RTP Dialogues #1: Near-Future SciFi and the “Death” of Cyberpunk

[NOTE: The Roundtable is still on Indefinite Hiatus. Content – like these Dialogues – will be released into the feed as time and circumstances allow. Thanks for your patience and understanding]

Dialogues001Welcome the very first Roundtable Dialogue, where a panel of knowledgeable, articulate, and experienced creative get together to discuss various intriguing topics.

Given the name of this podcast, you’d think we’d have twigged on this format a long time ago. While it’s not particularly bold in terms of formats, but we hope the topics and the people will more than compensate.

The overarching theme of the RTP Dialogues is “examining the new face of storytelling”. So much has changed in the realm of literature and media – and continues to evolve at a frantic pace – that we think there’s a need to put on the breaks for an hour and take a hard look at what’s happening, what it means, and how we as storytellers can make the most of it.

This first Dialogue is a great experience of just that…

Brion and I are joined by authors Colin F. Barnes, Alasdair Stuart, Starla Huchton, and Stephen Godden to discuss the challenges of writing near-future scifi in a world where science fact keeps out pacing our imaginations. Along the way we manage to debunk the reported “death of cyberpunk” as well as explore the sources of the trend towards genre mash-ups.

As one might expect from a gathering of such astonishing creators, the discussion fairly crackles with startling insights, new perspectives, and an epiphany or two. Before you hit the play button, wrap your head in an Ace bandage… your mind is about to be blown. Enjoy!

The Roundtable Dialogues #1:
Near-Future SciFi and The “Death” of Cyberpunk

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

Alasdair Stuart
Alasdair Stuart

Alasdair Stuart on the Web:



Colin F. Barnes
Colin F. Barnes


Colin F. Barnes on the Web:



Starla Hutchton
Starla Hutchton

Starla Hutchton on the web:



Stephen Godden
Stephen Godden


Stephen Godden on the Web:



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Comments (4)

Hey hey kids!

Dave, good to hear you, brother. Continued prayers and hug-drones sent to you and your family. Sorry for your troubles.

Love the format on this new thing. Great discussion, the wandering fits well, hoping this continues! Five stars, two thumbs up.

Attempting to nutshell my feeling on this topic.
How do you write fictional technology when real technology is logarithmic outrunning you? You simply don’t worry about it.

Look, how many stories are you in love with that feature old/antique/dead technology? tons. There’s endless stories out there with wired-only land-line telephones, typewriters, and the notion of air travel is reserved for monied individuals. Yet, many wonderful stories are set firmly in that era of technology.

No matter if “real” tech is outrunning you or not, it’s all in how it’s used. One could just as easily set a character from modern day into a setting with land-lines and typewriters, and suddenly, that technology level is a hindrance, where once it was “space age” convenience.

It’s all in how you spin it.

Me, I’m always thinking about nano-tech and micro-scale elements. But, that can mean any of a dozen things. One of my stories has drones, but, in the form of rats in the streets, rather than in tiny-airplane form, as current technology might suggest is proper for drones in a story line.

Tech is outrunning me all the time, but it’s not a blockade, it’s always augmentation. For example, this article just drifted across my feed: http://www.nanowerk.com/news2/newsid=31270.php

At the face of it, it’s an interesting thing; atom-thick razor blades, but it’s just a curiosity; it’s not applied into a toolset, not is it placed in the hands of a madman. So, we take that, and we fictionally extrapolate: fabric covered in microscopic fins of graphene blades. That’s bloody terrifying!

So, you take the technology that’s real, and you apply it in a way that reality cannot realize; THEN you’ve got something cooking.

Keep it up all, great stuff!

Great roundtable guys (and gal) – this topic has been at the forefront of my mind for a few months and I was glad to see that other people feel the same way (cyberpunk is already here, near-future writing constantly gets trumped by new advances in the present).

Awesome discussion, folks. I do believe you struck Conversational Gold. 🙂

Interesting discussion. You folks are all excellent speakers.

My only minor complaint is on the subject matter. It seems to me that genre discussion tends to circle the drain a little bit because of the tendency for genre to be mostly (if not entirely) semantic. No matter how articulate someone is about these subjects the definitions always seem to be personal.

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