You know that scene in the original Alien when Ripley asks the computer what's going on with this kill-beast eating the crew?
It tells her that the Company wanted samples of the organism no matter what. Priority One.
That's one luxurious health-care plan. A brutal co-pay and we'll throw in a free monster exploding out of your chest.
You hear folks saying that cyberpunk's a dead genre because we're living it now.
We've got companies just as warm and fuzzy as Weyland-Yutani.
You won't get any spirited defenses of Facebook, Google, and Amazon out of me. They are what they are, good and bad and evil.
The thing that irritates me the most about them is the way they're in total control.
Even Bill Gibson never foresaw the total omni-presence of today's multi-national mega-corp.
Philip K. Dick did see it coming, I think. His mental and drug problems aside, PKD was a remarkable prophet of today's world.
Think of how many people rely on pharmaceutical drugs to get through the day.
How many are "addicted" to the virtual worlds on the other side of their phones and tablets.
How many aren't just willing but ear-to-ear grinning that they're giving up privacy and living under near-total surveillance for a hit of soma.
East Germans would risk everything to escape that just 40 years ago and we're doing it voluntarily.
Weyland-Yutani was ruthless and psychopathic, but they could be avoided.
Cyberpunk isn't dead so much as transformed.
High-tech, low-life – we tick that box.
Back in the 80s it was harder to see where it was all going. They could predict the computer networks. It was harder to see how invasive the virtual worlds would become.
And they're getting more and more invasive. Elon Musk wants to put a chip in your brain. Companies have patents on the seeds that grow our food. They'll be patenting genes in bio-engineered humans soon enough.
If you think there aren't plenty of stories to tell about the intersection of man and machine, all the existential dread and noir aesthetics, you aren't paying close enough attention.
PS – If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe? That way you can receive them directly in your inbox... and you'll get the members-only posts.
There's no charge (yet) to subscribe as a free member, so click here and join now.