Cyberpunk is one of my favorite genres. William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy is, in my opinion, some of the best science-fiction ever written. While previous generations of writers often produced utopian stories about how the world would be saved by technology and humanity would be made better by it, Gibson painted a darker and more brutally realistic world. “The street finds its uses for things,” is a famous quote from Gibson’s short story “Burning Chrome” and it largely captures what cyberpunk is all about. Humanity doesn’t change, and it doesn’t improve, and while cyberpunk is about humanity’s relationship to technology, it’s more about how humans will bend advancements in the world for their own uses.
This genre that Gibson helped create and largely popularized was very influential and is still inspiring storytellers today. One new project that has caught my attention is a Kickstarter film series called Ghost Source Zero. It is being produced and directed by Mark Cheng, a talented up-and-coming director with some accolades under his belt, and famous comic book author Larry Hama, known for his work on G.I. Joe as well as many of the 1980s Marvel comic series, is also lending his talents to the project.
The film series, composed of 12 short episodes that make up a feature length film, follow the underfunded Cyber Crime Division as they track down rogue robots and cyborgs. Throughout the film they begin to uncover a plot by a developing artificial intelligence. It is shot in a Reality TV format where a crew follows the Cyber Crime Division squad as they go on their adventures. I don’t know how well this format will work, as some people don’t like it, but I can see it doing well. Cyberpunk has always been known for its narrative style. Gibson’s stories drew heavily from detective noir, something sci-fi hadn’t done much before. Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, another very famous cyberpunk novel (or satire, depending on how you view it) is well regarded largely because of its highly stylized writing. I think using a less standard form of narrative style for a cyberpunk film is a good idea at least.
If this project interests you as much as it interests me, you can donate to the film’s Kickstarter here at Ghost Source Zero KS.