tell me how do i feel

The cold wars of the 20th century left us fearful of nuclear wars and nuclear winters. With the potential and/or aftermath of war, we tend to focus on methods of distraction or to hone in on the grit of living, identity, and reality. War always has its lost generations, those who try to reconcile the brutality of humanity and who are often left disillusioned. Throw in rapid advancements in technology, and you've got a generation who can't (or won't) figure out what's real and what isn't.

Berlin, 1989. Lorraine Broughton is sent to Berlin to investigate the death of an agent and the disappearance of a list revealing every spy working in Berlin. Lorraine has returned from the Cold War's coldest city to tell her story. Assassinations, doubleplots, and a killer soundtrack. Nothing is what it seems.

Based loosely on PKD's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner explores a future world in which a blade runner contemplates his own morality in assassinating replicants - bioengineered humans. As you watch the film, you're filled with a sense of foreboding and paranoia. Something doesn't seem quite right about any of this future world - corporate power has spread everywhere like an incurable disease, the police are everywhere and omnipresent, warning lights probe into buildings, and the consequences of replicants and the implantation of replicants' memories simmer under that neo-noir veneer. Its companion film, Blade Runner 2049 takes less of an amphetamine-charged look of the nature of implanted memories and enters more of a dream-like wander on the line dividing reality and fabrication.

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." Gibson's novel recognized the future of computers in the early 1980s – society's dependence on technology, increased detachment of humans from the world around them, and the blurring of national lines. In his vision of cyberspace, artificial intelligence and the world wide web, Gibson warns us of overreliance on cybersecurity and what happens when we begin to lose touch with reality and slip further and further into the Matrix.

Pat Cadigan's short story "Pretty Boy Crossover" imagines a future world in which once you hit a certain age, you can choose to upload yourself into a database, live forever, and become SAD, self-aware data. "The dreams can be as real as you want them to be." Click the cover of the magazine to read it.

"This Snow Crash thing - is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?" "What's the difference?" Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. He's on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. It's satire that imagines an America so bizarre and outrageous that it might not be that far from the truth.

Liu's Natasha Romanoff seems a little more reflective in this Black Widow arc, and it seems wrong not to include some version of Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff when talking about the Cold War and Russian spies. In this arc, a heavy focus is placed on memory, loyalty, and agency. Romanoff has fought for every bit of control she has over her life, body, and mind; but what are the results and implications of that hard-won control?