Recommend some transhumanist cyberpunk

Hey everyone, since The Big Game isn’t going to provide meaningful commentary and the discourse has been getting me down this week I wanted to put out an ask. What are some good cyberpunk or general sci-fi-themed works about trans-humanism, especially by trans or queer creators that you can recommend? I’ve read/seen many of the classic genre works but haven’t followed smaller or indie stuff that’s come out in the last decade. Thanks!

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There’s a short story in Portland Diary: Short Stories 2016/2017, by Jamie Berrout, called “Waiting Room” that I really enjoyed. The whole collection is good, and PWYC on her gumroad. Also, if you like short stories, there is a great anthology called Meanwhile, Elsewhere which is all SFF written by trans authors. Not all of them are cyberpunk, but a few are. Free PDF from one of the editors.

Everything Belongs to the Future, by Laurie Penny, is quite a lovely novella. Probably more biopunk than cyberpunk, but subgenres are fake and I say it’s close enough for this.

One of my favourite transhumanist worlds is from the TTRPG Eclipse Phase. At least a couple of the creators are anarchists, and I don’t know if any of the main guys are trans or queer, but some of the adventure writers are. :space_invader: Not the easiest year to set up a game, but if you have friends who are willing to sit through a long Zoom session, it’s nice having a Creative Commons game since you can easily share the necessary materials with other players.

There’s probably a dozen itchio games I should remember but I’m drawing a blank right now… I’ll post some after I’ve willed myself to peruse my library. (The bundle from earlier this year was excellent but also I desperately need to make some folders because it’s innavigable now.)

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This is perfect! I’m gonna check all of this out. I actually have Laurie Penny’s book but haven’t read it yet so I’ll correct that.

So, it’s REALLY dated, and there’s a lot of language around the trans characters that would be considered transphobic today, but When Gravity Fails was one of my favorite books I read last year.

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It’s about a cyberpunk kind of dude living in the Bodayeen, an Arabic and Muslim city that has ascended while the rest of the world has collapsed. What’s cool about it is that pretty much every other character in the novel is trans. Marîd’s partner is trans, half the people he works with is trans, and it’s not considered out of place or fetishized. This being the underworld, all these people are either sex workers or criminals, but I never felt like the novel was gawking at the trans characters, save for when Marîd first talks about them. This was written in 86, which makes it super ahead of its time even if the language around the novel is dated.

It does have the unfortunate moment or two when Marîd is narrating and misgenders what these characters were as instead of who they are now, but overall the amount of times I cringed were greatly outnumbered by the times I was enthralled.

Also, its really fucking cool to me that a white dude from Cleveland managed to craft this engaging Muslim world with very focused and detailed descriptions of Muslim culture and etiquette. I feel like I learned a lot about Islam when I read it.

What’s frustrating to me, is that THE BIG GAME has connections to this novel that could have offered a lot of influence on how to peruse trans representation in its world:

Like, there’s LITERALLY supplement material set around this book’s world for your cyberpunk tabletop game. Man, what if CDPR did some research outside of the fucking 2020 book, lol

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Not really differentiating between sci-fi and cyberpunk here, but:

Seconding that recommendation of Eclipse Phase. It’s a bit 101 more than being trans/furry transhumanism, but it’s still miles ahead of tech bros wanting to put a computer in their brain. Honestly might recommend it more as a setting to read about than a game to play, though.

On the more trans/furry side, it’s basically just a doll maker, but Ship of Theseus by Alco has some really amazing mood to it, and I’d highly recommend.

On the itch side, Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is amazing (okay it’s on steam too, but it fits in the itch movement). It’s about being broke, trans, and cursed, in an alien city far from home, and making the most of that. An all round beautiful game.

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Oh hey, this seems relevant too.

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Jury’s still out if I can be a furry in CP 2077, so I’ll have to pick this up.

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