Cyberpunk, Spirituality and Technology - The Voidspace Blogspot

The strange and deluded ramblings of a rather odd person. Hello Dude - It's Me

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These pages are all my own work. Unfortunately that may be a terrible admission. In these pages are various writings of mine, from the first part of my life story, to poems, to mad ramblings without excuse. Below the links to the articles is my blog. Not to be confused with the Techie Blog, this is random ramblings from life.

Rambling Rumination

Diving or Drowning Part I. The first part of my Autohagiography... up to the point where I first take ecstacy. The tale of how a polite, well mannered middle-class child became such a ruffian.....

Diving or Drowning Part II. The second part of my life story - the further fall....

Life in Romania. An article about living in Romania. This follows two visits in 2004 and 2005 to visit my wifes parents. Life is very different in Romania than it is here in Britain.

A Random Assortment. A short collection of my poetry. There's one or two gems buried in here.

HumanOS v1.3. Subtitled baby crocodiles, computers and the human personality. This is an article that compares the human mind to a computer operating system. It touches on artifical intelligence and the ages old Nature versus Nurture debate.

Christian Meditation. A short piece on Christian meditation - exploring living Spirituality with God.

Imagine Paradise. No its not about a large network of computers, its actually about Christian Community..... and why we bother.

The first is an article on the spiritual power of symbols and sacraments. The second one, is on what sort of truth we can expect to find in the bible - with a brief section providing one possible reconciliation between modern science and Genesis. They should both be understandable by 'beginners' to the subjects.

Quick 'n' Dirty HTML. Need to get a webpage up quick and never done any HTML before ? This article will get you up to speed with the basics, using a TABLE for layout. Not for those who want nice, standards compliant, XHTML and CSS...

Voidspace Story. My cyberpunk short story. Lovely imagery but very short *sigh*. Come and play in the Void !

Beginners Guide to Atlantis. My beginners guide for new players of Atlantis - the computer 'Play-by-eMail' game. Very useful if you`ve just started to play.

Scifi and Technology

emoticon:clock Well... two of the subjects covered by this blog are supposed to be technology and sci-fi, but my last two pieces of penmanship on these subjects actually ended up on my Techie Blog. Kind fellow that I am, I thought I would give you a quick pointer to them:

I tend to avoid tech heavy entries in this blog these days, that after all is what my tech blog exists for. I'm also a 'little busy' and don't do much reading at the moment, which is probably a bad thing. I'd far rather be creating than consuming though. Wink

What I should be blogging about is the other supposed topic of this blog, Spirituality. I have some amazing experiences of God at times (really - nothing compares), and get all inspired to write. Usually the urge has evaporated by the time I get home though...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-06-19 16:56:38 | |
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Richard Kadrey - a Sci-fi Author with Sense

emoticon:videocam Well, there is some controversy about making classic works available online. Google are getting into a load of trouble anyway.

Thankfully some authors have good sense, Richard Kadrey has given his blessing to Metrophage online at Voidspace - which is very cool... Smile

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-06-07 21:32:22 | |
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Stardust the Movie

emoticon:movpy Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. He conjures up phantasmagorical worlds that explore both the murky and the wondrous aspects of the human psyche.

Movies usually manage to ruin books, luckily I haven't read Stardust and the trailer makes it look superb. Laughing

The movie is due in August. It has a 'star-studded' cast (no pun intended), including Ricky Gervais of all people. From the trailer he looks well cast. Smile

I rarely go to the cinema, but I might have to make an exception for this one...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-05-25 21:53:27 | |
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The Future Has Arrived

emoticon:python I guess you already knew this, but the future has arrived. Cool

Want to buy some nano-chemicals?

Products available include nanotubes, fullerenes, nanodiamonds, ceramics, nano-metals, quantuum dots and self-assembling molecules...

Free pocket time-projection lamp or swiss watch with every order!

