I was watching some lectures last night on Scifi, and it got me thinking about the nuances of Sicfi and fantasy in the Kupop tradition.
I don’t think we have any pretenses of winning any Hugo Awards any time soon, but I think we as a group do like talking about our influences and thought processes on our individual works. I don’t think we take the time to often to talk about our collective works.
I think what’s really interesting is although we’re based on a story universe based off of Japanese RPG games, a lot of our writing has an essentially post WW2 dime store pulp feel to it. The Great War has acted as a backdrop to the bulk of our writing and the stories deriving from it has become more sophisticated as we’ve grown into adults. Even then, a lot of our works have an “our ideals vs their ideals” plot to it, and it is only in the latter half our existence have we dived into plots of moral ambiguity. I think apart of that is because a lot of what we liked in the 90’s was carry-over from concepts created in the 80’s, which were still very cold-war influenced.
We haven’t had yet our true cyberpunk moment where it comes to our plot lines. Yes, we have megacorps, we have supercomputers, but they are still controlled by individuals and understood by individuals–concepts that distinctively make them not wholly cyberpunk. A key facet to true cyberpunk is the concept of the unknown when it comes to technology and identity. We delve a little bit into this with the Omnicent Conflict, but that ended with a us-vs-them plotline. I think the concept of White Cell War, where the massive organization that protects the status quo self-implodes, is a great step forward. Travis took the initiative and re-introduced the unknown.
One thing Kupopolis has grown into as a narrative tradition is ground the fantastic in daily life. In television media we see it portrayed often as alter egos, but in Kupopolis there is always a subculture or inner circle where these characteristics are commonplace. We have secret agents and superheroes play video games in their downtime. We’ve had heroes who fly giant mecha discuss the pros and cons of pulp in orange juice. I think this is a reflection of our group has a whole; a lot of the scifi tradition has been based on alienation, but its the internet that brought us together based on shared media.
Anywhoo, what do you guys think our our stuff collectively?