Jack-in Jilly (Everybody Wants More)

INTERNET by *flyingdebris on deviantART

The image above just goes to show that one person’s idea of heaven is another person’s vision of hell. Many writers have speculated about a future in which brains happily connect directly to the web, bypassing the inconvenient body, but how possible is that really? And who would choose such an extreme transformation?

Besides, there’s more going on in that picture than just people logged-in via their brain stems. They’re in stasis – which is probably a good thing given how out of it they appear. But wouldn’t shutting down the body like that also turn off the brain, for the most part? And how long can that last before a restart becomes pointless or impossible?

Beyond that, shouldn’t we ask ourselves why this fantasy is so persistent in speculative fiction? What’s the attraction? And what are the more realistic alternatives to this dark and twisted trope?

If you’re a fan of the sub-genre, what’s the best cyber-punk you’ve seen? What makes it possible for to suspend disbelief? What’s the worst you’ve seen?

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