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-05-25 13:19:28 | |
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The Ending Counts

emoticon:tooth I've been busy recently writing a book. Yes, really. Smile

I am only a third of the way through it and it will be a long time until it is complete. I like to have a film or TV series on in the background whilst I write. That means I've been burnt my way through quite a lot in the last few months. My personal preference is for sci-fi / cyberpunk, which isn't too complicated. I can watch most things with only half an eye, so long as they don't get too involved. Laughing

This is good news for this blog, which is supposed to be about cyberpunk. The problem with cyberpunk is that most of its predictions seem to be horrifyingly accurate, so there isn't much to write about on the subject. Science fiction has moved on, and this is the first blog entry for quite some time which is even mentions it. Anyway, I'm drifting even further from what I intended to write about...

A good ending (by which I don't necessarily mean a happy ending) can make an enormous difference to a film. Two films with classically superb endings are:

TV series are a bit different. Looked at as a single body of work (posh hey!), they are much longer than a film, and so have to be more about the journey than the destination. This means that characters and sub-plots are all much more important than for a film. Every episode must have a story of its own, but the episodes must fit together into a coherent whole - which means that the series as a whole must have a point.

Series deal with this in different ways. Some have a single underlying story that the individual episodes explore, others series just have a background story that sets the scene for the sub-plots.

What is annoying, is when a series becomes successful, so the TV companies delay resolving the main story line in order to prolong the number of episodes they can make. After a while the series loses its point, and can fizzle out without ever resolving the plot. Even worse, some series get cancelled before they come to an end. You lose the opportunity for closure dammit.

My favourite example this is the television series Lost. The first series was mysterious, innovative and a great watch. It was also wildly successful, and in the second series (which I stopped watching), you got the feeling that they were introducing random and bizarre new elements into the main plot just to drag out the storyline. After a while you got the feeling that there was no answer, and no sensible resolution was ever going to be possible. Despite the clever sub-plots, for me the whole thing kind of 'lost' its point.

Series I've been watching more recently:

  • Surface

    An NBC TV series about genetic manipulation and sea monsters. A great series, if wildly unbelievable, with good characterisation. Unfortunately, it got cancelled after the first fifteen episodes and ends on a cliff-hanger. Most frustrating.

  • Dark Angel

    Ah, this one is cyberpunk. A genetically enhanced (do we spot a theme here?) 'soldier', escapes her barracks and tries to make a life for herself in post-apocalyptic (post-pulse) America.

    Definitely good fun. The first series does tie up the major plot themes, but there is still no proper resolution. The second series leads towards a grand climax, and then ends... There is no third series, but it isn't an impossibility that one will be made.

  • Life on Mars

    A British drama series (actually two series), that has nothing to do with cyberpunk. I really liked the way they brought this to a close. Despite being successful, to have drawn it out beyond two series wouldn't have made sense. Knowing when to stop is a great skill. Highly recommended by the way.

  • Blood Ties

    Not as exciting as the background story would suggest. The premise on which the series is based is: "a former cop who left the force to become a private investigator after beginning to lose her eyesight. Through her work she teams up with a 450-year-old vampire, who happens to be the illegitimate son of Henry the VIII". This just provides a stage for the individual episodes. OK I suppose. Not as good as the "Dresden Files" which occupies the same story space.

  • Dresden Files

    A powerful wizard called Harry, makes his way in two worlds. The world of the ordinary people and the world of wizards. No, nothing to do with Harry Potter. Smile

    Again, there is no single story line explored through the series, but its definitely enjoyable. Kind of a Psych that isn't crap.

  • Sopranos

    There is a single story line moving through all six series, will the feds manage to arrest Tony Soprano the mafia boss. This story line moves very slowly, and barely surfaces in many of the episodes. The other sub-plots, which often span several episodes, are so good that this doesn't seem to matter. Having said that, they still need to bring the Sopranos to a decent close before it Jumps the Shark.

  • Babylon 5

    Pure science fiction. Each series does introduce a major storyline, which does get resolved. The first few series are great, but by series five it has just got ridiculous.

