Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cyber World, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola

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(Cyber SF) Stories that reimagine cyberpunk in light of modern technologies and project it forward. (59,623 words; Time: 3h:18m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Cyber World," edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola, published on by .

Cyberpunk Revived

Of the twenty short stories in this slim volume, eighteen of them are original stories. (We don't review reprints.) Of those eighteen, ten of them more-or-less fit the cyberpunk definition. The rest include Virtual Reality stories (2), Military SF (2), Post Apocalypse, Time Travel, a Psionic story, and a Climate-Fiction mystery.

We recommend two and recommend against four, which is average for this number of stories. Several of the three-star stories were well-written with interesting concepts, but their protagonists were spectators, not active participants in the stories. Readers who value concepts more than story might like a number of those as well.


Serenade, by Isabel Yap is probably the most faithful to the original cyberpunk concept. Two professional hackers in Manila try to decrypt an old USB drive for a mysterious client with lots of cash.

The Singularity Is in Your Hair, by Matthew Kressel is also pretty solid cyberpunk. The narrator is a gifted teenager who's dying from muscular dystrophy who lives as much of her life as possible in cyberspace. Her best friend is a rogue AI, who gives her hacking jobs and who promises she'll be able to upload her mind before her body dies.

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