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Kerttu Aarnipuu

Playing the part of the little meme in our upcoming cyberpunk fairytale is Kerttu Aarnipuu, a Finnish singer. The part has been carefully designed around her. She is at the very beginning of her long and illustrious career and as such has not yet experienced the tears, pain and horror of singing for me.

She has a few videos up on her new Youtube channel which you can check out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB9qmSbaT2P2JouWCI5RdlA

In the meantime let’s post some of her covers here. Be sure to check her out while all is still well. I haven’t yet decided whether to kill her or just everything she loves.

 

 

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Posted by on May 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

We’ve Updated Our Privacy Policy

We will not sell the information we collect from your dreamworld to anyone outside our organization. By listening to New Albion you have agreed to open your unconscious to our emissaries, and we take this responsibility very seriously. We enjoy picnicking and rummaging about you inner consciousness enormously and jimmying open tiny little doorways and erecting haphazard bridges (which, let’s face it, are more like long wooden boards placed precariously over a yawning chasm) and we would never, ever dream of selling this to any third party advertisers.

Even your erotic dreams are safe with us, you kinky little ho, you. We’ve seen the weird sex things you come up with in your sleep and trust us, we do not want to even speak some of that stuff out loud, you beautiful and sick train wreck of a human psyche, you. We’re not touching that stuff with a ten foot pole. Except Dave. He digs it. We kink shame him for it, but he doesn’t care. Next time you’re getting all hot and bothered in your sleep, don’t worry, the only one watching is Dave and he’s getting off on that sick crap.

Your insane subconscious inner workings are very valuable to us and we promise we will protect it like it’s our own private clubhouse, which, frankly, it is. We cosplay as your childhood cartoon favorites and go on LARPing quests to bitchslap your inner demons. And those demons are nasty. We all do sincerely believe that you would benefit greatly from therapy, but we’re never going to tell you that since we are having way too much fun. We thought that D&D campaign where you have to go after the Spider Queen in her messed up death labyrinth was cool and intense, but then we starting hanging out in your inner psyche and… HO DAMN. How do you make it through your day? You probably have incredible barriers and mental defense mechanisms keeping that garbage fire bottled way down there. As well you should. As well you should.

So, basically, don’t worry about us. We’re not selling you to anyone. We’re keeping you all to ourselves. We love you, you incredible walking shitstorm, you.

Love,

The Teddy Bears.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Forgotten Meme Proposal Covers

You know, my plan is to release the album quietly and let it speak for itself. However, i have to say, it is definitely one of my better ones. The cover art for this one will be provided by Shibara over at http://shibara.tumblr.com/

Today we’re showcasing Shibara’s 4 proposals for the cover. Sometimes i like to ask the fanbase for their opinion on which one to pick, but this time i just went ahead and picked my favorite, since it was pretty clear to me. You can try to guess which one, but the die is cast.

The Forgotten Meme A Cyberpunk Fairytale by Paul Shapera art by Shibara

The Forgotten Meme A Cyberpunk Fairytale by Paul Shapera art by Shibara

The Forgotten Meme A Cyberpunk Fairytale by Paul Shapera art by Shibara

The Forgotten Meme A Cyberpunk Fairytale by Paul Shapera art by Shibara

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Birth Of Cyberpunk

"Cyberpunk" by Richard Roberts

“Cyberpunk” by Richard Roberts

Is cyberpunk a literary genre or a zeitgeist? Was it really birthed with William Gibson’s Neuromancer or a year earlier with Bruce Bethke’s actual story Cyberpunk? Or earlier even, as many will argue.

I posit that Cyberpunk was and is an inevitable zeitgeist, begun in literature, that lives as an ever evolving genre across multiple media. I will also go on the record as stating that i fully embrace the notion that it was indeed birthed in 1984 with William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer, but birth and conception are two different things. The conception was a process beginning in 1981.

Steampunk, Dieselpunk and Atompunk are genres that go backwards in time to past eras. Cyberpunk, the first -punk genre was actually born looking forward. It is a sub genre of science fiction, but instead of one taking place in the far future or involving aliens and other classic sci fi tropes, it took place in the near future and extrapolated upon where the digital technology of the time was headed.

