It’s spring here in Austin, Texas, and the weather keeps shifting day after day. Still, the days that roll through are more nice than not when it comes to the weather and the activities to do. I’m back to writing, thank goodness. For a while, I was wondering why I couldn’t come up with anything new. I’ve got a chunk of pages for a new novel idea that I’m really excited about. The idea came from an image that was posted on Tumblr a while back that got my brain rolling on a cyberpunk style story. It’s a story of the little guy vs. the big guy in a world where the little guy might not be the same person in the next instant. It’s a story about who or what the human consciousness is when it’s been separated from the human body. Still, though, there’s going to be talk about cultures, subcultures, technology, how much tech is too much, and whether matching force for force is really the best option at all.
Now, a person can read that, and yes, this is very much pulling from the cyberpunk stories of the 80’s, 90’s, and the aughts. There’s no way I can do this without possibly stepping on the toes of the greats. I already know there’s a character that has a touch of thanks to Molly in William Gibson’s Neuromancer. The main tech in the book works similar to that seen in Ghost In the Shell, which was created by Masamune Shirow, though the technology works more “plug and play” when it comes to body parts than it did in that series. The software works like it did in The Wachowskis’ The Matrix. The references back to what came before are going to be there. If I denied that, I’d be a liar, and a terrible one at that. So right here, right now, I want to take a moment to say that these all affected me greatly and they’re MASSIVE influences on what I’m writing right now.
Really, when I look back on what I write, I can’t say anything is a fully original idea from me. That’s the case for many writers. There’s always an influence somewhere within writing. Sometimes it may be specific ideas and tropes. That’s the case with this latest novel, and it’s the case with the horror novel I wrote over last spring and summer. Sometimes it’s an inspiration in wording or pacing. Then other times, it’s a combination of both, and even further things that I still don’t pick up on yet or just haven’t really experienced. It’s one of those things I love about the craft, though. I can’t fully take credit for what I create, but I still do have to take the time and care to create something that lives up to the influences that go into it.
So thank you William Gibson. Thank you Masamune Shirow. Thank you Wachowskis. Thank you Neal Stephenson. Lastly, thanks to those that I don’t even realize I’m inspired by at the moment. It’s something I’m loving to do, and I hope I do every single one of those people proud with the work I do; they deserve nothing less.