A Cyberpunk ’til the end of the Earth
You remember ShadowRun? If you’ve enjoyed the CyberPunk movement but haven’t ever played the ShadowRun role playing game, then you’ve missed something that would have been right up your kind of dark alley. Recently, I discovered a nice, dark alley in the The Book of Exodi called “A Short Length of String” by Neal F. Guye.
The Book of Exodi (see its spiffy ember-colored cover on the right-hand side of this webpage) is filled with stories of people leaving or forced to leave their homeworld. The ShadowRun universe tends to focus on the challenge of pulling off “the big heist”. (Just because it’s the future doesn’t mean hardworking mercs don’t have their own financial crises to deal with.) Mixing the end of the world with the “big heist” creates some interesting conundrums like: you’re risking your life for money, but the world is ending so what’s the use? (It turns out there are several reasons.)
As I read “A Short Length of String,” I was told about a big heist, Fixers, and people that felt like Runners and Deckers, but the familiar pattern set by ShadowRun was never the same because the team was dealing with the psychological and emotional fallout from knowing that soon, the Earth will be destroyed.
If you haven’t read a cyberpunk story in a while, read this one and it will get you excited again about big guns and street samurai attitude. And if you’re so inclined, find some runners with whom to break out the six sided dice and build a run like this one.