A far future cyberpunkish sci-fi story with a cyber samurai

Fire&Light65

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
28
I agree: it's a standard cyberpunk trope, probably related to Japan being economically powerful in the 70s and 80s when early cyberpunk was being written. The idea of a criminal/assassin who follows a samurai code has also been used in crime films like Ghost Dog and Le Samurai. To be honest it wouldn't feel especially original - not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but it wouldn't break new ground.
What would make it more unique and groundbreaking then?
 
Last edited:

Fire&Light65

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
28
To make it different, would I be better off having it be a samurai from feudal Japan that ends up in the future? Or better if I just had it be a futuristic soldier with samurai heritage set on another planet?
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
12,509
Location
nearly the New Forest
If you use a samurai from feudal Japan who is catapulted into the far future, and you want it to be realistic, you will need to do massive amounts of research to get everything correct. It's not simply a matter of reading a couple of books, you'd need to be able to get into the mindset of someone who is born into a wholly different era with a wholly different culture, and you'll have to become an expert on every aspect of his life and times. Only you know if this amount of research is something which would come easily to you or which you would find congenial, but to be frank if this were something you'd enjoy doing I rather think you'd have started the process so you wouldn't need to be asking our opinion on the subject generally.

If you're writing about someone who is born in the future, whether or not on a different planet, then again you need to immerse yourself in a wholly different culture and era, but the advantage is that you control that future and its culture, and if you don't know some aspects of the man's samurai heritage or you get it wrong, it can be glossed as a consequence of that heritage having been altered or diluted over the centuries.

However, I have to ask -- why are you so intent on getting a samurai into your story? Why use something which is so clichéd? Invent your own warrior caste. Work out when and why they arose, and then use different aspects of different cultures and meld them into something which is unique because it's all come from you. That to me would be far more satisfying, and much less problematic.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
17,942
Not really. I'm kind of lost how I can fit this cyber samurai in a distant future society.





I would set it further into the future. I would definitely write both with respect, though ninjas I would say leans more towards spies and assassins that do more freelance work and don't follow any real strict code. I could be wrong but I'll have to research it more.




Oh yeah, something like this I would avoid from using things that are not associated with that culture. I know ninjas used ninjato sword, which is what I would put. But if this is the future, any sword might feel too outdated.

As a VR character in game the Samurai becomes self aware of the fact that he's a fictional character . He gets loose , finds a mechanical humanoid avatar and explores the the world has adventures he couldn't had in the game he existed in.
 
Last edited:

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
4,830
Location
Edinburgh
However, I have to ask -- why are you so intent on getting a samurai into your story? Why use something which is so clichéd?
I don't know - if you got your samuri from the Tokugawa period (1603-1867), especially near the end of the period, instead of a "battle-hardened, sword-wielding ninja, quoting zen couplets", you would have likely got a stuck up, impoverished civil servant who hadn't seen a fight in his life....although having tangled with a few scary civil servants, there were a few times I think I'd have rather taken my chances with a stoic warrior with a big sword instead.
 

bingsubb

collector of rocks
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
7
Hi! Reading through this thread, there already seems to be a ton of helpful advice coming from writers way more experienced than me, so I can't offer much more than this:

If you're still really banking on the samurai / any historical Japanese social class and worried about stereotyping or possibly being disrespectful, have you considered hiring a sensitivity reader? Of course, this would require you to pay money and probably have at least a manuscript for them to review. Google says that the rates usually start at around 250USD for a novel manuscript, which isn't terrible but everyone's financial situation is different.

Some people have strong opinions on sensitivity readers, but I think involving someone who comes from a group/culture you're writing about that you yourself are not a part of can be a valuable experience. Plus, it shows that you're committed to doing your research and being respectful to the source material. Just be careful of scammers lol
 

Fire&Light65

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2021
Messages
28
Invent your own warrior caste. Work out when and why they arose, and then use different aspects of different cultures and meld them into something which is unique because it's all come from you.
I'm thinking of doing it this way and save the samurai idea for a better time fitting period. Though I really would like to incorporate something samurai into my future story, because the antagonist would be running some kind of doomsday like cults and using the Bushido-like code to brainwash those to follow and die for them would be very well fitting. Think of like a martial arts mcdojo or bullshido school that uses brainwashing tactics on some of their students, which is set in modern times. They are not neccesarily experts in samurai or whatever culture their style is based on, of the knowledge, history and culture of it. In fact, they probably wouldn't even have the true respect for the culture if they can use it for profit or gain.

Some people have strong opinions on sensitivity readers, but I think involving someone who comes from a group/culture you're writing about that you yourself are not a part of can be a valuable experience. Plus, it shows that you're committed to doing your research and being respectful to the source material. Just be careful of scammers lol
I would love to. I know I wouldn't have the budget for it. And I'd have to watch out for getting scammed like you said. Maybe I can talk to those who are from that background and culture to get a better idea?
 

Similar threads


Top