Thursday Apr 13, 2023

88 - Izumi Suzuki’s Proto-Cyberpunk TERMINAL BOREDOM with Jay Springett

On this episode we have the host of 301, Jay Springett, on to talk about Izumi Suzuki’s proto-cyberpunk, character-based short story collection Terminal Boredom. This is a unique episode of Agitator, in that we actually talk about the book. As Jay puts it, it’s “punk as f**k.”

We talk about:

Foghorn Leghorn, guests who listen to the show, Hit Parade of Tears, Suzuki's hand in inventing cyberpunk, her husband’s jazz, SF Magazine, mothers becoming chairs, Black Mirror style, not believing what you see on TV, natural vs. artificial insemination, the GETOZ, cyberpunk vs. slice of life future fiction, sleeping with your phone, people who can’t talk and drive, unlocking the formula of Suzuki’s storytelling, entering people’s dreams, sci-fi as a tool to find out what’s wrong with society, nostalgic for a time when you could make money writing, Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets, Endless Waltz, talking to people who are off Twitter, you can just turn shit off, where podcast traffic comes from, Kelby reads Izumi Suzuki’s Wikipedia page, keypunch operators, Violence Without a Cause, IZUMI, this bad girl, getting offered a lot of money to narrate a controversial book, the prepper mindset, “it’s not deepfakes to worry about, it’s things being fake deep,” Holly Herndon’s PROTO, getting job interviews with Chat GPT, the difference in Americans vs. British e-mail style, our favorite Suzuki stories, writing lessons we can take from Terminal Boredom, the benefit of translation, Murakami writing Norwegian Wood to become a bestseller, the invention of cell phone culture, figuring out the dumbest thing people can do with technology, primitive time travel, the Mandela Effect, and Cyberpunk 2077 with new ray tracing effects.


And Lately, the Sun, the solarpunk anthology with Jay’s badass story (mentioned on the Patreon episode).

Subscribe to the Agitator Patreon for even more thought-provoking conversation. The second part to this episode drops Monday!

On that episode, we talk about:

Voting on whether to drop the episodes all at once, listening to podcasts at 3x speed, LitRPGs, the Cradle series, SimLit, KickFlipLit, finding yourself fascinated by things you “shouldn’t” like, Beware of Chicken, Travis Baldree’s books, Scott McClanahan, prose doesn’t always have to be amazing, The Corporation Wars, Alan Watt’s The Book, Vedanta, people as expressions of the universe, David’s Achille’s Heel, being able to understand conspiracy theories, knowing when to privately understand something and play dumb, Victorian hollow earth books, the Flat Earth psyop, “thinking with” ideas, Boomers believing everything they see on the internet, Puffy Coat Pope drip, the dissociation of art with human effort, where do humans go from here?, and internet end times guy, talking in virtual reality, Dream’s MSP roleplaying server, the way D&D reshaped people’s relation to story, the popularity of “lore,” Hamlet on the Holodeck, Synthetic Worlds, hypertext novels, interactive fiction, the failure of “chat room” as a metaphor, Royal Road stories, fandoms influencing a story, protecting your potential vs. using it, the whirlpool element of writing, the fluoride stare you get when you talk about self-publishing, focusing on readers instead of prestige, getting over the idea of “selling out,” succeeding too soon, what we like about writing, getting the cover before you write the book, Rick Rubin’s book as a bible, and the shift away from expertisism.

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