How can I describe Technoshamanism in a short story, without borrowing too heavily from well-known works of Science Fiction?


Bret Bernhoft
Nov 30, 2020
As part of a short story I'm writing, several of the main characters are part of an underground and persecuted faction of Technomancers, Technopagans and Technoshamans. As a point of clarification, Technopaganism is "...the use of modern information technologies in magickal and spiritual practices".

I'm having a difficult time integrating the use of technologies such as Artificial Intelligences into this reality without overlapping previous, well-known works of Science Fiction, such as Neuromancer. In your experience(s), where should I look to for inspiration to make this story more original? How can I describe the inner realities of fictional Technoshamans, without borrowing heavily from the stories that have come before this tale?
You might want to take a step back - you have what sounds like a borrowed concept that you have come across from other writers. Instead of using that concept, write about the things that might make your story fall in that category but are particular to your story concept.

In other words, your story isn't Count Zero, so what is your story? Make it about that stuff as the major plot element and little else. If the story is original the concept will feel that way, too.
Well... Either you derive from The Matrix and Animatrix or you have access to a bookshop that will sell you their 90's Llewellyn-publisher stock for cheap and binge it while barely eating or sleeping until you come up with something that resembles Neuromancer or The Matrix.

I say that it's not worth it for a short story. I tried to be a neo-pagan in the 90's and can't come up with an original techno-paganism. From what I remember of reading Neuromancer, it was VR like Ready Player One and drugs.

If you were writing a long-story, I'd offer you an option, but for a short-story I'd say to just lean into what's been done before unless you have a good reason not to.

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