Happy Thursday (or should I say “Friday Eve.”) Alright, so you know how I love things that end in “punk” — Steampunk, Elfpunk, Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal…
Well, today we welcome author Jess C. Scoot who writes Cyberpunk Elves. She’s going to tell us a bit about Cyberpunk.
Jess C. Scott identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, as well as The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.
My upcoming publication is an urban fantasy project titled, The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].
I admit that I was running around in the beginning, blabbing (to close friends only) about how I was going to embark on a project featuring “cyberpunk elves.”
I was familiar with one of the core definitions of cyberpunk—its focus on “high tech and low life.” I was aware of the visual imagery and stylized, super-urban settings too.
Along the way (about halfway through editing the third draft—I am currently on my fourth round of revision, and might go right up to 6 or 7 before I’m satisfied), I started to wonder more about the soul of cyberpunk. I watched the cyberpunk anime series Serial Experiments Lain some years ago when I was 16 (I’m now 24). While it wasn’t my favorite anime of all time (that’d be the historical/adventure-themed Rurouni Kenshin), I distinctly remembered the feel of Lain.
Cyberpunk elves make great concept art for games and films (multi-sensory mediums). But I had to ponder on it a little bit more, since I was working on a book (and the book cover, but that was just a side issue). I didn’t want to run along with cool-sounding labels, at the expense of the actual treatment of the plot and characters. And I didn’t want the characters/plot elements to be too clichéd (both the urban fantasy and cyberpunk aspects).
So apart from some of the more obvious cyberpunk traits, such as the elves’ tech proficiency, and status as self-identified social outcasts within their Elven world—I aimed to capture “cyberpunk” via the actual interaction between the characters (amongst humans, elves, as well as elves and humans).
It’s that whole interplay between the influence of technology on the human/social aspect, and the individual’s struggle for an awareness of how he/she has been impacted by technology, which I have been focusing on (a tie-in with the love story in the plot).
The following excerpt (Nin is the Elven rogue/leader) captures some of this:
“That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…”
While I enjoy the many elements of cyberpunk, it is the deeper, reflective aspects of the genre which engage and intrigue me the most—where one doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not; where one cannot tell good from evil; where one experiences an overwhelming feeling of profound shock at the realization of something significant/important. Hence the title of this post: “Pondering ‘Cyberpunk’.”
Also, I enjoy the challenge of distilling that into a simple storytelling style that’s spiritual without being preachy.
Which reminds me of a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
–Jess C. Scott
P.S. Jess is offering a free PDF copy of the novel to early reviewers (open to readers worldwide)! More details @ http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/