 1 & 2 or Stand Alone Complex (if you're feeling ambitious)
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Blade Runner
  • Gattaca
  • Freejack
  • I, Robot
  • Akira
  • Appleseed (2004)
  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • Lawnmower Man
  • Equilibrium
  • UltraViolet
  • Aeon Flux
  • Escape From NY/LA
  • Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis (2001)
  • The Returner
  • Strange Days
  • The Island
  • Vanilla Sky
  • The Thirteenth Floor

Each year I also like to watch a few that I haven't seen before so this year I am finally going to get around to watching the Robocop Trilogy and Tron.

Yeah, I know it's unbelievable that I haven't seen them yet. I've seen Robocop 1, but that was a long time ago and I've never made it all the way through Tron, but this is the year!

Also, if you're not into the whole 'watching movies' thing, there are a handful of books I can recommend too:

  • Philip K. Dick - pretty much anything by this guys is solid gold and he wrote the books and short stories that a good chunk of the movies listed above are based on. Definitely be sure to check out Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which was the basis for Blade Runner.
  • The Neuromancer Trilogy by William Gibson. Neuromancer, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. Neuromancer is really the book that started it all. Although it wasn't the first, it nailed the concept and style and coined the phrase "matrix" and "cyberspace".
  • Snow Crash & Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash is genius. It has completely insane and over the top action sequences coupled with analysis of Sumerian mythology and metaphysical philosophy. This book inspired Second Life.
  • Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. I read this one last summer, it's basically a murder mystery, but the world that Morgan creates is different from anything else I've ever read, while still remaining oddly familiar. It's the first of a series.

Well, I think that's enough for now. If you're still reading this then you are a huge nerd... just like me.

Anyway, enjoy Cyberpunk month. Go try something new!


Ivy said…
totally insightful Mr. Sievers. . . I enjoyed your ability to express your awareness of our ever changing seasons, and how they affect us in ways we are not always conscience of. Ivy
Ivy said…
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