Welcome to the Future

The Twenty-Tens are over and a new year is upon us. Not just a new year, but a new decade. Welcome to the 2020’s my friends, the year of the cyberpunk, the year after Blade Runner.

Johnny Silverhand as he appears in 2020. Apparently we thought this was hot in the eighties.

If I’ve learned anything from all those years of playing the Cyberpunk role-playing game, this is the year we all get prosthetic body parts and chromed-up guns the size of a small howitzer strapped to our hips. It’s the year that every woman magically ends up looking like a hot cyber waifu and every man ends up either more ripped than Henry Cavill in The Witcher or more cadaverous than Nosferatu after a month without food (or occasionally both at the same time). Flying cars that defy the laws of physics flit across a sky the colour of a TV tuned to a dead channel, and anyone with a set of Neural Plugs can take part in the magical mystery tour that is the information superhighway. This is the future where Johnny Silverhand looks more like manga Bret Michaels than scruffy-but-adorable Keanu Reeves (we have to wait another fifty-seven years for that fantasy to happen).

Alternatively, this could be the 2020 where Edge of Tomorrow happens, though if I’m being honest an alien invasion seems marginally more promising than the prospect of a year at the hands of Boris ‘BoBo’ Johnson. Hell, a nationwide infestation of Nurglings would be more promising than BoBo’s buffoonery at this point.

Hot cyber waifu. We’re living in the future now so all women look like this. Them’s the rules.

It may be the 2020 where Reign of Fire happens, though as the dragons haven’t laid waste to the country yet I’m pretty sure we’re not going to get Christian Bale and Gerard Butler starring in a West End performance of Star Wars any time soon. Unfortunately.

Whichever 2020 this is we’re stuck with it for at least the next twelve months so I guess we should make the most of it, right? For me that mostly means trying to find a new job (qualified comfy chair tester and experienced coffee taster, can start immediately), but I do have a few other ideas for how to fill the hours in between filling out applications and e-mailing my CV to prospective employers.

First off, I’m planning on adding a few new features to this here blog thing I’ve been keeping. At the end of January this place will be seven years old, and what better way to celebrate that milestone than with some new stuff? Mostly the new stuff will be the introduction of a couple of semi-regular columns.

The first new column I’ve got planned is a bi-monthly ‘Ten of the Best’ with each post focusing on a single genre or sub-genre and starting with a look at my ten favourite Space Opera works. That’s set to go live around the middle of the month, with the next one (High Fantasy) planned for March.

Johnny Silverhand in fifty-seven years. I’m currently saving up for cryogenic suspension…

The second column I’m hoping to introduce is a look back at the Hugo winners from years gone by, starting all the way back in 1953 with Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man. The plan here is to read every Hugo Winner in order and review them from the viewpoint of a contemporary reader. And given that I’m a reader and I’m pretty contemporary, that should work out fine, right? I’m still putting the finishing touches to this idea, so it may still fall by the wayside, but assuming it does go ahead I’ll try to have the first article live towards the end of the month.

On top of that I’m going to carry on reading my usual mix of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and assorted other books, and posting reviews as I go along. I missed out on my reading goal by just two books in 2019, so I’m going to stick with a target of fifty books for 2020 and see how I go.

On the writing side, I’m still slowly plucking away at my fiction, though nowhere near as much as I’d like. I’m going to try and find some motivation of my own this year, but any encouragement you feel like supplying along the way will be very much appreciated. One thing I am quite excited to be working on is some community content for Chaosium’s RuneQuest: Role-Playing in Glorantha on DriveThru RPG. I’ve got a short one-shot scenario mostly worked out for submission in January, and all being well hope to get a new supplement or scenario uploaded every month going forward. I’m also toying with the idea of working on some Traveller supplements along the way, though that’s a decision for another day.

And finally there’s my health. I’ve not exactly been all that conscientious about my health during the twenty-tens and as a result I’m very much out of shape right now. I know I need to do something about this, and have already started making a conscious effort to put in a decent amount of exercise each day. I’m not planning on running any marathons or taking part in any athletic contests, but it would be nice to be able to climb the two flights of stairs to my room without having to pause for breath halfway up.

So that’s it, my plans for 2020. I’m hoping this year will be marginally better than 2019 was, both personally and generally. With a bit of luck the buffoon in Number 10 will be held to account by his cabinet and the opposition (okay, with a lot of luck) and if we’re even luckier the orange cheetoh over in the States will get voted out of office in November. But whatever the new year brings I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2020 and hope you’ll join me in trying our damned best to make this a good year.

NOT appearing at the West End this summer: Christian Bale and Gerard Butler in Star Wars: A New Take.

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