From Alice to Don Quixote to Gilgamesh and back into prehistory, dreams have always played a special role in storytelling. In modern times, we find ourselves caught in an explosion of technology whose ramifications confound our understanding of the natural world, the real world. Reality is melting.
The crystallization of cyberpunk in the 1980s (heralded by the film Blade Runner, the novel Neuromancer, and the anthology Mirrorshades) led to a variety of “punk” genres with little in common other than a certain ineffable feeling: a sense of wonder at the power of human contrivance mingled with an overwhelming dread of the same.
We now find ourselves in a very strange place. Technology is embedded so deeply in our lives that it no longer feels separate; it’s taken for granted, like breathing. Whatever can be imagined can be experienced, if not in the “real” world then somewhere else. This is our new reality. We live inside our heads, in our dreams.