I hate labels, but sometimes they are necessity when it comes to easily finding information.
Without the fantastically fun sub-genre of speculative fiction known as ‘Cyberpunk’, it would be pretty damn hard to find new books that I like that in some way loosely resemble the technologically gritty woes of imagined futures or worlds or realities brought to us in stories like Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the neighbors will have your balls if your robotic sheep proves to be impersonating a real one) or William Gibson’s unparalleled Neuromancer.
It occurs to me, right now, as the horrid commercials blare their noise at my back, while I eagerly await my Alma Mater’s first entry into the March Madness Tournament, that my book has been marketed wrong.
That is, to say, Cyberwar meets the expectations for a sci-fi thriller, but that is far short of the whole picture.
Marketing is more important than I like to acknowledge.
So let’s talk cyberpunk and grinding!
If delving into the book offers up some more insight for Eager Readers that might take an interest in its vast world, who am I to deny them that.
I wrote the damn thing, so I hope you will not mind if I make an edit to expand its description – late in the game, I know – to hit on some of the nuanced and highly researched aspects that go beyond computing technology, political revolution, and cyber warfare.
A lot of the research I put into robotics crossed over into humanoid bots, AI (artificial intelligence), and then further into android-like devices and a merging of man and machine.
The birth of the cyborg is old news.
Chipsets placed in the brain to allow for electrical impulses and thought to go wireless is tech currently being tested for human beings.
Successful cybernetic prosthetics are allowing people with artificial limbs to control their new hands and legs with nerve interaction and thought.
This is today and this is yesterday.
And this is the public news published in scientific journals.
Below the surface, the unaccepted, and often widely innovative grinders, or body hackers, are starting a movement that many feel is the next step in the human evolutionary ladder: that of the cyborg.
Grinders will place glowing chips beneath the skin of their hands to allow them a bio-chip coded to their own DNA that is the grinder’s method for waiving a hand and paying for an item, or accessing health metrics.
Some grinders are even plugging parts of their brains into physical electronic interfaces that give them abilities beyond the traditional senses.
This is the case with Neil Harbisson, a colorblind artist from Barcelona, who persuaded a doctor to implant a camera in the back of his head so that the antenna can detect the dominant color in front of him and translate it into musical notes so he is aware of the color.
He considers himself a ‘cybernetic organism’ and no longer identifies as a human.
Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation to advocate for cyborg rights.
The doctor that performed Harbisson’s surgery did so only after many other surgeons refused, and only under the condition of remaining anonymous.
Grinders are pushing the boundaries of the human-cyborg relationship all over the world, often at great personal risk of their own health.
The future of Cyberwar is torn in two.
Fifty percent of the population consider the cyborg way of life a right and have permanently altered some part of their body; many of these body hackers have cybernetic eyes that replace one of their own functioning eyes with an infrared and thermal imaging device.
The other half of the world populous remain steadfast in what they deem their birthright: the right to have no mechanized or electronic device, forced into their bodies.
This is a conflict that is ongoing in the Cyberwar Series.
Localized EMP’s can kill those with complex electronics in their skulls, but the government, in the Cyber United States in particular, is slowly pushing toward everyone getting their own bio-chipset to use for electronic currency, eliminating all cash, and all of the “off-the-books” transactions that accompany physical currency (there is more of this in my next book, which is coming soon!).
The main characters are haunted by cybernetics!
Grinding and androids and brash new futures are at the heart of cyberpunk, and I am proud to say Cyberwar has plenty of that in its gut as well.
If you want to check out the start of the book, please read the first few chapters in an excerpt here.
"The Cyberpunk Body Hacking Grinders in Cyberwar" was written by R.J. Huneke.