In the 1950’s, an incredible wave of science fiction took place. It was lead by giants such as Isaac Asimov, the wonderful Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C Clarke. It is sometimes referred to as Futurist, or “classic” sci fi, but futurism is its overarching theme. It spilled over into movies like The Day The earth Stood Still, When Worlds Collide and Forbidden Planet.

Cover art for Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy

Cover art for Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, one of the masterpieces of the 1905s futurist genre.

The science fiction literary genre before Futurism  is now referred to as Raypunk, and was known for incredibly imaginative space operas such as Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and John Carter. The futurists toned down the operatic intensity and focused on actual themes, specific technology and how that technology would affect society.

In the late 60s and early 70s another movement began, New Wave science fiction. This wave was lead by giants such as Michael Moorcock and Philip K Dick and included Roger Zelazny, Philip Jose Farmer, Harlan Ellison and J. G. Ballard. It was more experimental, more daring from a literary perspective, more psychedelic. Drugs and sex were included, dystopian outcomes were often brought into play and hard science discarded into favor of a “don’t worry how it works, just check this shit out” approach. (My own personal approach, you’ll be shocked to hear.)

Cover Art for J G Ballard's The Crystal World

Cover Art for J G Ballard’s The Crystal World

Cyberpunk of course borrows from both traditions. It continues many of the themes presented in New Wave, embraces the futurist’s obsession with specific tech, adds an emotional noir mood, and dials down the far future craziness to reflect on what was happening with the advent of digital technology and personal computing. It questioned where it might lead with a dark edge. As computers began to appear in middle class households, kids’ relations with tech became more personals instead of simply broad societal outcomes. Cyberpunk embraced this and stories reflects where the lines between the personal and tech intrusion merge.

The mood of cyber punk can be traced to a large degree to J G Ballard. A New Wave sci fi writer, he was adored by many of the early cyberpunk authors, and he was widely known for themes of dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.

“In the circle of American science fiction writers of my generation — cyberpunks and humanists and so forth — [Ballard] was a towering figure. We used to have bitter struggles over who was more Ballardian than whom. We knew we were not fit to polish the man’s boots, and we were scarcely able to understand how we could get to a position to do work which he might respect or stand, but at least we were able to see the peak of achievement that he had reached” -Bruce Sterling

Now for a timeline.

1981

The first true seed of cyberpunk, the conception of the sperm of New Wave and futurism with the egg of the modern condition of digital technology happened in 1981 with Vernor Vinge’s novella True Names. It is the first story to have a recognizable “cyberspace” and discussed transhumanism, anarchism and even the singularity.

“The story follows the progress of a group of computer hackers (called “warlocks” in the story) who are early adopters of a new full-immersion virtual reality technology, called the “Other Plane”. Warlocks penetrate computers around the world for personal profit or curiosity. Forming a cabal, they must keep their true identities—their “True Names”—secret even to each other and to the “Great Adversary”, the United States government, as those who know a warlock’s True Name can force him to work on their behalf, or even cause a “True Death” by killing the warlock in real life.”

A quick note: Vernor Vinge’s 1992 novel A Fire Upon The Deep is also ahead of its time and is a precursor to much of current sci fi. It is a much read for sci fi fans.

Vernor Vinge True Names

Also in 1981 is the short story Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson. “Johnny Mnemonic” is a data trafficker who has undergone cybernetic surgery to have a data storage system implanted in his head. The system allows him to store digital data too sensitive to risk transmission on computer networks.” Between this and True Names, cyberpunk has in fact been conceived. But while conceived, it has not yet jump started a genre or full on movement. Still, if anyone wants to contend that cyberpunk truly begins in 1981, all other fussing about be damned, it’s a hard stance to argue against.

1982

Ridley’s Scott’s Bladr Runner is released. It takes a class New Wave story by Philip K Dick and creates am incredible cyberpunk aesthetic. It visually nails what would become much of cyberpunk as well as thematically moving beyond the novel into fledgling cyberpunk territory. It is a major inspiration to the genre that was gestating.

The movie Tron is released. Once again, it goes a long way to defining cyberpunk aesthetics and even themes for the general populace.

