30 Years Ago Today: Max Headroom Television Hack

An event which has come to be known as the Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion occured on November 22, 1987 on two separate Chicago television stations.

The first hack took place during the local news on WGN-TV. It did not last long and showed little more than a person in a Max Headroom mask and glasses standing in front of a metal background.

The second hack came later that night, at 11:15PM local time. It was during a broadcast of Doctor Who on WTTW. This second intrusion lasted longer and included some difficult to understand speaking and strange actions. It’s probably best just to see it for yourself (keep in mind it’s NSFW):

This incident is famous today and has grown even moreso, thanks to the internet. Also, unless you believe one redditor, it remains unsolved to this day.

You can read more here and here.

Be A Part Of Our 2017 NaNoWriMo Interviews

Long time readers may remember back in 2015 we published a series of interviews with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) participants. While we didn’t get around to repeating that in 2016, we’d like to bring it back for this year.

These interviews will be much the same as before. They will focus on a writer’s motivation and methods for tackling the event, with some attention given to advice for those who may wish to participate in the future.

If you are a writer and would like to answer some questions for us, get in touch on social media or send an email to editor(at)DarkFuturesFiction.net.

More On Detroit: Become Human

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It was brought to my attention that the first trailer for Detroit: Become Human actually appeared at E3 in 2015. Somehow this game flew under my radar until now.

This trailer seems to have more in common with the 2017 trailer than the one from 2016 but still seems to be telling a somewhat different story. It has been suggested the game may have three different intertwining stories to choose from or you may play as each of these three characters at some point to tell the same story. What do you think? What would you prefer?

Looking Back At Last Year’s Detroit: Become Human Trailer

Yesterday, we wrote about a newly-released trailer for an upcoming game from Sony called Detroit: Become Human. You can find that here.

As it turns out, this game has been in development for a long time. It even had a trailer released during last year’s E3. The strange thing is the two trailers look like they could almost be for two entirely different games within the same setting. The protagonists of these trailers also appear to be on opposite sides of the same conflict. The one thing the two trailers seem to have in common is the possibly elaborate decision making system.

This could mean they were planning to make the game one way and changed it drastically during the course of production. It could also mean you will have a truly impressive number of options in the game. All we can do for now is wait and see.

2016’s E3 trailer is included below if you, like myself, had not yet seen it.

How Casinos Offer A Viable Setting For Modern Storytelling

By Curtis Collins

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Casinos are fascinating establishments that are portals to different kinds of emotions and people. For better or worse, almost everyone who goes in comes out a changed man or woman with a definite story to tell. These are just some of the reasons why casinos offer suitable settings for an array of stories – spanning across fiction to non-fiction.

In Nevada, casinos are rather ubiquitous. As a matter of fact, WorldCasinoDirectory.com reveals the state has 337 casinos in total that have more than 200,000 gaming machines and over 7000 table games. People see it everywhere, especially in Las Vegas where blinding lights and ear-piercing sounds are essentially part of everyday life.

On the other side of the coin, casinos have penetrated the realms of the worldwide web with various online companies featuring different motifs to attract new-age players. Gala Casino, a popular UK-based gaming platform, has themes such as leprechauns, explorers, and magicians, which – ironically – are also some of the central characters in a variety of classic tales.

In hindsight, casinos have been around the top milieus of many literary works of art. This is a simple testament of the cultural phenomenon of a city such as Las Vegas, as well as the people who contribute to the overall allure of it. These casino stories range from a typical love story to a visually stimulating alien invasion. However, the challenge still lies in the separation of fact from fiction.

The likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Nathan, and Mario Puzo have used casinos as the main backdrops of their stories. Their respective works opened the eyes of viewers and readers to a different side of literature, one that offers a distinct take on the cookie-cutter protagonists and the evil antagonists. Though these characters feature the usual detectives and mobsters, they still epitomize fantastic storytelling that molds people’s view and interpretation of casinos.

The world of casinos goes through the ever-changing chronicles of modern evolution. Amidst the neon signs, in the middle of gaming machines, and surrounded by over-flowing enthusiasm, these establishments offer the potential to come up with compelling stories that define the boundaries of fact and fiction.

Welcome to our Neon Dystopia

by Isaac L. Wheeler (Veritas), Co-Founder and Editor of Neon Dystopia

Note From The Editor: Isaac is also a Submissions Editor for Phase 2 Magazine, beginning with our recently-released 5th issue.

Neon Dystopia was created to fill a void. That void was created when the great site, The Cyberpunk Review and it’s blog went offline. The Cyberpunk Review had been the birthplace of the cyberpunkforums which was, and is, the go to place for good in-depth discussions about all things cyberpunk. The site also held an amazing database of movies with great commentary. The blog itself would look at modern events and compare them to the fiction we all love so much.

Now, cyberpunkforums is still a great place to go for conversations but it is just a forum. Forums are outdated and are alienating, especially to a new audience. There is quite a bit of good social media out there on the subject, but again you have to find these communities. In-depth essays and articles about cyberpunk media, philosophy, and subculture show up from time to time on popular sites like Motherboard, Boing Boing, or io9, but only occasionally.

Neon Dystopia’s goal is to create a website, internet space, and community that fills all of these areas. We are working on databases of all forms of cyberpunk media from movies, to music, to comics. We are working to populate those databases with reviews of all of those works so people can get a fairly in-depth idea of what they are getting into before they go in search of any particular piece of cyberpunk media. We want to really explore some of the deep philosophical ideas that are brought up in cyberpunk on a regular basis. And finally, and most certainly not least, we are working to support the burgeoning cyberpunk community and its subculture.

Our goals are ambitious but it is worth doing. The interest in cyberpunk has been increasing significantly in recent time because of the increasing discontent with existing power structures and our changing relationship with technology. Anonymous and the Occupy protests are fantastic examples of this in the political realm, and the rise of the surveillance state is something cyberpunk warned us was coming. Cyberpunk is now, but there is a post-cyberpunk future in the works. The genre will continue to evolve, but cyberpunk is anything but dead. We welcome all to join Neon Dystopia and become immersed in cyberpunk with us.

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