Cybernetics. Neuroscience. Nanotechnology. Genetic engineering. Hacktivism. Transhumanism. The world of tomorrow is already here, and the technological changes we all face have inspired a new wave of stories to address our fears, hopes, dreams, and desires as Homo sapiens evolve—or not—into their next incarnation. Cyber World presents diverse tales of humanity’s tomorrow, as told by some of today’s most gripping science fiction visionaries.
Each story in this outstanding collection is set in a near-future society with intriguing technological advances, but the social and cultural implications of these developments vary widely. Some extend familiar situations: government surveillance expands into publicly available camera feeds in E. Lily Yu's "Darkout," and Paul Graham Raven's "Staunch" takes a dystopian view of copyright and license agreements that affect custom-built organs. Artificial intelligence features in several stories, creating virtual realities in Matthew Kressel's "The Singularity Is in Your Hair" and overseeing an underground refuge city in Madeline Ashby's "Panic City." A myriad of characters and styles highlights the variety of voices and ideas in current science fiction, and the authors gleefully expand the already-fluid definition of cyberpunk. The stories that focus on individual relationships highlight the most lasting and powerful effects of technological changes, showing them to be beneficial, destructive, and sometimes both at once.