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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Spotight: Lizzie Lynn Lee

Cyberpunk ~ Embrace the Future

William Gibson's debut novel Neuromancer introduced me to a new branch of sci-fi genre called cyberpunk, and I was immediately hooked on it. The premise that the hybrid between human and machine is plausible and human consciousness can be synthesized in a virtual environment fascinated me. There's something about the dystopian setting in this genre that I liked more than traditional galactic vista sci-fi fiction. The combination between artificial intelligent, mega corporations, postmodernists nuances, and of course, anti-hero hackers as the main characters in many cyberpunk novels made me addicted to this genre. And when John Scalzi took it a step further with the idea that human minds could be transferred into another living (human or clone) body, enabling that person to live, basically forever, plot bunnies didn't stop bugging me ever since.

Inspired by the concept that human immortality can be executed through preserving the human mind and transferring it to other media, I was compelled to write my own version of cyberpunk series featuring Eve Aizawa. Set in the far future, humanity has invented the technology so advanced, it enables people to preserve one's memories into a device called neuras.

Aging is no longer one of the causes of mortality as long as you are kept in a virtual reality, or ultimately, given a new body. Humans have invented FTL (Faster Than Light) travel and have populated the galaxies, and we all communicate via a virtual world called GridStream that breaks the barrier space and time between the star systems in the universe through a device implanted in our skull called HD or neuras hardware.

Everybody has their own Standard Mailing Address that allows us to receive electronic mailing and you'll be able to talk to someone who is a half galaxy away simply by accessing your Brain Machine Interface and see that person through your retinal camera. The future sure is exciting.

Coming up with the high-tech concept was half the work. I knew I had to come up with an equally interesting character to star in this dystopian world. Eve Aizawa came to me at three in the morning while I was playing a video game and demanded I tell her story. She's a spitfire: a rather foul-mouthed gal with a chip on her shoulders as big as a small moon. She isn't perfect, not your typical run of the mill heroine, but I think that's what makes her more interesting. Personally, I think a perfect heroine is passé.

The first book of the series, Eve of Seduction, is one of the most complicated stories I've ever written, plotwise. Eve was a digital inmate, currently incarcerated in a virtual prison because she masterminded the biggest heist in history. Because she's a brainiac, a secret counter-intelligence agency known as Viper employs her as their black contractor. And as the payment, Viper docks her sentence with every job she successfully completes. I decided to explore “the noir aspect” in this story when Eve was sent to infiltrate a shadowy tycoon, Jean-Val Cedolin, to discover his secret and what she found out in the end, totally blew her mind.

Deus Eve Machina, the second book of the series, follows Eve's escapade when she is downloaded into the clone of a gangster's daughter who commits suicide while under the government's interrogation. Eve's employer, Viper, used her as live bait because the fiancé of the dead girl currently possesses a secret list that could bring down the whole underground syndicate. As if Eve's mission isn't complicated enough, a rogue mercenary who is sent to kill her by a rival gangster falls in love with her and offers Eve a deal: his protection in exchange for her body.

I had so much fun exploring the high-octane game of sex and power aspect in these erotic thriller novellas. Body swapping, biotechnology through genetic manipulation, and enhanced human strength through biomechatronics could be overwhelming concepts to some people who weren't familiar with cyberpunk. But since not many erotic writers out there put out these types of books, I felt compelled to introduce readers to this exciting genre.

Are you ready for the future?

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