(Illustration by Aaron Lovett)

Cyberpunk. It's a subgenre of Science Fiction popular in the 1970s and 80s. Themes? A dystopian vision of tomorrow with cyborgs, and rampant technology. Think the 1982 movie Blade Runner:

Some say the genre is dead because the future it imagined is now. Denver author Joshua Viola says not so fast. He's edited a new Cyberpunk anthology called "Cyberworld: Tales of Humanity's Tomorrow." It's up for a Colorado Book Award.

He spoke to Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.

Read an excerpt:

The Bees of Kiribati

By Warren Hammond

 

I spotted Detective Inspecteur Keo at the end of the corridor, his back against the wall, smoke snaking from the cigarette lodged between his fingertips.

Instinctively, I smoothed the wrinkles on my skirt before starting in his direction. My heels echoed in the empty corridor, but he didn’t look my way, his lips moving in silent conversation with whoever was jacked into his head.

Stopping a couple feet away, I waited for him to end his conversation. When he did, I pressed my hands together in front of my chest and offered a slight bow of my head.

He took a quick drag before floating my name on a cloud of smoke. “Kaikoa?”

I nodded.

In Khmer, he asked, “You speak Gilbertese?”

Again, I nodded.

“Come with me.”

I followed him upstairs to the fourth floor of Phnom Penh’s police headquarters, where we veered wide to pass a small group of foreigners speaking in somber voices. A teary-eyed white woman stepped forward, clearly intending to ask the detective a question, but he waved her off and led me into a small interrogation room that smelled of mildew.

I breathed deep of a stale afternoon breeze drifting through the open window. “Who are those people out there?”

“They don’t concern you.”

I didn’t appreciate his dismissive tone. “I can’t translate effectively if I don’t know what this is about.”

Inspecteur Keo answered with a single word. “Murders.”

Reprinted from Cyberworld: Tales Of Humanity's Tomorrow edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola with permission of Hex Publishing LLC. Copywrite (c) Hex Publishers, LLC 2016.