  • Regenesis

    Intriguing series on a Canadian bio-tech lab. More 'science-faction' than science fiction. Another series that has sub-plots that span multiple episodes without having a single main theme. They're on series three, which I've just started. They could end this at any point without needing to bring things to a close (other than the perpetual 'will-he-get-the-girl' of course).

  • Drive

    Aargh... This is the worst. A great start, novel story. Then they go and cancel it after four episodes. I feel cheated.

  • Heroes

    Now this is fantastic. I don't normally dig the super-hero thing, but this is awesome. How they end the first season will be very important though, I hope they don't screw it up.

  • Prison Break

    Another show that I really enjoy. This is another series which is wildly unbelievable, but it doesn't seem to matter. They've managed to draw out a 'simple' prison escape into two whole seasons so far, and have tied up around two-thirds of the plot elements. They've left the hero stuck in a different prison at the end of season two, and you wonder how much further it can go. It's possible that the third series could be terrible as the only plot left is the far-out conspiracy one. We'll have to see. Smile

  • Threshold

    This series isn't about genetically modified soldiers, its about an alien invasion that causes genetic modifications.

    Another show that had promise, and then got cancelled before the end. Gahh. 13 episodes, so almost worth watching.

  • Painkiller Jane

    I'm just starting with this one. It is based on a comic book character, and has several similarities with "Dark Angel". A genetically 'different' superwoman who works in a secret government team tracking other 'genetically different' people through various adventures.

There are a few more, but this was a brief tour through some of my mental junk food. I hope you enjoyed it. For the next third of the book, I intend to work my way through the Top 100 Movies Based on Comic Books. There are a few surprises in there, more films than you expect originated in comic books. Cool

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2007-05-13 16:01:21 | |
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Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Part II)

emoticon:tooth On Monday I went to see Neil Gaiman, and on Thursday I went to see Terry Pratchett.

Two of my favourite authors in one week, wow. Surprised

I briefly met Terry Pratchett at a signing in Cambridge, about eleven years ago (more about that in a bit), but I've never met Neil Gaiman. These events were both run by Blackwells in London.

Neil Gaiman is promoting his new book of short stories, Fragile Things. Needless to say I bought a hardback copy, maybe this is why the authors do these tours. Razz

I also bought Good Omens and had it signed by both authors. Judging by the number of people clutching new copies of Good Omens in the signing queue, I wasn't alone in having this idea. Maybe this week was a conspiracy to sell the backlog of old copies before the New Edition comes out.

The evening was great. He read from Fragile things, a poem (The Day the Saucers Came - very funny), followed by a short story. Then he took questions. He is very funny when he talks and appeared very relaxed. I first stumbled upon Neil (well, his work anyway) through Sandman the dark, mythaeopic graphic novels. I've only read a couple of his books. It seemed that most people there were more familiar with his writing, so we got lots of news about film projects that Neil has been working on.

These included Coraline, the soon to be released Beowulf, and a mysterious project with Penn (of Penn and Teller fame) which may or may not ever happen.

Neil (and Terry) want Terry Gilliam to direct the Good Omens film. They don't particularly want anyone else to direct it, but thought that it wasn't right to just give him the rights. They settled on selling the rights to him for a Groat. They chose this unit of currency, because they could pay their agent 10% in the form of a Farthing.

Neil and Terry have already paid their agent the farthing, but get disconcerted when they hear Terry boasting that he has the rights to Good Omens, but hasn't yet paid them their groat. Looking on ebay, you can buy them for less than $20. Tight fisted goit...

I was amazed that after giving the talk, plus an hours signing books (I was about halfway down the queue), Neil was still friendly and chatty. I wouldn't be.

The evening with Terry was a different format, he was interviewed by 'some woman'. It was still very good fun, Terry is also very amusing. Needless to say, I bought a hardback copy of Wintersmith which he is promoting. He also talked about various film projects. I didn't realise that there is a Hogfather Film nearly complete. Cool.

Apparently though, Terry signs so many books that the unsigned ones are actually worth more. Wink

Around eleven years ago I was busy having a psychotic episode brought on by excessive narcotic consumption. It was fun whilst it lasted, but very painful afterwards. For some reason, Terry Pratchett had a minor walk on part in my delusions. When I saw he was at a book signing in Cambridge, I very seriously presented him with a fine polished steel spring that I had been treasuring.

