cyberpunkdreams is a great-looking dystopian world project, encompassing several different media including an illustrated collection of short stories that has already achieved its £4000 Kickstarter target, conceived by Cambridge-based author cyberpunk author Rob Chant. It’s a project by Late Night Games, his vehicle for releasing his world into ours, which includes art by Trevor Storey and Guido Salto.
Mix in ever growing corporate power, isolationism, quantum computing and augmentation technology. Add civil war and a major refugee crisis across half the continental United States. That’ll give you the prescient world of cyberpunkdreams. This is bleak, uncompromising cyberpunk. This is our future…
“And that, my friend, is how the great United States of America ended up as a bunch of separate third world countries, and why you’re living in a slum.”
In cyberpunkdreams, the aliens have not arrived. The singularity has not happened. No big event or technological discovery has shaped our future. It’s a slow hellslide into a world where tales of sleaze, debauchery and hustle are forged. Gangs? Drugs? Sex? Violence? You couldn’t escape them even if you wanted to.
The rich dystopian world of cyberpunkdreams is to be unveiled through a series of independent projects, starting with Cincinnati Stories, an illustrated collection of short stories, just launched on Kickstarter; and City Streets, a board game and cyberpunkdreams: the game, an RPG and interactive fiction browser game, both launching next year.
cyberpunkdreams was originally conceived in 2003 as a group writing project, where diverse authors contributed stories all set in the same world. This writing method evokes the exploration of many more themes, settings and characters than any one author can achieve on their own. Although this vision has persisted, cyberpunkdreams has evolved over the years to spawn several different manifestations.
“Dog was the worst person I’d ever met. No exaggeration, and that was saying something.”
All the tales in Cincinnati Stories are interconnected and feature cameos from characters that live in world of cyberpunkdreams. Here we find sex, violence, sleaze and, of course, corruption, right up to the eyeballs. Folks doing what they can to survive, to get their kicks, all the way from the bottom of society to the top. There aren’t many happy endings.
With an unmistakable atmosphere driven by compelling characters, all the stories in Cincinnati Stories take place simultaneously over the same day and night. The narratives are snapshots into everyday lives, distilling an overriding theme of people caught in the unrelenting crossfire of the city.
Fully illustrated, Cincinatti Stories will be available in hardback, softback and digital, launched on Kickstarter.
Rob Chant is a fan of Neuromancer and Blade Runner from an early age, who studied Physics with Computing and readily admits he’s never had a proper job. While Cambridge may not be the most cyberpunk city on the planet, Chant’s work is scientifically detailed enough to fit him right in.
Chant’s work is character driven, permeated by a looming atmosphere of survival. Technology forms the backdrop to a dystopia like no other, based on a vision of the future we could already be facing.
”The characters seem so real in my mind that I just have to write them. They have a life of their own,” he says. “Call me pessimistic, but I believe the only possible future is for the entire system to collapse.”
© Imagery 2017 Late Night Games Ltd. All rights reserved. cyberpunkdreams is a Late Night Games Ltd project |Copyright © 2017 Subversive Comics, All rights reserved
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.