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Gerald L. Coleman Answers Eleven Cyberfunk Questions

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. I was, in a lot of ways, a hybrid kind of kid. I was a nerd but I was also athletic. I was into comics, video games, dungeons & dragons, but also basketball, football, wrestling, and martial arts. In high school I got along with everyone and moved seamlessly from one clique to another. I knew the popular kids but I also hung out with the outsiders. My love of science fiction & fantasy came about very early. In elementary school I was picking up The Rats of NIMH and Watership Down from the Scholastic Book Fair, and by middle school, I was checking out The Lord of the Rings and The Three Musketeers from the school library. I was also the kid who finished his class work fast and spent the rest of class reading. In high school that meant one of the books in The Wheel of Time series. I studied Philosophy, Sociology, and Religious Studies as an undergrad, and then got my Master’s in theology. I always knew at some point I wanted to write. Having read science fiction & fantasy my entire life, but never seen anyone who looked like me in any of the books I’d read, I knew I wanted to correct that about the genre.

2. What’s your favorite cyberpunk book/movie/anime?

That’s tough. Obviously the original Bladerunner, which I saw in the theaters when it was originally released had a big impact. I enjoyed Johnny Mnemonic. I LOVED Dark City, The Fifth Element, and more recently Altered Carbon. A lot of people seem to think The Matrix is Cyberpunk. I always thought of it as more general science fiction. But if you consider The Matrix cyberpunk then its number one on the list. Number two? Tron: Legacy. I loved that film.

3. What do you like most about Cyberpunk?

The irreverence of it all. I like how it takes all our expectations of the future and upends them.

4. For you, what’s the difference between Cyberpunk and Cyberfunk?

For me, it’s about being included in the story. As with everything black writers are doing in nearly every genre available – we are taking these beloved genres and making sure that they reflect the real world. The idea that you can have a scifi story that doesn’t include black folks in significant ways is insulting and nonsensical.

5. What’s the title of your Cyberfunk story?

“A Bird in the Hand”

6. Give a brief synopsis.

A Bird in the Hand, catches up with Azriel a few thousand years after the events in the Terminus Anthology. He’s weary of life. Living that long is not as much fun as people think it might be. He’s gone to an out of the way, dilapidated colony on one of the moon’s of Saturn to be left in peace. But the galaxy isn’t finished with him yet.

7. What do you like/hate about your main character?

I like his perspective on life. As an immortal, he has an interesting point of view on humanity. I also like that, when he needs, he can kick ass. I especially like the fact that his stories are infused with the arcane.

8. Are we heading for a Cyberfunk/Cyberpunk future?

If we continue to rush headlong into circumstances that science fiction has warned us about, we very well might. Somebody please shut down Ghost Robotics and Boston Dynamics. Have they not seen The Terminator!?

9. Would you become a cyborg?

Probably not. Enhanced like Mackenzie Grace’s character in Terminator: Dark Fate? Maybe.

10. Could you love an A.I.?

If they were as advanced and human-like as the synthetics in Star Trek: Picard? Maybe.

11. How do we keep with all things Gerald L. Coleman?

Read A Bird in The Hand and 18 other amazing stories in Cyberfunk! Preorder your book today. Release date: February 28, 2021.

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