Speaking to him at the signing, he claims to remember. Laughing

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-09-29 14:11:27 | |
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Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

emoticon:lighton Two of my favourite authors are in London next week. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Smile

I discovered this via Neil Gaiman's Blog.

So at last there is some benefit to working in London [1], I'm going to both events. Even better, I can buy a copy of Good Omens and get it signed by both of them. Laughing

[1]Other than the job, which is still great. If I didn't have to work this is what I would be doing anyway.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-09-20 23:14:19 | |
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V for Vendetta

emoticon:noise Remember the film V for Vendetta ? A futuristic nightmare vision of England overtaken by big brother. It's a great film, and to coincide with the release of the DVD, Fuchsiashockz is proud to bring you a Warnerbros competition to win various V goodies!

V for Vendetta Competition

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V for Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Portman) who is rescued from a dire situation by a masked vigilante (Weaving) known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself ? and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with fear, cruelty and corruption.

Visit Fuchsiashockz for the full lowdown, including links to trailers, the official movie website and all the goodies you could win Exclamation

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-08-06 23:23:16 | |
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Cyberpunk is Dead

emoticon:cyberpunk I don't know how many times I've read posts or articles declaring that Cyberpunk is Dead, not for a long time though I have to admit. Cyberpunk aint just dead, it's buried. Surprised

Actually this entry is a slightly tongue in cheek way of bringing some sad news. Cyberpunk isn't dead, it just got too close to reality.

  • Virtual reality, we got it
  • Mega-corporations, yup
  • Ever accelerating technology, check
  • Corrupt governments, guess
  • Environmental decay, well that's an uncomfortable truth...

Back in the day, a colleague and I setup a forum to discuss cyberpunk issues. Void-Shockz had its moments, but in recent months it has become nothing but a quiet graveyard; haunted only by spammers and silent visitors.

Well, it's time to call it a day, so we're closing it down. This is the official funereal pronouncement on Void-Shockz. Sad

Meanwhile, life goes on. William Gibson is still alive and well, and so are all the other comrades.

One of the primary facets of cyberpunk is virtual reality, a virtual world you can immerse yourself in. We haven't quite got there yet, but we edge ever closer. The three aspects of technology that must evolve in whatever the tripartite equivalent of a tandem is, are computing power, programming techniques and the communication infrastructure.

If this is even vaguely interesting to you, then you might enjoy the following two entries (on The Techie Blog) :

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-07-28 23:58:40 | |
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The Eternals

emoticon:fish My favourite graphic novelist (who also happens to be one of my favourite authors) has a new series coming out. Of course I'm talking about Neil Gaiman, (the writer of MirrorMask).

Marvel Comics has released preview pages from "Eternals" #1, and it is due to ship on June 21st.

The Eternals

You are thousands of years old. You have amazing powers. You have watched civilizations rise and fall-- so why does no one remember any of this? Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman (Marvel: 1602, Anansi Boys, Sandman) is joined by superstar artist John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine) to bring you the eagerly-awaited event of 2006-ETERNALS!! Ike Harris has dreams of adventures, love affairs and betrayals, but no one involved remembers or believes him. And who is trying to kill him to keep him from talking about it?

COVER BY:RICK BERRY
WRITER:NEIL GAIMAN
PENCILS:JOHN ROMITA JR.
COLORED BY:MATT HOLLINGSWORTH

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-06-01 01:48:59 | |
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Cyberpunk in the Library

emoticon:dove The excellent Bridge Trilogy by William Gibson has long been available from the Cyberpunk Library. Now thanks to the work of Joao Lobato and Vicente Espinoza, they have been proof read, and are available for download separately :

The Work of William Gibson

If you've never read Virtual Light, Idoru and All Tomorrow's Parties, then they're well worth a read. Excellent stuff. Smile

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-27 21:20:56 | |
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