The Possibilities of Cyberpunk Nostalgia

All Star Comic Con was this weekend. It was my first time having an author table at a con (more on that later). It was a chance to connect with other local writers/creators. And it was an unexpectedly nostalgia-provoking experience.

Maybe the nostalgia I’m feeling tonight was brought on by the 80s/90s kick-off party on Friday. Or maybe it’s from talking to so many people about my writing and reflecting on the whys and whats and hows of my writing process.

Whatever the reason, I’m thinking about a book I started writing nearly 20 years ago. It was back in the Unix era of my sysadmin days when I was glued to my Sun Ultra 10, was too cool for a GUI, and was totally enamored with the powers of grep, sed, and awk.

I was also bewitched by books like Snow Crash and Neuromancer and felt sure a dystopian cyberpunk novel was the purest expression of my true writing passion. I even wrote portions of it in vi, naturally.

But I never finished it. (Unsurprisingly.)

I fished out some drafts of it several months back, sure that it would be utter garbage, and it was (surprisingly) not awful. There are large sections (and characters) I still love and what I’d originally written as revolutionary-tech now has a retro-futuristic vibe that I kinda dig.

The holes in the plot/world that kept me from finishing it are still there, but a solution to that may have come in an oddly vivid dream… if I can merge the craziness of that dream with that earlier book idea. That’s why I dug up the drafts all those months ago and I think it could work. Maybe.

Am I going to try? I’m not sure.

I’m committed to The Psychic Traveler Society first and will keep working on that series as my main project.

But the idea for this new/retro book came back to me again tonight and its insistence is building. That makes it a prime possibility for a backburner project—something to dabble with when I need a break to switch gears and clear my head.

Maybe I’m too far removed from the tech world these days. Or maybe that doesn’t matter. Right now it’s all nostalgia and possibilities, which is a rather lovely feeling.

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