1983

The term Cyberpunk is actually coined by Bruce Bethke in his short story Cyberpunk, published in Amazing Stories. it features a protagonist who “is a proficient and troublemaking computer virtuoso, essentially a “hacker”, though this term is not used in the story. He hangs out with friends who cause trouble online, encounters interference from his parents, and uses his skills to circumvent their will”.

After this story, the editor of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Gardner Dozois, begins using the term.

1984

William Gibson publishes Neuromancer. It is a full fledged novel, Gibson’s first after several years of short stories, and won the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award. It put cyberpunk on the map and is the archetypal cyberpunk story. It began the zeitgeist that was to flourish over the next two decades, watered by Bruce Sterling and given further leaps forward in the early 90s by  Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Diamond Age.

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Neuromancer by William Gibson

Neuromancer truly began the zeitgeist, and is why it can be pointed to as the birth, although not conception of cyberpunk. I will grant, however, that had Neuromancer never been published, cyberpunk would still have been born. The discussion about digital technology and the tropes leading from the New Wave authors to the computer age were inevitable. It was Gibson who did it, but remove him from the picture and someone else would have done it.

By the 90s cyberpunk was in full form. The 90s was truly the cyberpunk decade, and when cyberpunk is played with now, its 90s tropes more often than not serve as the basis. But 90s cyberpunk is built almost entirely on a full works created over a short , few years back in the early 80s.

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Jessica Law …Apparently

jessica law apparently

Jessica Law has a new album out. By far her most ambitious and the first where we really see what her full powers are capable of.  You should listen to it, because it is both seriously good and utterly unique.

Is it in a genre of magical folk? It is. In fact, i don’t know anything else quite like it. It’s like… a bunch of madrigals gather one evening on a hillside where the ley lines connect, light up a giant fire and pass around a bong. Then their queen speaks.

The production on this is excellent. The instrumentation is delicious. Really, this is like nothing else. Madrigal folk through a unique lens, voice and vision. Just give it a listen.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Forgotten Meme, A Cyberpunk Fairytale Due Out First Week Of July

Flight to Helsinki, Finland booked end of June to record vocals for the next album, The Forgotten Meme, A Cyberpunk Fairytale.

As soon as it seems, i’ve actually really been taking my time on this and sweating over each and every second. It’s a much shorter album than usual, clocking just under 45 minutes. But the fact is, i’m ready to record vocals in a months, so i’m heading to Finland this time to record Kerttu Aarnipuu, who shall be playing The Little Meme in our sweet little fairytale. We shall vlog as necessary.

I’m also super excited to go to Finland, as i’ve never been there. I used to go out drinking with these two Finnish dudes. We’d drink for around 9 hours and they were fantastic drinking partners. Always great conversation, could keep going with cheer and good nature and never went around the bend. Naturally i’m assuming everyone in Finland is as cool. Not that i’m going out drinking for 9 hours. Not until sunday night, that is. Once vocals are in the bag.

So the next album in the great experiment that is the New Albion Saga is coming beginning of July.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Last Comment On Space Opera

Well okey dokey. It seems that lore build up is not an issue. Therefore the current plan for the space opera is a go. This is the last we shall be speaking about this for awhile.

In 2019 we shall make a very epic and slightly insane storyline taking place in the future of the New Albion world. Some characters and tropes you know will return, some won’t. The main character will be a new addition, Jane Patmos (some knew years earlier as John, but that’s a dead name now). The tale will take 6 to 8 Acts to tell. Each act will be in the 20 something minute range and be released every few months (3?). Oh, and it will be Narrated by Jill.

It will not disappoint.

Until then, we have two wonderful tales on the way: one of a little forgotten meme and one a tale from the past, of the early life of a certain Monk who would go on to be involved in a renowned card game. Thank you all for your opinions. They have helped steel me for the course we shall soon be traveling upon.

Oh, yes, and there will be a story from Uncle Raven in there too. That will be free to download. Pay what you will. Many reasons for the free download, but amongst them, we’ll be pilfering and medleying so many songs, that to avoid copyright lawsuits I simply won’t charge money for the 20 minute batshit bonanza.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Uncategorized