Confession time – I’ve made more than a few booboos as I’ve gone through the process of getting the cyberpunk novella, ZERO FACTOR, out of my brain and onto Samhain’s launching pad. The first misstep was not really knowing what cyberpunk was, so I hopped on Wikipedia and let my fingers do the researching.
Believe it or not, that was a big worry for me. My imagination is, shall we say, moody. When I need it to do one thing, it shoots off and does something else. For instance, I had wanted ZERO FACTOR to have a dark, gritty “Escape From New York” feel. Instead, it takes place in the sunny desert of Nevada (seriously, I STILL don’t know how or why it wound up there). My female MC, Via Brede, was supposed to be a med tech, but when she rolled out of my brain she wound up being an Agridome bubble farmer. Come to find out, putting Via in a bubble made all sorts of AWESOME sense, but… it wasn’t what I had planned.
You see why I thought I might not be up to this?
In order to create a futuristic world, I eventually put myself through a pretty weird mental exercise (I’ve never heard of anyone doing this, so either I’m a genius, or I’m the worst kind of time-wasting goofball). I made myself go through an entire day taking ordinary events, and putting a futuristic spin on them. Example: the brushing of teeth became fast and simple with a mere swish of Denti-Wash. Cars with combustible engines became superlight Maglev vehicles that ran on cold fusion. Who needs cameras or x-ray machines at security check points when you have a cyborg equipped with cyberoptics and a computer for a brain?
The one thing I couldn’t possibly change, though, was how two people with chemistry hot enough to melt Pluto can and will fall in love. I am a romance writer, after all, and as much fun as I had building the future world of ZERO FACTOR, the one deliciously familiar touchstone for me was the crazy, wide-eyed hope that love brings to the lives of those who embrace it. I don’t know what our world will look like a hundred years from now, but as long as there are people brave enough to take a chance on love, I’m thinking it’ll be pretty much like it is now.